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Poèmes et poètes

Landscapes with Figures in Wordsworth’s Prelude (1805)

Paysages avec figures dans le Prélude (1805) de William Wordsworth
Pascale Guibert
p. 142-154

Résumé

Bien que l’iconographie wordsworthienne s’attache à représenter le poète en promeneur solitaire, les paysages qu’il retrace lui-même dans le Prélude de 1805 sont fort peuplés. De multiples personnages — qu’il faudra bien appeler figures — animent ses paysages. Ils les animent au sens propre du terme : c’est-à-dire qu’ils conduisent le mouvement dont les paysages wordsworthiens sont à la fois le produit et la scène. Ces figures, loin de faire de la figuration, donc, configurent, dans un jeu typiquement wordsworthien d’activité passive, la nouvelle vision du monde qui se trame dans ces paysages. Ils effectuent et relayent les principes de la poétique wordsworthienne — combinaison, rayonnement, exaltation — par laquelle “la révolution copernicienne” du romantisme a “lieu”.

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Texte intégral

1Even though, as often as not, in The Prelude, Wordsworth presents himself walking alone on lonesome public roads, the landscapes he evokes are hardly ever without their figures.

  • 1  John Barrell, The Dark Side of the Landscape. The Rural Poor in English Painting 1730-1840, Cambri (...)
  • 2  Ibid., 22.
  • 3  Ibid., 5.

2It seems, then, that we could read his poetic landscape compositions alongside the landscape oils of the same period which, John Barrell tells us, were almost invariably “peopled landscapes, and so to a greater or lesser extent subject pictures”1. Yet, Wordsworth’s figures are neither decorative nor half-removed from proper consideration, “left in the shadows of the ‘dark side of the landscape’”2. On the contrary, they are always focused on and singularized, as well as brightly lit in the context evoked for them. In this they are quite unlike the figures in the paintings of the late 18th century analysed by John Barrell and thus cannot be seen to represent and justify the ideology pre-existing their composition. Nevertheless, the method of reading the visual landscapes which John Barrell applies in his Dark Side of the Landscape can profitably be put to use in reading Wordsworth’s verbal texts too. This will necessitate a few transpositions justified by the different art forms under study, but will preserve the underlying belief in the intimate link between the technique deployed in an artistic composition and the world-vision which it prescribes (if not always describes)3.

  • 4  See Pascale Guibert, “La révolution du paysage : le Prélude (1805) ou la manifestation d’une écoso (...)
  • 5  J. Barrell, op. cit., 88.
  • 6  See Jacques Rancière, Politique de la littérature, Paris : Galilée, 2007, 62.

3The composition of Wordsworth’s poetic landscapes will reveal figures not just figured but con-figuring the new world which is being built in his poetry. Whereas the way in which the natural elements of his landscapes are evoked stages the condition of their construction4, their figures enact and warrant the necessary life-force in them, a flux which makes of them the agents of the ever-changing world which they literally configure. The ambiguity which their presence as figures displays relies on both their activity as actors in the world in the construction of which they are taking part and their passivity as conductive creatures (through whom the flux passes, which is not of their own making). This typically Wordsworthian active passivity which they display works against the work ethic promulgated at the turn of the 19th century, when “industriousness is the chief, and often seems to be the only virtue”5, when “excitation” appears as a characteristic of the new era both for literature and society introduced by the Lyrical Ballads6. Wordsworth’s figures in his landscapes launch a course of (in)action.

4Deleuze has fueled this reading of Wordsworth with his analysis of the role of “others” in the construction of landscape, first conducted in his 1969 Logic of Sense, and later developed, in the 1980 Thousand Plateaus, in Guattari’s and his authoritative reflections on territorial assemblages and deterritorialization. Subsequently, in a very recent article, Marc Porée has enabled the reterritorialization of this energy, or “charge”, onto romantic poetical ground.

  • 7  William Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), II: 237-280.

5The progression of this study on ever shifting, deterritorializing Wordsworthian ground will be in three steps. These have been named after three verbs taken from the schematic “Blessed the infant babe” scene7, in which Wordsworth makes of the mother-infant relationship the mould for all further relationships. These verbs, which are presented as the effects of his “discipline of love”, are:

61) “combining” (or “spreading/ Tenecious”), lines 247 and 254-254;
2) “irradiating”, line 259;
3) “exalting”, line 259 (in its first, non figurative, sense given by the OED, of “lifting up, raising”).

