Two centuries after his birth in October 1795, John Keats occupies a secure place in the canon of great literature of the western world. But for much of the nineteenth century and even during periods of the twentieth century, his right to such a position was not so firmly established. On the bicentenary of Keats's birth, various Italian scholars, along with specialists from English-speaking countries, decided to take advantage of the occasion not only to render homage to a poet whose greatness now seems unchallenged but also to accept his continuing challenge to his readers. The contributors to this volume re-examine some of the harshest criticisms of Keats, from Byron onwards, and some of the unconditional exaltations of the poet in order to discover possible sites between the two for new critical impulses and fertile re-evaluations of his achievement.
Under five headings - Romantic Truth, Textual Readings, History and Myth, Keats and Other Poets and Painting and Music - the essays in this book appraise the historical-cultural contexts that nurtured Keats's creativity; discuss the influences and interrelationships among Keats and other poets; and consider Keats's artistry as revealed in the analyses of particular texts.