Knjižnica Filozofskog fakulteta
Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Institutional Repository

Wordsworthian London – Re(configurations) of the Metropolis


Downloads per month over past year

Domines Veliki, Martina. (2013). Wordsworthian London – Re(configurations) of the Metropolis. Studia Romanica et Anglica Zagrabiensia, 58(-). pp. 139-151. ISSN 0039-3339

PDF (English) - Published Version
Download (695kB) | Preview


The paper discusses some of the major poems of William Wordsworth to stress the importance of the urban environment in his writing. Therefore, the Romantic poetic self emerges as a complex intersubjective entity. Rather than confirming that the poet totally rejects the urban environment and privileges the rural over the urban, the paper argues that Wordsworth’s cityscape “spots of time” have to be tackled with a more nuanced approach. Thus in “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge” the poet responds to the city with a combination of deep excitement and calm. Wordsworth’s symbolic presentation of the city as a female body lying still can be described as an attempt of the Romantic masculine self to appropriate a female experience. Furthermore, by taking the example of Book VII in “The Prelude” the paper argues that the London of Wordsworth’s time can be read as a complex series of different types of locations, including symbolic, imagined, physical, social and linguistic spaces, i.e. spaces suspended between matter and meaning (Lefebvre). Here, Wordsworth still oscillates between his acceptance and rejection of London. Finally, in Book VIII of “The Excursion”, the metropolis remains a completely negative social environment which engulfs everything that is essentially human. Wordsworth’s poetry dealing with the metropolis as an intersection of meanings can be read as an expression of the subject’s oscillation between urban/natural and presence/absence (J.H. Miller) and as such, it reveals the city as a complex confi guration of spatiality as something indeterminate rather than something bounded and fixed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Romantic self; urban ‘spots of time’; city as symbolic/imagined/physical/social/linguistic space
Subjects: English language and literature
Comparative literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Date Deposited: 07 May 2019 11:47
Last Modified: 07 May 2019 11:47

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item