Many Melville scholars for years have struggled heroically to persuade all who would listen that to read Battle-Pieces (1866) is to see at work the blinding coruscation
of Melville's poetic genius.
Ben-Ami Scharfstein, adopting the "aesthetical" model, sees this coruscation
of thought as the end itself: "It would be easiest on us if we accepted our inevitable disagreements as simply a heightening of our intellectual adventure".
A certain amount of typographic chatter is common to many Renaissance texts...[but here] the dense play of roman and italic type (sometimes further unsettled by Greek), the visual interruptions worked by stage directions (both tabular registers and prose descriptions), and, above all, the printed marginalia, with their pointed clog of abbreviation and textual reference--the combined effect of all this is to produce a textual coruscation
that disrupts the easy symmetries of verse array.
Words that had formerly fascinated her--"ratiocination", "concatenation," "coruscation
," "tergiversation"--give way to terms that reflect her new focus on the earthy realities of digestion, excretion, and pain.
It is wonderful at what a distance these webs may plainly be seen in such a position to the sunbeams, which are so fine that they cannot be seen in another position, though held near to the eye; some that are at a great distance appear (it cannot be otherwise) several thousands of times as big as they ought: They doubtless appear under as great an angle as a body o f a foot diameter ought to do at such a distance; so greatly doth coruscation
increase the apparent bigness of bodies at a distance, as is observed in the fixed stars.
We also heard Walton-like fanfaring and Tippettian coruscations
, and later, huge Romantic-style chords.
He was travelling in a canoe in the English River, and had landed near the Kettle Fall, when the coruscations
of the Aurora Borealis were so vivid and low, that the Canadians [voyageurs] fell on their faces, and began praying and crying, fearing they should be killed; he himself threw away his gun and knife that they might not attract the flashes, for they were within two feet of the earth, flitting along with incredible swiftness, and moving parallel to its surface.
Hay shows how the havoc and coruscations
accompanying the two great writers were enabled by others whose lives are equally important.
Despite Kant's initial obscurity, Carlyle maintains, "among the shapeless immensities which fill the Night of Kantism, and the meteoric coruscations
, which perplex him rather than enlighten, (the reader) will fancy he descries some streaks of a serener radiance, which he will pray devoutly that time may purify and ripen into perfect day" (179).
I know what an artist can glean from the endless dialogue of the sun and the ocean; I know the meaning of the play of shadows around the funeral pyres, the ashes floating down the Ganges by night in the blue and red coruscations
of its waters.
Two tears slid down her fallen cheeks, in and out of the myriad coruscations
of immolation and abnegation and time" (SF 295).
In Sanditon, Austen invokes her idea of Burns, much as Burns invoked his of Richardson, as an anti-Grandison Lovelace-like figure in order to show how Sir Edward Denham learns only hard words and bad morality from "our most approved Writers." When Sir Edward vigorously defends the passionate poet's right to transcend common morality, using the same diction that he enlisted to defend Lovelace's transgressions, he is clearly over the top: "'It were Hyper-criticism, it were Pseudo-philosophy to expect from the soul of high toned Genius, the grovellings of a common mind.--The Coruscations
of Talent, elicited by impassioned feeling in the breast of Man, are perhaps incompatible with some of the prosaic Decencies of Life'" (398).