Sources, Meaning and Influences of Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, Xanadu Re-Routed. A Study in the Ways of Romantic Variety

Author: Fleissner, Robert
Contains three main sections: first, an extensive analysis of the poem not only line by line but image by image; then an examination of the construct of the poem as a whole on its own terms (text, structure and imagery, influence); finally, the modern effect in terms of influence upon others (Poe, Tennyson, Forster, Bowen, Welles). the vital drug issue, and evaluating modern scholarship on the subject.


“Fleissner’s work will serve as an indispensable resource for all future students and scholars interested in exploring this beautifully enigmatic poem. His encyclopedic awareness of prior scholarship, his broad literary knowledge, his command of the text itself and its minute verbal resonances, all work together to produce a wealth of insight into Coleridge’s text and its many contexts. . . . Finally, Fleissner brings his discussion fully into the present by considering Coleridge’s poem in the light of contemporary issues, especially the problem of drug addiction among today’s youth. Here Fleissner raises some cogent and difficult questions about how one should teach a work that clearly reflects its author’s own use of drugs, particularly to an audience of students at risk of drug use and addiction themselves. . . this book is sure to find a place in university and college libraries all over the world, where it will be consulted as regularly as Coleridge’s great poem is studied and taught.” – Roger Gilbert

“All in all, the books is a feast for any Coleridge admirer, as it combines thoroughgoing scholarship with investigative acumen worthy of Sherlock Holmes, who happens to be one of Fleissner’s heroes.” - Alfred Dorn “. . . makes new inroads into tracing “Kubla Khan’s” wealth of references and allusions. . . . brings together the extensive scholarship written over the past seventy years to illuminate the literary, biographical, and historical contexts that may have influenced Coleridge’s composition of his famous fragment.” – Catherine Burroughs

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (main headings)
Foreword; Preface
The Construct Itself
Part I: An Annotated Xanadu
Part II: “Kubla Khan” On its Own Terms: The Matter of the Text: Structure and Imagery; Influence on the Reverie (Shakespeare’s Tempest, Fielding’s Tom Jones)
Part III: Its Modern Pertinence: Poe’s ‘Masque of the Red Death’; Tennyson’s Hesperidean Xanadu; Forster’s A Passage to India; Bowen’s “Demon-Lover”, Welles’ ‘Citizen Kane’
Drugs and Teaching; Concluding Remarks
Main appendix: Lightheartedness as Also Romantic – Sherlock Holmes in Xanadu ( A Documented Pastiche); An Armourial Bearing
Select Bibliography; Select Nominal Index