Relevance Of The Beautiful And Other Essays

Y., for “Ben Jonson Entertains a Man from Stratford'* from Collected Poems of Edwin Arlington Robinson. For NEVILL COGHILL Three grateful memories: a home full of hooks, a childhood sfent in country 'provinces, a tutor in whom one could confide.

In going over my critical pieces, I have reduced them, when possible, to sets of notes because, as a reader, I prefer a critic’s notebooks to his treatises. Monticello 324 Red Ribbon on a White Horse 327 Postscript: The Almighty Dollar 335 Robert Frost 337 American Poetry 354 vn THE SHIELD OF PERSEUS Notes on the Comic 371 Don Juan 386 Dingley Dell &■ The Fleet 407 Postscript: The Frivolous & The Earnest 429 Genius & Apostle 433 Postscript: Christianity & Art 456 vin HOMAGE TO IGOR STRAVINSKY Notes on Music and Opera 465 Cav &■ Pag 475 Translating Opera Libretti (Written in collaboration with Chester Kallman) 483 Music in Shakespeare 500 PART ONE Prolog ue READING A hook is a mirror: if an ass feets into it, you cant expect an apostle to look out. To read is to translate, for no two persons’ experiences are the same.People scarcely realize in imagination that the danger is to themselves and their children and their grandchildren, and not only to a dimly apprehended humanity.They can scarcely bring themselves to grasp that they, individually, and those whom they love are in imminent danger of perishing agonizingly.It is difficult to overstate the extent to which Russell's thought dominated twentieth century analytic philosophy: virtually every strand in its development either originated with him or was transformed by being transmitted through him.~ Nicholas Griffin He was the most fascinating man I have ever known, the only man I ever loved, the greatest man I shall ever meet, the wittiest, the gayest, the most charming. In a new author, we tend to see either only his virtues or only his defects and, even if we do see both, we cannot see the rela- tion between them.In the case of an established author, if we can still read him at all, we know that we cannot enjoy the virtues we admire in him without tolerating the defects we deplore.We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.If you can do so, the way lies open to a new Paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death.He eats or reads what his mentor recommends and, inevitably, there are occasions when he has to deceive himself a litde; he has to pretend that he enjoys olives or War and Peace a little more than he actually does.Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between acci- dental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity.


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