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This edition offers a significant revision of its predecessor. The editor has written an introduction that provides an historical and contextual overview, from the book's genesis to its publication and reception. The text is the Eversley Edition of 1901-08.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Erik Gray is Assistant Professor of English at Harvard University and a specialist in Romantic and Victorian Poetry. He is the author of several articles, including ones on Tennyson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Matthew Arnold, and various Romantic and Victorian topics.

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7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great, but a collection is best for most 5. Mai 2010
Von Bill R. Moore - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
In Memoriam may be Tennyson's greatest achievement and is one of the greatest English poems as well as one of the top modern epics. It was inspired by the death of his close friend Arthur Hallam; perhaps his life's central event, this plunged him into depression and made him question many pre-conceived notions. Written and revised as he moved through various grief stages, In Memoriam is his attempt to deal with the struggle - and, if possible - answer the ensuing questions. It is thus in large part a warm, loving tribute that will touch anyone who has suffered such a loss. Queen Victoria was famously comforted by it after Albert's death, inviting Tennyson to see her and eventually making him Poet Laureate. Many others have doubtless felt similarly, and the poem is highly recommended for anyone mourning. Yet In Memoriam is far more than a simple tribute. Tennyson rises to the very height of his near-unparalleled poetic powers, launching a deep meditation on life, mortality, love, friendship, associated theological issues, and more. He essentially uses the death as a pivot for exploring a wide range issues - everything from theodicy to geology. Profoundly emotional, the work moves us as few can and is often black with grief. However, the conclusion is optimistic, even triumphant, basking in traditional Christian-dominated mid-Victorian thought. Later history sadly made such things seem obsolete, even naïve, but it is almost impossible not to be impressed by the fervency and honesty, and the poem still manages to touch and solace even if it will never again convince. The form is also notable. Tennyson is known for meter mastery and creative rhymes but here sticks to a simple format that became so famous and influential it is known as the "In Memoriam stanza." He manages to make great, multi-pronged use of it, at one point achieving a hypnotic effect, at another rising to sublime lyricism, and at yet another waxing philosophical or theological. His range within such narrow limits is truly impressive. This is simply an essential poem for anyone interested in Tennyson, Victorian literature, or English poetry. It is well worth reading alone, but the fact that many - perhaps most - Tennyson anthologies have it in full makes a standalone hard to justify. The important thing at any rate is to read it in some form.
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DIVERS TONES 10. August 2006
Von DAVID BRYSON - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This is a critical edition with a vengeance. By page-count, the 3000-line poem occupies about 100 pages while the critical essays at the back take up about 150, and there is a preface as well. Whether this preface is from the pen of the editor Erik Gray or is by the previous Norton editor Robert H Ross I'm not fully clear, but I don't suppose it matters. For present purposes I am considering this introduction together with the appended essays.

The great and good of lit crit are out in force here. There is Andrew Bradley, there is T S Eliot, there is Basil Willey and there is Christopher Ricks to mention only four of the twelve essayists excluding Hallam Lord Tennyson, son of the poet himself. I myself have a rather low tolerance of literary criticism, much of which candidly seems to me neither here nor there, indeed at times a bit of a self-perpetuating racket. What I look for in it is genuine illumination, and I flogged through the contributions here dutifully if listlessly in search of that. Failing illumination I will settle for good sense, and the main instances of that here are two remarks of the poet's own, to the effect that this is a poem not a treatise, poetry not philosophy or biography. Poetry, said Housman, is 'a tone of voice, a way of saying things'. Earnest analysis of the religious and agnostic elements in the poet's mind is not literary criticism at all, but biography. It is using the poem to illustrate the poet. When this is extended into the further question, as Eliot once allowed himself to extend it, of the relative merits of firm Christian faith vis-à-vis agnosticism, it is simply extraneous philosophy and nothing to do with Tennyson or with his poem at all.

Roughly speaking, the more recent critics keep this basic point in mind better than the earlier do, although often alluding to one another as they go along. The quality of the various contributions does not of course depend on the extent to which they are literary criticism in the proper sense. I genuinely do find illumination here and there along the way, mainly but not entirely in the pieces that seem most relevant to the poem. I found T S Eliot very helpful in his contribution on the dry and academic-seeming issue of the versification, because to me this is not dry but accounts for the extraordinary effectiveness of this great poem to a major extent. To be able to keep a poem of 3000 short tetrameter lines going in their monotonous rhyme-scheme without fatiguing the ear is a phenomenal achievement, and I'm not sure which other English poet could have matched it. Swinburne's anapaests usually have me exhausted after a page and a half, but I can read In Memoriam from end to end at one sitting and finish up not only fresh but elated at its sheer skill and adroitness. On the other hand, Bradley hacks away at the 'structure' of the poem with a determination that leaves me cold. To me, In Memoriam has shape but not structure, in the way a cloud-mass has that. The poet's musings drift through his successive moods as the random thoughts occur to him: Bradley's pedantry would be better suited to some manual.

