Hyperion as Daoist Masterpiece: Keats and the Daodejing

Asian Philosophy 22 (3):225-237 (2012)
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Abstract

It should come as little surprise to anyone familiar with his concept of ‘negative capability’ and even a cursory understanding of Daoism that John Keats’ thought resonates strongly with that tradition. Given the pervasive, reductive understanding of Keats as a mere Romantic, however, this source of insight has been used to little advantage. His poem Hyperion, for example, has been roundly criticized as an untidy Romantic fragment. Here, by contrast, I will argue for a strategic understanding of Hyperion as a masterpiece in the Daoist tradition.

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Joshua M. Hall
University of Alabama, Birmingham

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