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Coleridge, Wordsworth and the Language of Allusion$
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Lucy Newlyn

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242597

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199242597.001.0001

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Collaboration and Independence: Alfoxden and the making of a Myth

Collaboration and Independence: Alfoxden and the making of a Myth

(p.32) 2 Collaboration and Independence: Alfoxden and the making of a Myth
Coleridge, Wordsworth and the Language of Allusion

Lucy Newlyn

Oxford University Press

The Alfoxden period offers no actual collaborations. It was a time of sharing, but of a kind that nourished creative difference. The story of the two poets' formal attempts to co-operate, first on The Wanderings of Cain, then on The Ancient Mariner, is well known. According to Coleridge's affectionate account of 1828, the scheme for The Wanderings of Cain was abandoned almost at once because of Wordsworth's laughable inability to adapt himself. Writing joint poems could never have worked: the style of the two poets, as Wordsworth himself later put it; ‘would not assimilate’. It is in poems written alongside and against each other, not in so-called ‘collaborative schemes’, that one finds true language of allusion.

Keywords:   Alfoxden, collaborations, Coleridge, Wordsworth

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