Revolved recollection of revolution in Worldsworth's prelude

This article examines Wordsworth’s recollection of the French Revolution in Books VI, IX and X of The Prelude. It argues that Wordsworth’s self-reflexive memories of this traumatic political experience suggest not only his personal ambivalence towards the event but also the ambivalent meanings of modernity as it is often associated with the French Revolution. Wordsworth’s recollection shows a salient pattern of recurrence and revision, in which the “two consciousnesses” of the narrated and the narrating self exist both in affinity and in tension. The pattern reveals that Wordsworth’s urge to restore the early ideals of the Revolution is in coexistence with a painful disillusionment that these early ideals are betrayed by the Revolution itself.


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