Arthur Symons, Selected Early Poems

Edited by Chris Baldick and Jane Desmarais

Critical Texts 42

Jewelled Tortoise 3

Modern Humanities Research Association

11 April 2017  •  232pp

ISBN: 978-1-781886-07-6 (hardback)  •  RRP £21.99, $29.99, €25.99

ISBN: 978-1-781880-99-9 (paperback)  •  RRP £10.99, $14.99, €13.99

Sample: Google Books  •  Access online: Books@JSTOR

ModernEnglishPoetry


Arthur Symons (1865–1945) was a central figure in the decadent phase of English poetry of the 1890s. His early verse, notably in the major collections Silhouettes (1892; revd 1896) and London Night (1895; revd 1897), created a sophisticated new kind of urban poetry out of the gas-lit world of London theatre and night-life. Under the French influences of Baudelaire and Verlaine, Symons developed a wistful poetic eroticism new to English readers, leading the way to the modernism of T. S. Eliot and others in the next generation.

This selection from Symons’s most fertile period as a poet reproduces the fuller revised editions of Silhouettes and London Nights in their entirety, together with related poems from his other early volumes, Days and Nights (1889), Amoris Victima (1897), Images of Good and Evil (1900), and with early poems collected in Knave of Hearts (1913).

Fully annotated and supplemented by related critical writings by Symons, Walter Pater, and others, this text offers students of late-Victorian literature a rich resource for the understanding of decadence in the London literary scene of the 1890s.

Reviews:

  • ‘How gratifying it is, then, to have not one but two new volumes of Symons’ work published by the Modern Humanities Research Association’s Jewelled Tortoise imprint, thoroughly edited and placed in both a biographical and cultural context. The volumes’ editors are all wise enough to balance their informative footnotes with letting Symons’ work shine on its own.’ — Heather Marcovitch, Review of English Studies 2017
  • ‘Selected Early Poems by Arthur Symons is a carefully and beautifully edited book. ... The introduction and notes, together with the prose selections, provide illuminating material for the deeper appreciation and understanding of Symons’ poetic work. It is a book that should provide pleasure for scholars and all who are interested in the literature of the late-nineteenth century.’ — Noreen Doody, The OScholars September 2017
  • ‘These excellent critical editions of Symons’s poetry and prose… Symons emerges much clearer for their informative and well-judged notes.’ — Kate Hext, Times Literary Supplement 12 January 2018, 3-4
  • ‘The great service these two editions do to the study of Symons, and more broadly in developing our understanding of the contours and development of fin de siècle culture as it was negotiated during the period between Victorianism and modernism. We are left with the impression that the Jewelled Tortoise series is a vital scholarly project for researchers working on the period, and the hope that they will continue to publish such important scholarly editions.’ — Giles Whiteley, Notes & Queries September 2018, 459-61
  • ‘A judicious assortment of Symons’s early and late poems, and a small sampling of reviews and Symons’s own prose to add context, make this a one-stop shop for anyone wishing to conduct further research into Symons’s poetic oeuvre... Under the expert eye of Catherine Maxwell and Stefano Evangelista, this series is setting a new standard in fin-de-siècle textual scholarship... Just as importantly, these texts are very reasonably priced, which means they can be set in courses on Decadence and fin-de-siècle culture, bringing Symons’s work—enriched by rigorous scholarship—to a new generation of critics.’ — Alex Murray, Modern Language Review 113.4, October 2018, 867-70 (full text online)

Contents:

v-xii
Table of Contents
Chris Baldick, Jane Desmarais
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xiii-xiv
Acknowledgements
Chris Baldick, Jane Desmarais
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1-26
Introduction
Chris Baldick, Jane Desmarais
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27-28
Note on the Texts
Chris Baldick, Jane Desmarais
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29-32
Arthur Symons: Chronology
Chris Baldick, Jane Desmarais
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33-34
From Days and Nights (1889): Prologue
Arthur Symons
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35-35
The Opium-Smoker
Arthur Symons
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35-36
The Temptation of Saint Anthony
Arthur Symons
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36-37
The Knife-Thrower
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38-38
Vale, Flos Florum
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39-40
Scènes de la Vie de Bohème I: Episode of a Night of May
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40-41
Venus of Melos
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42-45
Silhouettes (1892; Second Edition 1896): At Dieppe
Arthur Symons
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45-59
Masks and Faces
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60-71
Love’s Disguises
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72-74
Nocturnes
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74-75
In the Night
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75-81
Fêtes galantes: After Paul Verlaine
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81-87
Moods and Memories
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88-103
London Nights (1895; Second Edition 1897): London Nights
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104-107
Intermezzo: Pastoral
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108-116
London Nights
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116-121
Intermezzo: Venetian Nights
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121-148
London Nights
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149-149
Epilogue: Credo
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150-151
From Amoris Victima (1897): From Amoris Victima
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151-155
From Amoris Exsul
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156-159
From Amor Triumphans
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160-162
From Mundi Victima
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163-167
From Images of Good and Evil (1900): The Dance of the Daughters of Herodias
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167-168
The Old Women
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168-172
From Souls in the Balance
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172-173
On an Air of Rameau
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173-173
Opals
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173-174
From In Ireland
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174-175
Spain
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175-176
Haschisch
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176-177
The Last Memory
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177-177
A Tune
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178-178
From Knave of Hearts, 1894–1908 (1913): Roses
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179-179
Peau d’Espagne
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180-180
London: Midnight
Arthur Symons
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181-214
Prose Pieces and Critical Responses
Arthur Symons
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215-216
Select Bibliography
Chris Baldick, Jane Desmarais
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217-218
Back Matter
Chris Baldick, Jane Desmarais
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Bibliography entry:

Baldick, Chris, and Jane Desmarais (eds), Arthur Symons, Selected Early Poems, Critical Texts, 42 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2017)

First footnote reference: 35 Arthur Symons, Selected Early Poems, ed. by Chris Baldick and Jane Desmarais, Critical Texts, 42 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2017), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Baldick and Desmarais, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Baldick, Chris, and Jane Desmarais (eds). 2017. Arthur Symons, Selected Early Poems, Critical Texts, 42 (Cambridge: MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Baldick and Desmarais 2017: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Baldick and Desmarais 2017: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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