Departmental Bulletin Paper ヴィクトリア時代におけるキーツ受容と芸術の創造をめぐる有機体論の変遷 : アーノルド、ペイター、ワイルドを中心に
Organic Theory of Literary Invention and Reception of Keats in Victorian Era: Arnold, Pater, and Wilde

町本, 亮大

18pp.135 - 159 , 2015-03-31 , 『年報 地域文化研究』編集委員会 , 東京大学大学院総合文化研究科地域文化研究専攻
When it encountered the Darwinian theory of natural selection, the Romantic theory of organic creation underwent a certain obstacle in its way. Victorian artists had to decide what to inherit from Romanticism, insofar as it was not in discord with the Darwinian principle. This study addresses the reception of John Keats and his poem “Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil” in the Victorian era, focusing especially on the writings of Arnold, Pater, and Wilde and examines what symbolic roles they imposed on the Romantic poet with regard to their understanding of the theory of evolution. Matthew Arnold attacked Keats’s passive and receptive poetics and the materiality of language or the excess of expression in his poetry, both of which interested the critic Paul de Man. In later years, however, the poetics of impersonality or Negative Capability, deeply influenced Walter Pater, who dismissed S. T. Coleridge’s project of the defense of the mind’s capacity to actively participate in perceiving the material world and retired to the world of passive impressions in favor of David Hume’s mechanical vision of the self lacking unity. Oscar Wilde, like Pater, accepted the inevitable result of the principle of natural selection, praised the abundance of language or the excess of signifier in Keats’s poetry, and made Keats allied to his project of creating the world of Art, the realm of autonomy and free will, far removed from the world of Life and Nature, which was revealed as chaotic and contingent by the Darwinian concept of selection.

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