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This conference invites participants to investigate the play of papers between fugitive snips, scraps, and scattered verse, and the promise of the great work, complete edition, or philosophical system. We ask why Coleridge – poet, ‘scrapster’, and would-be encyclopaedist – turned to Virgil’s Sibyl and her scattered leaves, ‘borne aloft in liquid air’, to frame his 1817 collection of poetry Sibylline Leaves; what is at stake in reading the fragments and detached pieces which escape beyond the bound volume; how do the metaphors and materialities of these ‘leaves in flight’ interact; what mediates the ‘phantasmal chaos of association’; how does compilation inform the practices, ideals, anxieties and temporalities of romantic authorship, and the cut-and-paste fervours of its readership? Please join us to discuss all this and more over two days, in the summery environs of Bloomsbury.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge ‘compresses matter enough for a handsome volume into a two–penny pamphlet; then he lets a friend bury his jewels in a heap of sand of his own; then he scatters his “Sibylline Leaves” over half a hundred perishable news-papers and magazines; then he suffers a manuscript-poem to be handed about among his friends till all its bloom is brushed off, and how can such a poet, so managing his own concerns, hope to be popular?’ The Monthly Review (1819)
This conference has been kindly supported by:
Deadline for abstracts: please submit a 500 word proposal by 15 October 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org. To download a call for papers, click here.