V. A. De Luca (essay date 1980)
SOURCE: “The Giant Self: Suspiria de Profundis” in Thomas De Quincey: The Prose of Vision, University of Toronto Press, 1980, pp. 57-83.
[In the following essay, De Luca discusses the sequel to Confessions of an Opium-Eater as a blending of autobiography and myth.]
There is little precedent in other major Romantic writers for the strangely late onset of De Quincey's chief phase as an imaginative artist, a phase that begins with the Suspiria de Profundis of his sixtieth year and continues for a dozen years more. A last and climactic bout with the powers of opium, a struggle always fecund to his imagination, partially explains this...
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