1. Combining —

7To Deleuze and Guattari, in A Thousand Plateaus, a landscape never comes alone. There is always a face with it as its correlate. This face, which for simplicity’s sake we will here consider as a synecdoche for the “whole” figure, is, in Deleuzian terminology, the agent of deterritorialization of landscape. The first theorem of deterritorialization asserts:

  • 8  Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Mille Plateaux. Capitalisme et schizophrénie, Paris: Éditions de (...)

On ne se déterritorialise jamais tout seul, mais à deux termes au moins, main-objet d’usage, bouche-sein, visage-paysage. Et chacun des deux termes se reterritorialise sur l’autre8.

  • 9  Michael Friedman, The Making of a Tory Humanist. Wordsworth and the Idea of Community, New York: C (...)
  • 10  See M. Friedman, op. cit., 104.

8This combination of figure and landscape enables what has been seen as Wordsworth’s “true poetic subject” by Lionel Trilling, which Michael Friedman quotes in his Wordsworth and the Idea of Community. It enables it and prevents its vanishing, which Trilling and others lament. To Trilling, Wordsworth weakens as a poet once he gets “distract[ed] from his true poetic subject” and mistakes “being” with “the preservation of a way of being”9 — hence, according to Friedman, his idea of community petrifies and becomes protectionist as the man turns conservative. While Friedman dates from 1794 Wordsworth’s change of ideals10, I intend to show that the figures in 1805 Prelude landscapes still work against conservation and monumentalisation as they work against stasis and petrification.

9For instance, in book X, the figure of the traveller which announces Robespierre’s death (l. 535) completely unsettles the self-indulging landscape of this omnivorous-egocentric-I which unfolds before its arrival. There, the tomb of the “honored teacher” makes Wordsworth think principally of himself (l. 510-514) —namely, that he has not done too badly in life:

  • 11  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), X: 510-514.

He loved the poets, and if now alive
Would have loved me, as one not destitute
Of promise, nor belying the kind hope
Which he had formed when I at his command
Began to spin, at first, my toilsome songs.11

10This bout of self-centring is itself preceded by a beautiful piece of classical celebration  of an unproblematic undisturbed happiness:

  • 12 Ibid., 474-488.

[…]   Over the smooth sands
Of Leven’s ample aestuary lay
My journey, and beneath a genial sun,
With distant prospect among gleams of sky
And clouds, and intermingling mountain-tops,
In one inseparable glory clad —
Creatures of one ethereal substance, met
In consistory, like a diadem
Or crown of burning seraphs, as they sit
In the empyrean. Underneath this show
Lay, as I knew, the nest of pastoral vales
Among whose happy fields I had grown up
From childhood. On the fulgent spectacle,
That neither changed, nor stirred, nor passed away,
I gazed, […]12.

  • 13  M. Friedman, op. cit., 176.

11These undoubtedly betray what Friedman calls Wordsworth’s “rentier’s vision”13, which develops into the appropriating gesture of a self expanding so much that it lets nothing stand outside, no object distinct from it:

  • 14  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), X: 515-517.

Without me and within as I advanced,
All that I saw, or felt, or communed with,
Was gentleness and peace. […]14

12Thanks to the fact that the Prelude is neither a true-to-chronology description written on the spot, nor a reality show, but a critical reflection developing (on) hindsight, the disruption brought by the traveller-with-tidings is marked in the text before the traveller-in-person is brought on stage. The fall of Robespierre which he disseminates is proleptically written in the fall of the Romish chapel evoked earlier in the stanza. Confusion spreads already in the image of the monument melting into nature. Besides the obvious symbolic function of Catholic ruins on Anglican ground, and the Gilpinesque picturesque taste which this reproduces, confusion is operated in the poetics itself, which fragmentizes what seemed least liable to wear: rock – la pierre:

  • 15 Ibid., 517-520.

