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Implication, Readers’ Resources, and Thomas Gray’s Pindaric Odes

Frederick Keener book
Frederick Keener book
Author: Frederick Keener

Earlier this year, University of Delaware published  Implication, Readers’ Resources, and Thomas Gray’s Pindaric Odes by Hofstra Professor Emeritus Frederick M. Keener. The book presents an account of the “Poets’ Secret,” the quite belated, historically recent discovery by scholars and critics of something many poets have recognized and employed for ages: the sense expressed by allusively parallel parts within a text—sense thus expressed intratextually rather than only intertextually.


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  • The text of my response just above had put it in quotation marks and identified it as from the first review of my recent book, in the periodical Choice as quoted by Amazon.

  • . . . Additionally, he contextualizes his discussion in terms of Gray’s critical reception, including views of Gray’s immediate contemporaries (Samuel Johnson, Hazlitt, Coleridge) and of modern commentators. And he seeks to bag even bigger game, querying the epistemology underpinning cognitive comprehension and inferential apprehension of English poetry from Shakespeare and Milton to T. S. Eliot. With its amplitude and reach, Keener’s study joins such indispensable volumes as The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith, ed. by Roger Lonsdale (1969); Robert L. Mack’s eponymous biography (CH, Mar’01, 38-3766); and James Garrison’s A Dangerous Liberty: Translating Gray’s “Elegy” (CH, Dec’09, 47-1859). Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. (CHOICE )

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