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Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge   By: (1772-1834)

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Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a remarkable collection of conversations, musings, and reflections by one of the greatest English poet-philosophers, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Steering away from the conventional structure of a book, Coleridge's work presents readers with an unprecedented invitation into the mind of an intellectual genius.

This compilation brings together various discussions Coleridge engaged in with friends, acquaintances, and admirers over several years. Unfiltered and unedited, these fragments of conversation offer a unique glimpse into the workings of Coleridge's intellectual universe. From profound reflections on the nature of poetry and the beauty of nature to debates on philosophy, politics, and literature, the range of topics covered is wide and engaging.

What sets this book apart is the rich diversity of voices and perspectives present in these conversations. Coleridge's talent for stimulating discussions and his ability to extract profound insights from ordinary exchanges shine through each page. The unpretentiousness with which Coleridge shares his thoughts and the genuine curiosity he demonstrates towards others make this collection a captivating read for anyone interested in literature, philosophy, or the human condition.

The informal nature of these conversations also allows readers to experience Coleridge's wit and humor firsthand. The dry and often sardonic remarks scattered throughout the text provide an enjoyable counterbalance to the weightier subjects discussed. Coleridge's ability to seamlessly transition from contemplation to jest adds a delightful layer of complexity to this already fascinating collection.

Despite the absence of a discernible structure or narrative arc, Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge manages to capture the essence of Coleridge's unique intellectual and creative brilliance. The seemingly fragmented nature of the conversations, rather than impeding overall coherence, actually deepens the book's appeal by inviting readers to forge their own connections and interpretations.

This edition of Coleridge's Table Talk includes useful annotations and contextual information, expertly provided by the editor, that significantly enrich the reading experience. These annotations elucidate historical and cultural references, as well as shed light on Coleridge's own influences and ideas, aiding readers in fully appreciating the depth and breadth of Coleridge's ruminations.

In conclusion, Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a treasure trove for enthusiasts of Coleridge, Romantic literature, or intellectual conversations in general. By allowing readers intimate access to Coleridge's musings and the people who shaped his world, this unique collection affirms Coleridge's status as a poet-philosopher of unparalleled brilliance.

First Page:

[The Greek transliterations throughout this file are either missing or very suspect.]

[Illustration: F. Finden sculp. London, John Murray, Albernarle St. 1837 ]

[autographed: Dear Sir, Your obliged servant. S. T. Coleridge]




It is nearly fifteen years since I was, for the first time, enabled to become a frequent and attentive visitor in Mr. Coleridge's domestic society. His exhibition of intellectual power in living discourse struck me at once as unique and transcendant; and upon my return home, on the very first evening which I spent with him after my boyhood, I committed to writing, as well as I could, the principal topics of his conversation in his own words. I had no settled design at that time of continuing the work, but simply made the note in something like a spirit of vexation that such a strain of music as I had just heard, should not last forever. What I did once, I was easily induced by the same feeling to do again; and when, after many years of affectionate communion between us, the painful existence of my revered relative on earth was at length finished in peace, my occasional notes of what he had said in my presence had grown to a mass, of which this volume contains only such parts as seem fit for present publication... Continue reading book >>

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