[…]   Upon a small
And rocky island near, a fragment stood —
Itself like a sea rock — of what had been
A Romish chapel, where in ancient times15

13The inserted clause splinters the sentence block and the possibility of a global seizure of sense. Besides, the anaphoric polyptoton (“rocky — rock”) for a moment loses both referent and object-referred-to in its marking a difference with the same, through the comparison. Such intimations of a far-ranging disjunction through punctual junctions are multiple in Wordsworth’s revolutionizing landscapes.

14What opened as a no-trespassing landscape wanting its “separate chronicle” (l. 471), turns into a landscape of passages and combinations through the introduction of the traveller-with-tidings. The choice of the setting itself —a sea-shore— underlines this membranous quality of landscape. By the imaginary which it suggests as a topos, certainly; but also through the language which makes it — and connects it tightly with the wider political world with which it forms an assemblage: how well this sand margin, uncovered “with ebb of morning tide” (l. 522) “fits” the ”tidings” (l. 537) brought of this most violent “retirement” of Robespierre, merging with the sea ”far retired” (529)…

  • 16  Here, I have in mind Robert Mayo‘s broadly classificatory inventory of the “themes” of The Lyrical (...)

15Such “assemblages” in Deleuzian terminology, or “combinations” in Wordsworthian, which institute communication in the text, via the text, between the historical political world, a geography experienced personally, and their expression, are the brand-mark of the new poetics authorized by Wordsworth. Seen in this way, his figures do not constitute a ”theme”16 (corresponding in that to the expected motif immediately perceptible on the surface of a painting); they do not appear as, for example, the umpteenth traveller-with-tidings in the history of poetry, but as the specific agents of a specific world – whose specificity can only be apprehended through the study of composition.

2. Irradiating —

16The literary work which inspires Deleuze’s “structure d’autrui” [“others as structure”] is not romantic, but Michel Tournier’s 1969 novel, Vendredi ou les limbes du Pacifique [Friday, or the Other Island]. Deleuze writes:

  • 17  Gilles Deleuze, Logique du sens, Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 1969, 352. / The Logic of Sense, Londo (...)

La fin, le but final de Robinson, c’est la « déshumanisation », la rencontre de la libido avec les éléments libres, la découverte d’une énergie cosmique ou d’une grande Santé élémentaire, qui ne peut surgir que dans l’île, et encore dans la mesure où l’île est devenue aérienne et solaire.17

  • 18  Alain Badiou, L’être et l’événement, Paris: Seuil, 1988, 195. / Being and event, trad. Oliver Felt (...)
  • 19  For a detailed exploration of this Romantic revolution in its manifold dimensions, see R. Gallet (...)

17Events such as “dehumanization” and loss of interiority into an atomized cosmos can only happen in the later world of the end of structuralism. They could not have occurred in or through Wordsworth’s own historicized landscapes. Both Tournier — if we accept Deleuze’s thesis — and Wordsworth produce in their texts the possibility of an event, a revolutionary change of paradigm, the supersession of a certain world-vision. Of course, in order to be superseded, such a world-vision must be acknowledged. Both Tournier’s and Wordsworth’s landscapes acknowledge the world-vision out of which they grow in their very expression, which historicizes them. In this historicization, they also already detach themselves from the natural, the normal, the stable. They open “on the edge of [a] void18 which warrants the possibility of an event through the break which they effectuate. At the turn of the 19th century, Wordsworth is demoting a world-vision mostly governed by mechanical laws depriving men of determining action in the production of their world19. Giving to the figures of others the role of stretching and multiplying the possible configurations of one’s milieu, Wordsworth is making room for a new, organic, world. As the case may be, it is this organic, earthward and human-grown world which Tournier’s Robinson was later to demote in a cosmicization gesture.

  • 20  “Michel Tournier et le monde sans autrui” [“Michel Tournier and the World Without Others”] is the (...)
  • 21  G. Deleuze, Logique du Sens, op. cit., 354. / The Logic of Sense, op. cit., 344.

18Yet, in order to analyze Tournier’s Robinson’s “monde sans autrui” [“world without Others”]20, Deleuze first acknowledges “les effets d’autrui” [“the effects of the presence of Others”]21 in the “habitual world”. This “habitual world” is what we witness Wordsworth constructing in his landscapes which the figures do effectuate.

