Swinburne called him a bad poet, Tennyson called him dull, Saintsbury called him thin. John Schad celebrates Clough the anti-poet, a loving laureate of the extraordinary dull, who is so thin we can see through, or beyond him. Clough, argues Schad, never gets in the way of the world, or worlds, of which he writes. And these worlds are many: ranging from the orthodox world of the Anglican Oxford that Clough famously abandons, through the turbulent worlds of Paris and Rome that Clough visits in the wake of the revolutionary events of 1848, to the quietly desperate world of Clough’s final years. For Schad, though, Clough’s defining world is the very strange world of continental thought, a world which makes him a most un-Victorian Victorian.
John Schad is Professor of Modern Literature at Loughborough University. He is author of Queer Fish: Christian Unreason from Darwin to Derrida, Victorians In Theory and The Reader in the Dickensian Mirrors; editor of Writing the Bodies of Christ, Thomas Hardy’s A Laodicean and Dickens Refigured; and co-editor of life.after.theory. Professor Schad is currently writing an experimental book called Derrida via Oxford: Barely a Life.
216 × 138 mm
November 30, 2005
Writers and their Work