Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power (Romanticism in Perspective)

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By the s he was constantly in financial difficulties. More than once in his later years, De Quincey was forced to seek protection from arrest in the debtors' sanctuary of Holyrood in Edinburgh. Yet De Quincey's money problems persisted; he got into further difficulties for debts he incurred within the sanctuary.

His financial situation improved only later in his life. When his daughters matured, they managed his budget more responsibly than he ever had himself. A number of medical practitioners have speculated on the physical ailments that inspired and underlay De Quincey's resort to opium, and searched the corpus of his autobiographical works for evidence.

Frederick Burwick, Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power

As with many addicts, De Quincey's opium addiction may have had a "self-medication" aspect for real physical illnesses, as well as a psychological aspect. By his own testimony, De Quincey first used opium in to relieve his neuralgia; he used it for pleasure, but no more than weekly, through It was in that he first commenced daily usage, in response to illness and his grief over the death of Wordsworth's young daughter Catherine.

During — his daily dose was very high, and resulted in the sufferings recounted in the final sections of his Confessions. For the rest of his life his opium use fluctuated between extremes; he took "enormous doses" in , but late in he went for 61 days with none at all. There are many theories surrounding the effects of opium on literary creation , and notably, his periods of low usage were literarily unproductive.

Thomas De Quincey : knowledge and power in SearchWorks catalog

His stone, in the southwest section of the churchyard on a west facing wall, is plain and says nothing of his work. During the final decade of his life, De Quincey laboured on a collected edition of his works. It was only when De Quincey, a chronic procrastinator, failed to answer repeated letters from James Thomas Fields [35] that the American publisher proceeded independently, reprinting the author's works from their original magazine appearances. Twenty-two volumes of De Quincey's Writings were issued from to The existence of the American edition prompted a corresponding British edition.

De Quincey edited and revised his works for the Hogg edition; the second edition of the Confessions was prepared for inclusion in Selections Grave and Gay…. The first volume of that edition appeared in May , and the fourteenth and last in January , a month after the author's death. Both of these were multi-volume collections, yet made no pretense to be complete. Scholar and editor David Masson attempted a more definitive collection: The Works of Thomas De Quincey appeared in fourteen volumes in and Yet De Quincey's writings were so voluminous and widely dispersed that further collections followed: two volumes of The Uncollected Writings , and two volumes of Posthumous Works — De Quincey's diary was published in Berlioz also loosely based his Symphonie fantastique on Confessions of an English Opium-Eater , drawing on the theme of the internal struggle with one's self.

This influence carried over into Luca Guadagnino 's version of the film. Shelby Hughes created Jynxies Natural Habitat , an online archive of stamp art on glassine heroin bags, under the pseudonym "Dequincey Jinxey," in reference to De Quincey. She also used the pseudonym in interviews related to the archive. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the writer and producer of Technotronic , see Jo Bogaert. Main article: Thomas De Quincey bibliography.

HarperCollins Publishers. Oxford University Press, Kingston: Queen's University, Archived from the original on 24 December Retrieved 24 December Archived from the original on 3 May Retrieved 12 June Lake District National Park Partnership. Retrieved 23 May The New Zealand Herald.

Prose in the age of Romanticism

XXXI Retrieved 10 December Books and Writers kirjasto. Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 10 October Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 4 July The Guardian. It was published in book form the following year. Morrison, Robert.

National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 25 February Archived from the original PDF on 4 September Retrieved 25 September Hendricks, cited in: Judson S. Gould, cited in Lyon, p. Abrams, M. New York: Norton.

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Agnew, Lois Peters Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. Barrell, John The Infection of Thomas De Quincey. New Have: Yale University Press. Bate, Jonathan Bury St. Edmonds: Brewer, pp. Baxter, Edmund De Quincey's Art of Autobiography. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Berridge, Virginia and Griffith Edwards London: Allen Lane. Clej, Alina B87 '. It is fitting, therefore, that in writing about De Quincey I, too, should find myself overwhelmed with debts. My greatest debts are not of a financial nature.

Thomas De Quincey - The Literature of Knowledge and the Literature of Power

Most important, he has been a source of guidance and support throughout the past decade. I have been blessed by her generosity and her collegiality, not only at the annual meetings of the Wordsworth Summer Conference in Grasmere, England, but in professional engagements at conferences from San Francisco and Seattle to New York and Toronto. Because this book came into being under her encouragement, I wish it were much better than I have been able to make it. She is a distinguished scholar and a true friend. The collection of essays edited by Robert Lance Snyder in Thomas De Quincey Bicentenary Studies provided an early indication of an vi Acknowledgments vii expanding range of interest.