  • 22 Ibid., 355./ 345. [“It is always Others who relate my desire to an object”].
  • 23  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), IV: 247.
  • 24 Ibid., V: 406-407 and 409.
  • 25  Seamus Heaney, “The Indefatigable Hoof-taps: Sylvia Plath”, in The Government of the Tongue. The 1 (...)

19At the end of a beautiful and unusually tender paragraph on what he sees as the “effects of the presence of Others”, Deleuze concludes: “C’est toujours autrui qui rabat mon désir sur l’objet22. This “relation” to the ”object” earth exactly corresponds to the movement of Wordsworth’s poetry, with the phrase ”As one who hangs down-bending”23 manifesting an ars poetica which is to re-define the whole mode of apprehension of the universe. It also corresponds to the author’s expressed desires: time and again, he affirms his conviction that here lie the possibilities for marking his poetic territory which will serve as a mould for future creative combinations. The boy who “hung / listening” received “the visible scene” and the audible one too24, which entitles him to represent the accomplished poet — in the eyes of Wordsworth himself, for whom he stands, but also in the eyes of poets of a much later generation, such as Seamus Heaney who, in his 1986 essay on Sylvia Plath, reads Wordsworth’s ‘There was a Boy’ as an allegory reflecting the three stages of a poet’s career25. In fact, this “folding back upon the object” earth also corresponds to what the later Deleuze and Guattari were to consider as the brand-mark of Romanticism as a whole. With Romanticism, they claim,

  • 26  G. Deleuze& F. Guattari, Mille Plateaux, op. cit., 417. / A Thousand Plateaus, op. cit., 373. [“If (...)

[…] tout change. Un cri nouveau retentit : la Terre, le territoire et la Terre ! C’est avec le romantisme que l’artiste abandonne son ambition d’une universalité de droit, et son statut de créateur : il se territorialise, il entre dans un agencement territorial26.

  • 27  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), X: 920.

20And indeed, if Wordsworth has to reassert a number of times and in a number of ways that, as a poet, his office is “[…] upon the earth, and nowhere else”27, it may well be that this position is not yet self-evident, easy or ingrained. As it happens, time and again, others have to help him back to this place. Dorothy, Mary, discharged soldiers... All these numerous other-users of the public roads, figures in his landscapes, play a major role in guiding the poetic I back to the earth, thus becoming agents of his new relaying poetics.

21Marc Porée, in his recent article on “Romantic scaping”, stressing by his neologism the newness of the construction, writes:

  • 28  Marc Porée, “Romantic Scaping”, in Paul Volsik & Abigail Lang (eds.), Scapes Poésie anglophone, Ca (...)

where scaping makes a difference, and a (romantic) name for itself, is when the view comes with a powerful compound of: a) charge[electrifying, religious]; b) correspondence (between the lie of the land and the lie of the mind, to simplify); c) exchange […] involving viewer, object viewed and reader28.

By relating the poet’s place and task to the earth, figures activate the “charge”. They conduct it at the same time as they (re)present it, enabling the elaboration of the Romantic landscape as an articulation.

22The phantasy to which Wordsworth gives form on “the plain of Sarum” displays the role of the figures in transforming a quasi void into a landscape as the spatiality of release and relay.

  • 29  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), XII: 315-330 and 338-352.

There on the pastoral downs without a track
To guide me, or along the bare white roads
Lengthening in solitude their dreary line,
While through those vestiges of ancient times
I ranged, and by the solitude o’ercome,
I had a reverie and saw the past,
Saw multitudes of men, and here and there
A single Briton in his wolf-skin vest,
With shield and stone-ax, stride across the wold;
The voice of spears was heard, the rattling spear
Shaken by arms of mighty bone, in strength,
Long mouldered, of barbaric majesty.
I called upon the darkness, and it took —
A midnight darkness seemed to come and take —
All objects from my sight; and lo, again
The desart visible by dismal flames!
[…]
Three summer days I roamed, when ‘twas my chance
To have before me on the downy plain
Lines, circles, mounts, a mystery of shapes
Such as in many quarters yet survive,
With intricate profusion figuring o’er
The untilled ground (the work, as some divine,
Of infant science, imitative forms
By which the Druids covertly expressed
Their knowledge of the heavens, and imaged forth
The constellations), I was gently charmed,
Albeit with an antiquarian’s dream,
And saw the bearded teachers, with white wands
Uplifted, pointing to the starry sky,
Alternately, and plain below, while breath
Of music seemed to guide them, […].29

