Intimations of neoteny: Play and God in wordsworth's 1799 prelude

Philosophy and Literature 34 (1):pp. 112-130 (2010)
Abstract
In the past decade a line of thought has developed that, in addition to the "fetishized sublime object" Judith Plotz describes in The Romantic Vocation of Childhood,1 there are other versions of "the child" at play in William Wordsworth's work.2 As Alan Richardson puts it, "If Wordsworth's 'Mighty Prophet' and Lamb's 'child angel' have lost their valence, other tendencies within the Romantic representation of childhood remain . . . vital, perhaps even indispensable."3 This essay focuses primarily on Wordsworth's more down-to-earth accounts of childhood, accounts which, fully emerging in the 1799 Prelude, have affinity with work done by past and present evolutionary scientists. The biological concept of human ..
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