Some of this interest reappraised earlier commentaries on his drug experience. Joel Black, in The Aesthetics of Murder , observed the modernist and postmodernist reverberations of the aestheticized brutality wrought by De Quincey in documenting the serial murders of a vulnerable and crowded London of the nineteenth century.

Unlike Whale, she is not concerned with the conflicts of public and private, but rather with the self-exposition and publicizing of the private. Through my involvement as an editor of three volumes for The Works of Thomas De Quincey, I have transcribed extensively from the manuscripts and have explored the vast collection of unpublished letters and papers.

For the account of piracy in Chapter 3, John Spedding of Mier House, Cumbria allowed me to use unpublished materials relating to his controversial ancestor, Captain Gulliver.

Earlier versions of Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6 previously appeared in The Wordsworth Circle. What would De Quincey think if he knew that this money was forthcoming in his name, and that not a penny of it must be repaid?

Abbreviations Throughout the text, the following abbreviations are used in citations. See also the fuller Bibliography at the end of the book. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, eds. James Engell and W. Jackson Bate. Earl Leslie Griggs. Oxford: Clarendon Press, — Kathleen Coburn. Princeton: Princeton University Press, —. Grevel Lindop. Oxford: Oxford University Press, ; 2nd edn. David Masson.


Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, — Thomas De Quincey, Posthumous Works, 2 vols. Alexander Japp. London: Heinemann, Grevel Lindop et al. Thomas De Quincey, Walladmor, 2 vols. London: Taylor and Hessey, What made it a struggle was his own addiction, which incapacitated his intellectual efforts and rendered him incapable of attaining the standard of exquisite prose to which he aspired. When his powers failed him, he revealed in his Confessions, he still could discipline his mind by turning to economics: Great as was the prostration of my powers at this time, yet I could not forget my knowledge; and my understanding had been for too many years intimate with severe thinkers, with logic, and the great masters of knowledge, not to be aware of the utter feebleness of the main herd of modern economists.

Thenceforth throughout his career De Quincey nourished his own mental facility in political economy, finding in its methods a rigor by which he could lift himself out of his prostration back into productivity as a writer. Opium exacerbated his efforts to write, to meet the monthly deadlines, to earn a meager living for his family. He was in his early thirties when, in , he began his journalistic career as editor of the Westmorland Gazette, a position that he kept for less than a year. A happier period followed, from to , at the London Magazine. Yet after this initial success, he succumbed to opiate lethargy for most of year that followed.

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In he managed to prepare the publication of the Confessions as a book, and to translate a short tale from German. Throughout the next several years, he often relied on translations from the German to meet his obligations to the press. Essays on political economy, German translations, and book reviews enabled him to survive the rigors of writing for the monthly periodicals.

He gradually expanded his repertory, writing on prominent figures, appealing to a popular interest among the rising middle class in topics that had previously been the exclusive domain of the universities. He enjoyed hoaxes and paradoxes. When a Waverley novel appeared in Germany that had never been published in the English language, De Quincey recognized a marvelous hoax which prompted first his review of the forgery, and then his translation into English, with a challenge to the German hoaxer that he must translate it back into German so that German readers might have a more accurate account of British history and geography.

Kant asked, in the Critique of Judgment, how a beautiful sickness, a beautiful rape, a beautiful death were possible, and proceeded to provide an answer in which aesthetic considerations were divorced from moral values. History, wars, classical antiquity, rhetoric and style were also staples in his journalistic repertory.


I deliberately include what some critics have taken to be the worst aberration of his misguided delight in hoaxes, Walladmor , his English version of the German forgery of Sir Walter Scott. The second chapter examines a negative inversion of those contraries in which knowledge shifts into the speculative mode of casuistry and power is undermined as eidoloclasm. Because of differences in these two passages, separated by more than 25 years, Sigmund Proctor and John E. De Quincey in , no less than in , was interested in how literature works on consciousness, how it reaches into the subconscious to stir changes in thought, feeling, and perception.

Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power (Romanticism in Perspective) Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power (Romanticism in Perspective)
Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power (Romanticism in Perspective) Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power (Romanticism in Perspective)
Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power (Romanticism in Perspective) Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power (Romanticism in Perspective)
Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power (Romanticism in Perspective) Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power (Romanticism in Perspective)
Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power (Romanticism in Perspective) Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power (Romanticism in Perspective)

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