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Approaches to Teaching Coleridge's Poetry and Prose

Editor(s): Richard E. Matlak

Pages: x & 185 pp.
Published: 1991
ISBN: 9780873527002 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873525497 (hardcover)

"A valuable collection. There is at least one essay dealing with each of Coleridge's major works. Moreover, all of the essays are the contributions of teachers who are eager to share their most successful strategies."
Teaching English in the Two-Year College

"If you thought you knew it all about teaching Coleridge, guess again!"
Romantic Movement


Richard Matlak, the editor of this Approaches volume, depicts Coleridge as both a model student and an accomplished teacher. "Stimulate the heart to love, and the mind to be early accurate," Coleridge advised during a lecture on education, "and all other virtues will rise of their own accord." The essays in this collection will help teachers apply Coleridge's precept to the teaching of his poetry and prose.

One of seven books on Romantic poetry in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, this volume is divided into two parts. The first part, "Materials," evaluates texts, the teacher's library, student reading, and audiovisual materials. In the second part, "Approaches," seventeen established scholars describe the methods they have found most effective in presenting Coleridge in the classroom. The first two essays examine the many different sides of the poet's personality and explore his relation to British society. In the essays that follow, contributors discuss Coleridge's prose, the Conversation poems, and the Mystery poems--individually and in combination--from linguistic, psychological, sociological, historical, New Critical, feminist, intertextual, and other perspectives.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Coleridge's Poetry and Prose

PART 1: MATERIALS
Richard E. Matlak

Introduction: Coleridge, Patron Teacher

What We Teach and How

The Choice of Texts

The Teacher's Library

Student Reading

Audiovisual Materials

PART 2: APPROACHES

Introduction: Coleridge, Patron Student

Biographical and Social Backgrounds

The Many Coleridges
Max F. Schulz

Coleridge and British Society
Donald H. Reiman

Teaching the Prose and Literary Criticism

On Tracking Coleridge: The Student as Sleuth
Laurence S. Lockridge

Linguistic Approaches to Teaching Coleridge
James C. McKusick

Truth and Pleasure in Wordsworth's Preface and Coleridge's Biographia Literaria
Don H. Bialostosky

Building Domes in Air: "Kubla Khan" in the Introductory Literary Criticism Class
James Holt McGavran, Jr.

Teaching the Conversation Poems

Trembling into Thought: Approaching Coleridge through "The Eolian Harp"
John A. Hodgson

Teaching the Coleridge-Wordsworth Dialogue
Paul Magnuson

What Comes of "Dejection"?
John T. Ogden

Teaching the Mystery Poems

Vision and Revision in "Kubla Khan"
Norman Fruman

Forty Questions to Ask of Ancient Mariner
Richard E. Matlak

The Questions of Christabel
Mary Favret

Teaching Christabel: Gender and Genre
Karen Swann

Teaching Ancient Mariner and Christabel to Students of Criminal Justice
Anya Taylor

Teaching the Fragment: Christabel and "Kubla Khan"
Patricia L. Skarda

Coleridge and the Mysterious (M)other
Anne Williams

Coleridge's Mystery Poems and Their Critics
Jeanne Moskal

Works Cited

Primary Coleridge Texts and Abbreviations

Books and Articles

Audiovisual Aids

Index of Names

Index of Works by Coleridge




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