"Endymion is the trâit d'union between Keats’s juvenilia and his better known, and conventionally more mature, works. By its nature, it is a transitional work, and thus gives the scholar special insight into the development of Keats’s poetics and idiom. Moreover, Endymion is the Keatsian work which most rattled and provoked critics of its time. This book reconstructs the linguistic context of the eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries in order to explain the reviewers’ unease with regard to Endymion. It shows that eighteenth-century prescriptivism arose from a deep-seated anxiety of language, Lockean in origin, and that the ensuing desire to stabilize and therefore control language informed Romantic criticism in general, and the criticism of Keats’s work in particular, more fundamentally than politics could or did. The imaginative and linguistic markers of Endymion are mapped and analysed in order to prove that Keats produced a “poetics of uncontrollability”, a series of textual and stylistic strategies, which violated linguistic and narrative standards, and which were, therefore, perceived as unsettling." -- Publisher's website.
The anxiety of language Recovering contexts: Blackwood's the Quarterly and periodical culture Endymion and the unexplored complexities of criticism Endymion and the poetics of uncontrollability.