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Biographia Literaria And Coleridge

Uploaded by breeze_whisper on Dec 23, 2001

Coliredge’s theory of the “Imagination” is worthy to be examined and analysed. In his “Biographia Literaria”, he divides “Imagination” into two parts, which are “the Primary Imagination” and “the Secondary Imagination”. His interpretation of the subject sounds scientific, and close to the field of philosophy.

“the Primary Imagination” is, as Coleridge defines it, creating the world by our perceptions at the concious mind. “The Secondary Imagination”, in his definition, is creating an ideal world of reality by dissoluting and recreating the perceptual world we know. In “the Primary Imagination” we have no choise but to see the world as it is, but in “the Secondary Imagination” we have the will to create another world. [see P.321]

Coleridge explaines that “Secondary Imagination” differs from one person to another. I would interpret it that if a person has a vast “Seconday Imagination”, then he is capable of writing poetry. Coleridge’s definition of “Imagination” reminds me of Plato, who states that all oets are liers, and that feelings should be controlled by the mind. Poets, like Coleridge, define it as “Imagination” not lying. Plato looks at the subject as a defect of poetry; some other poets, like Coleridge, may see it as a privilege.

I agree with the poets who adopted this definition of poetry. They view it as an “Imaginative” symbolic look to life, not as a mere lie, which distorts the world. By “Imagination” we phrase our conscious, sub-conscious desires, feeling, and thoughts. Humans do not live only by reason. Feelings are needed to support ambitions towards life.


  • H.Richter, David. "The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends". Boston:Bedford.2, 1998. 321

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    Uploaded by:   breeze_whisper

    Date:   12/23/2001

    Category:   Literature

    Length:   1 pages (266 words)

    Views:   1546

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