23At the beginning opens as much void as poetry can make. An I is progressing in solitude along lines which his own solitary progress finely traces, without asides. But everything changes with the immanent revelation of the figures of the past. Let us skip the outré archaic paraphernalia afflicting both the material and verbal garments of these “Briton[s]” “strid[ing] across the wold“ in “wolf-skin vest[s]”, to insist, rather, on the “scaping” which they unleash because of the “charge” they activate to release the mechanism of [this] landscape. If the “white wands” (l. 349) which they point up and down are only a redundant accessory to re-present and prolong this power which they have, they nevertheless help us pay attention to the shifting multi-directional symbolic assemblage which is expressly formulated in the adverb “alternately“ (l. 351): not only the “starry sky” and the “plain below” are pieces of the assemblage, but also their present and their past, their natural presence and their supernatural load. The Wordsworthian landscape unfolds on such a multiplicity of pairs of correlates — swarming combinations which suddenly throng the landscape, drawing our attention to its utter ab-normality, its absolute instability. They ensure its characteristic animating “flux”: a flux which reterritorializes and then deterritorializes, reversing the order stated by Deleuze and Guattari.

24The I, formerly pushing before him thin lines through undistinguished ground, now “roams” (l. 338) among “downy plain[s]”, the polysemy of the adjective provoking different senses. Then can he make out “Lines, circles, mounts” (l. 340). These are actualisations of a certain past — which is indicated in the following lines — and traces of, or for,  a virtual future, a future which is laid open, pre-figured (l. 342), yet generously left bare, the ground “untilled” (l. 343). The dots and spots of these circles and mounts, already marking the dissolution of the old constructions into abstract forms, propel their readers elsewhere. Forms on the landscape, they are turned into “scaping” forms in that, in their “figuring” (l. 342), they provide an e-scape into yet another language.

25But is it an e-scape, and is it another language?

26Or is language always-already insisting in any landscape?

3. Exalting —

  • 30  In “Romantic Scaping”, op. cit., 41, Marc Porée writes: “[…] scaping is a vector, rather than a ca (...)

27Is not language the “privileged field of activity” of “scaping”, as Marc Porée has it30? Should we not speak of lanGscapes, then? The “ancient Briton” passage which displays the “conducting” effect of the Wordsworthian figures — the transformation of figures represented into figures representing — is by no means exceptional in the Prelude. The openings and re-openings of the “spots of time”, for instance, operate in the same vein.

  • 31  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), XI: 286-298.

Dismounting, down the rough and stony moor
I led my horse, and stumbling on, at length
Came to a bottom where in former times
A murderer had been hung in iron chains.
The gibbet-mast was mouldered down, the bones
And iron case were gone, but on the turf
Hard by, soon after that fell deed was wrought,
Some unknown hand had carved the murderer’s name.
The monumental writing was engraven
In times long past, and still from year to year
By superstition of the neighbourhood
The grass is cleared away; and to this hour
The letters are all fresh and visible31.

  • 32  G. Deleuze, Logique du Sens,op. cit., 148. / The Logic of Sense, op. cit., 140.

The I comes across a figure, represented as that of “A murderer [who] had been hung on iron chains” (l. 289). Like the old constructions of the “ancient Briton” scene, this figure represented also dissolves into figures representing (l. 293-298), through a verbal effect of “extra-being“32. This revelation, of the ocular-secular type, propels the I forward, elsewhere, into an earthly-unearthly landscape. The figure dis-figured has then produced its scaping effect:

  • 33  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), XI: 307-310.

 […]   It was, in truth,
An ordinary sight, but I should need
Colours and words that are unknown to man
To paint the visionary dreariness33.

Death enters the landscape through such mutants. Mutants in that they are figured and figuring, composed in their decomposition in(to) landscape and recomposition in language. Similarly, another landscape of The Prelude has started decomposing:

  • 34  Ibid., V: 450-481.

