Matthew Arnold is a twenty-first century thinker, though he doubles his identity, being at the same time a nineteenth-century writer. He is someone who could be sitting in the office next door to yours or mine: a poet, a cultural critic, and someone who both did and didn't have a place in formal educational institutions. He taught school for a while, worked as a school inspector (who has ever made a living purely as poet?), and ended up as professor of poetry at no less an institution than Oxford (yes: Important Universities have indeed respected creative practice; and the Oxford Chair of Poetry, established in 1708, is still extant). In the Preface to his Essays in Criticism, however, he describes himself 'as a plain citizen of the republic of letters, and not as an office-bearer in a hierarchy [Oxford University]' (Arnold 1910: viii). Arnold did not find a perfect fit with the academy, but still left behind him a legacy of words, a wealth of creative and critical works.
|Publisher||The Australiasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP)|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|