Perhaps the best essay, at least in the sense of covering the most ground, is by Ricks. However one that is particularly interesting is by Jeff Nunokawa, exploring possible homoerotic elements in the expression. He is very nimble-footed in his approach, wisely not over-committing himself and of course understanding clearly that some of the more amorous-sounding expressions are largely literary convention with a pedigree going back millennia. Tennyson's poetry, to me, doesn't usually convey much erotic impression of any kind, and I sense something else entirely here. What I sense is mental and emotional liberation - after his ghastly upbringing I suspect that Tennyson found in Hallam a window into a better and more beautiful world, and that eroticism may have had very little to do with it. Another aspect that needs and receives consideration from the essayists is the epilogue to the poem, and here again I wonder whether something has been missed. This epilogue is completely at variance with the rest of the great poem in tone and sentiment, and attempts to link it with the frequent expressions of aspiration to a better world earlier in the work, while fair up to a point, seem to me to miss the main point. Go back to old Chaucer and the epilogue to his own great Troilus and Criseyde. There also the poet goes off at a tangent, and I think for the same reason. There is an abstract aspect to poetry just as there is to music, and the soul of literature itself finally trumps all the mundane considerations of beliefs, passions, theories and personal relationships.

I don't suppose I would dare award this production less than the highest rating, but I wouldn't be right to either. My own reservations are mainly subjective, and what does not convince me often has for others the aspect of great and prevalent truth. As a passionate lover of the great English language and its incomparable literature I shunned like the pestilence academic courses in `English'. That is precisely the market this edition is aimed at, it has everything and everyone it should have basically, and the 100 pages of the book that matter to me are beyond the reach of all of them.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A wonderful edition of "In Memoriam" 1. April 2007
Von Geoff Puterbaugh - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book just recently showed up at my house from a second-hand dealer, and I am already in love with it. It was published by the Folio Society in 1975 -- 32 years ago -- yet my copy seems almost new. The binding, typesetting, and editing are all first-rate.

They say that Queen Victoria kept two books for bedtime reading -- the Bible and "In Memoriam." I think she would have been delighted to have this edition.

So much for the physical presentation. The poem itself is a masterpiece, composed on and off over 18 years, as Tennyson tried to reconcile himself to the death of his best friend, Arthur Hallam, a brilliant man who had just become engaged to Tennyson's sister, when a sudden stroke put his light out forever at the age of 31 or 32. Literally full of life one minute, and a lifeless corpse the next.

This unspeakable tragedy caused great philosophical and religious problems for Tennyson, which are all set down here in immortal verse.

Highest possible recommendation!
Questions ever fresh... 16. August 2015
Von Steven J. Torrey - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
When JOB--circa 500 BCE--could have asked such basic questions about suffering, then the trope must have been as old as humanity. The trope includes questions about he nature of God who could allow for such suffering; the need to be disciplined of mind to ask such questions in a sustained intellectual effort; the inherent transcendence of such meditation; inherent transcendence of the tragedy itself.

For all the adult Bible classes I've attended--Protestant, Catholic, Jewish--it is surprising how often this question appears across the board. And presumably, because people are still sitting in Bible class, any believe in a Transcendent Deity has not been diminished as a result of these questions, or of these tragedies. One believes because one must believe; one believes because the alternative of absolute nihilism is even worse.

Tennyson is not the only poet to address this question. Hopkins in "The Wreck of the Deutschland", Milton in "Lycidas" to cite just two. To say nothing of allusions from Shakespeare, Beethoven, Picasso (Guernica). But Tennyson's 132 poem lyrical sequence must be one of the most powerful for its sustained effort. One can readily see why Queen Victoria found such comfort from what amounts to a disciplined excurses on mourning.

The Norton edition gives copious footnotes; the accompanying essays help the reader to guide and discipline their own thinking in response to the poem and to mourning as well. So long as tragedy unfolds itself, these questions will be ever fresh.
7 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Greatest Narrative Poem since Paradise Lost 4. Oktober 2005
Kinder-Rezension - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Yes, I mean it.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was definately the greatest poet of the Victorian Age, and in my opinion the greatest English poet of the nineteenth century.

This wonderful Norton Critical Edition presents his masterpiece, the great poetical work which made him poet laureate when it was published in 1850.

In this great work, it is Tennyson analysing his grief over the sudden loss of his friend from Cambridge University, Arthur Hallam, who died of a stroke in 1833. Later that year, Tennyson began his greatest masterpiece.

Definately get this version, if you like it, check out Tennyson's other great masterpiece, The Idylls of the King (1859-1885).
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