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The Embowered Self: "Mariana" and "Recollections of the Arabian Nights"

Timothy Peltason
Victorian Poetry
Vol. 21, No. 4 (Winter, 1983), pp. 335-350
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40002101
Page Count: 16
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The Embowered Self: "Mariana" and "Recollections of the Arabian Nights"
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Abstract

Although they are not among those poems that Tennyson explicitly paired, "Mariana" and "Recollections of the Arabian Nights" criticize one another implicitly and compose together a significant commentary on the attractions and the perils of self-enclosure, a central Tennysonian subject. Published together in 1830, these two highly structured and highly wrought poems describe an imaginative self-sufficiency that banishes time and the world at the cost of adult seriousness in "Recollections," and of human contact in "Mariana." The poet, who installs his representatives within these artificial landscapes, remains outside himself, making mature and public use of adolescent fantasy and of solipsistic isolation.

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