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The Endless Forms of Things: Harpur's Radicalism Revisited

Falk, Michael (2018) The Endless Forms of Things: Harpur's Radicalism Revisited. Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, 18 (3). ISSN 1833-6027. (KAR id:76746)


Charles Harpur was the oustanding radical intellectual of early nineteenth-century New South Wales. His particular brand of spiritualised republicanism has long been of interest to scholars, but hitherto analysts of his politics have focussed mainly on the content of his opinions, rather than the form in which he expressed them. In this essay, I present a formalist analysis of Harpur's poetry, revealing how he structured his verse to express his radical convictions. His finest poems are inevitably perspectival and progressive. He was a pluralist who sought to represent reality from a range of perspectives; and he was an idealist who described objects in terms of their progressive growth toward higher forms. If we recognise these two elements of his poetics, we can come to a truer understanding of his politics and a fairer assessment of his achievement as a poet.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Charles Harpur, colonial poetry, colonial politics
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Michael Falk
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2019 08:47 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 03:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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