Well do I call to mind the very week
When I was first entrusted to the care
Of that sweet valley — when its paths, its shores
And brooks, were like a dream of novelty
To my half-infant thoughts — that very week,
While I was roving up and down alone,
Seeking I knew not what, I chanced to cross
One of those open fields, which, shaped like ears,
Make green peninsulas on Esthwaite’s Lake.
Twilight was coming on, yet through the gloom
I saw distinctly on the opposite shore
A heap of garments, left as I supposed
By one who was there bathing. Long I watched,
But no one owned them; meanwhile the calm lake
Grew dark, with all the shadows on its breast,
And now and then a fish up-leaping snapped
The breathless stillness. The succeeding day —
Those unclaimed garments telling a plain tale —
Went there a company, and in their boat
Sounded with grappling-irons and long poles:
At length, the dead man, ‘mid that beauteous scene
Of trees and hills and water, bolt upright
Rose with his ghastly face, a spectre shape —
Of terror even. And yet no vulgar fear,
Young as I was, a child not nine years old,
Possessed me, for my inner eye had seen
Such sights before among the shining streams
Of fairyland, the forests of romance —
Thence came a spirit hallowing what I saw
With decoration of ideal grace,
A dignity, a smoothness, like the words
Of Grecian art, and purest poesy34.

This landscape is decomposing both into a figure represented — with ears (the ears of Esthwaite’s open fields) and breast (the breast of the lake) being pulled apart (l. 457 & 464) — and into a figure representing in this very poetic device of personification. This atomizing pre-figuration of the figure of death leaves us to raise the rest of the corpse from language.

28In the “beauteous scene” (l. 470) stressed for contrast and painstakingly prepared for suspense, the precise evocation of the tools, manœuvres and “length” of the exercise which is called a “sounding” makes it very tempting, then, to associate this lifting up of the corpse with poetical hermeneutics. If fear we must, then, it will not be “vulgar” (l. 473).

29But we would do well to regard with great circumspection the consequences of such exaltation — or as the case may be, the exalting act itself. Beyond revealing thus his customary ambivalence towards books, Wordsworth is telling us something about his practice and its practical effects: decomposition, dissolution, a death of sorts, truly metaphorical, IS in this new poetics, operating within it. As such it enables and even incites such “sounding” as is conducted in book V. It is a lifting up, a “relève”, truly, made possible by the very landscape configured into a “scaping field” by the figures simultaneously composing and decomposing (in) it. The earth-ward, human-made world configured by Wordsworth’s poems opens the possibility of its very counterpart correlate: its dissemination, deterritorialization, cosmicization, for ever preventing the hardening of this territory into a statuesque monumental community.

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Bibliographie

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------, Being and Event, trad. Oliver Feltham, London & New York: Continuum, [2005] 2007.

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------, The Logic of Sense, London & New York: Continuum, [1990] 2004.

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------, A Thousand Plateaus, London & New York: Continuum, [1988] 2004.

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Notes

1  John Barrell, The Dark Side of the Landscape. The Rural Poor in English Painting 1730-1840, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, [1980] 1998, 17.

2  Ibid., 22.

3  Ibid., 5.

4  See Pascale Guibert, “La révolution du paysage : le Prélude (1805) ou la manifestation d’une écosophie wordsworthienne”, in René Gallet & Pascale Guibert (eds.), Le Sujet romantique et  le monde : la voie anglaise,  Caen : Presses Universitaires de Caen, 2009.

5  J. Barrell, op. cit., 88.

6  See Jacques Rancière, Politique de la littérature, Paris : Galilée, 2007, 62.

7  William Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), II: 237-280.

8  Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Mille Plateaux. Capitalisme et schizophrénie, Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 1980, 224. / A Thousand Plateaus, London & New York: Continuum, [1988] 2004, 193. [“One never deterritorializes alone; there are always at least two terms, hand-use object, mouth-breast, face-landscape. And each of the two terms reterritorializes on the other.”].

9  Michael Friedman, The Making of a Tory Humanist. Wordsworth and the Idea of Community, New York: Columbia University Press, 1979, 7. Paul Rozenberg, in Le Romantisme anglais, Paris: Larousse, 1973, also writes: “Le déclin poétique de Wordsworth est surtout le déclin de sa générosité”, 258 [“Wordsworth’s poetic decline corresponds for the most part to the decline of his generosity”, my translation].

