- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 2 edition (August 22, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393979261
- ISBN-13: 978-0393979268
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In Memoriam (Norton Critical Editions) 2nd Edition
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About the Author
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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The sloppiness of ports to Kindle are annoying in prose works. They ruin the experience of reading a poem.
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.
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!
Most recent customer reviews
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...Read more