Charles Lamb As the Janus of Romanticism in "New Year's Eve".
Nineteenth-Century Prose 2001, Fall, 28, 2
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Lamb's "New Year's Eve" has a three-part structure, each movement marked by an allusion to New Year's bells: Elia's looking back nostalgically to childhood; looking forward with aversion to death; and, finally, reemploying Charles Cotton's mythological personification of the two-faced Janus as an emblem of Romantic synthesis. Unlike Janus, Elia initially has hot been able to look upon the "New-born year" with confidence. His protective retreat into childhood innocence, like his indulgence in "Dream Children" of paternal fantasies from the realm of what-might-have-been, is thwarted by painful present reality. In "Dream Children," the faithful Bridget, whose name is taken from the Celtic goddess of fertility and poetry, becomes Elia's social inspiration within the present. In "New Year's Eve," literary conviviality redeems the present. Initially Elia had condemned his wine-quaffing self; but as he warms with the delight of old poetry and the companionship of friends, he is able to welcome the New Year with new-found self-esteem. **********
- 2,99 €
- Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
- Published: 22 September 2001
- Publisher: Nineteenth-Century Prose
- Print Length: 32 Pages
- Language: English