10  See M. Friedman, op. cit., 104.

11  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), X: 510-514.

12 Ibid., 474-488.

13  M. Friedman, op. cit., 176.

14  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), X: 515-517.

15 Ibid., 517-520.

16  Here, I have in mind Robert Mayo‘s broadly classificatory inventory of the “themes” of The Lyrical Ballads at the complete expense of precise poetics, in “The Contemporaneity of The Lyrical Ballads”, PMLA,1954.

17  Gilles Deleuze, Logique du sens, Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 1969, 352. / The Logic of Sense, London & New York: Continuum, [1990] 2004, 342. [“The end, that is, Robinson’s final goal, is “dehumanization”, the coming together of the libido and of the free elements, the discovery of a cosmic energy or a great elemental Health which can surge only on the isle—and only to the extent that the isle has become aerial or solar”].

18  Alain Badiou, L’être et l’événement, Paris: Seuil, 1988, 195. / Being and event, trad. Oliver Feltham, London & New York: Continuum, [2005] 2007, 175.

19  For a detailed exploration of this Romantic revolution in its manifold dimensions, see R. Gallet & P. Guibert (eds.), op. cit., 2009.

20  “Michel Tournier et le monde sans autrui” [“Michel Tournier and the World Without Others”] is the title of the subchapter where Deleuze analyses Tournier’s novel, in Logique du Sens, op. cit., 350. / The Logic of Sense, op. cit., 341.

21  G. Deleuze, Logique du Sens, op. cit., 354. / The Logic of Sense, op. cit., 344.

22 Ibid., 355./ 345. [“It is always Others who relate my desire to an object”].

23  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), IV: 247.

24 Ibid., V: 406-407 and 409.

25  Seamus Heaney, “The Indefatigable Hoof-taps: Sylvia Plath”, in The Government of the Tongue. The 1986 T. S. Eliot Memorial Lectures and Other Critical Writings, London: Faber & Faber, 1988, 148-170.

26  G. Deleuze& F. Guattari, Mille Plateaux, op. cit., 417. / A Thousand Plateaus, op. cit., 373. [“If we attempt an equally summary definition of romanticism, we see that everything is clearly different. A new cry resounds: the Earth, the territory and the Earth! With romanticism, the artist abandons the ambition of de jure universality and his or her status as creator: the artist territorializes, enters a territorial assemblage.”].

27  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), X: 920.

28  Marc Porée, “Romantic Scaping”, in Paul Volsik & Abigail Lang (eds.), Scapes Poésie anglophone, Cahiers Charles V hors série, 2006, 40.

29  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), XII: 315-330 and 338-352.

30  In “Romantic Scaping”, op. cit., 41, Marc Porée writes: “[…] scaping is a vector, rather than a catalyst, for transformation, and its privileged field of activity remains the province of language […].”

31  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), XI: 286-298.

32  G. Deleuze, Logique du Sens,op. cit., 148. / The Logic of Sense, op. cit., 140.

33  W. Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805), XI: 307-310.

34  Ibid., V: 450-481.

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Pascale Guibert, « Landscapes with Figures in Wordsworth’s Prelude (1805) »Revue LISA/LISA e-journal, Vol. VII – n°3 | 2009, 142-154.

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Pascale Guibert, « Landscapes with Figures in Wordsworth’s Prelude (1805) »Revue LISA/LISA e-journal [En ligne], Vol. VII – n°3 | 2009, mis en ligne le 25 mai 2009, consulté le 10 décembre 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/lisa/93 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/lisa.93

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Pascale Guibert

(Caen, France)
Pascale Guibert is a Senior Lecturer at the Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, where she teaches English-language poetry, visual representations and critical reading. She is proud to be an active member of the LSA-ERIBIA research group of her university, of the SERA (Société des Études du Romantisme Anglais) and of the “Théories de la lecture” / “Reading Theory” research branch of the CREA EA 370 (Centre de Recherche en Études Anglophones). Her field of interest is the representations of landscape, in poetry first, — starting with contemporary Irish and then Irish-American poetry, and continuing, these days, with Wordsworth and the Romantics — and in the visual arts.

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