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Material TransgressionsBeyond Romantic Bodies, Genders, Things$
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Kate Singer, Ashley Cross, and Suzanne Barnett

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621778

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621778.001.0001

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The Destabilizing Materiality of the Autograph for Blake, Coleridge, and Tighe

The Destabilizing Materiality of the Autograph for Blake, Coleridge, and Tighe

(p.31) Chapter One The Destabilizing Materiality of the Autograph for Blake, Coleridge, and Tighe
Material Transgressions

Harriet Kramer Linkin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter looks at three poets—William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Mary Tighe—who integrate print and manuscript technologies to produce a new materiality in autographic texts that capture their idiolectic voices. They deploy scribal practices in print media to inscribe individuality, autographing the print copies of their works to transform them from uniform products into objects embodying vital processes. Illuminated printing enables Blake to make each copy of his texts a unique graphic object, most expansively in Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Coleridge’s habitual revision of his printed texts destabilizes each version to re-engage the immediacy of poetic vision through a vocalized experience, most dramatically in ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. Tighe initially rejects print publication for the affective palpability of scribal publication but then inscribes privately printed copies of Psyche; or, the Legend of Love to specific members of her coterie, a process her coterie continues after Tighe dies. All three explore the implications of being bound in bookish or human form in their poems even as they use the materiality of their autographic texts to reconfigure a print publication system that might otherwise lock them or their texts into fixed identities or commodities.

Keywords:   William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Tighe, Manuscript, Autograph, Songs of Innocence and of Experience, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, Psyche

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