Where is this Keats quotation from?

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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Where is this Keats quotation from?

Postby wallflower » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:49 am

Hi all! I've been searching on the net but can't seem to find the source of this quotation attributed to Keats. It's funny how most people don't source their aphorisms. Would anyone here happen to know where's it from? Thanks! :)

Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid
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Re: Where is this Keats quotation from?

Postby Saturn » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:08 pm

I can't say that seems familiar, doesn't sound like Keats at all, more like a self-help textbook. Where did you get the quotation from?
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: Where is this Keats quotation from?

Postby Saturn » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:12 pm

Hmm seems like it is Keats, must be from one of the letters, perhaps to George?
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: Where is this Keats quotation from?

Postby wallflower » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:13 am

It's widely attributed to Keats, but you're right, it is found in A LOT of self help books and motivational blogs..
I would say it's from the letters as well, though I own an online copy of the complete collection of the letters and a ctrl+f search gave me nothing.. the mystery of the quote eh? :p
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Re: Where is this Keats quotation from?

Postby BrokenLyre » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:56 pm

I highly doubt it is Keats. "Positive experience" and "highway to success" talk is much too modern. It's from some pop psychology I would say. Best guess is that some American entrepreneur stated it about 30 years ago. ha ha ha
"Come... dry your eyes, for you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg; the clay in which the forces that shape all things leave their fingerprints most clearly. Dry your eyes... and let's go home."
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Re: Where is this Keats quotation from?

Postby Saturn » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:55 pm

That's what I thought, sounds very much like pop-psychology to me.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re: Where is this Keats quotation from?

Postby Ennis » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:24 pm

I don't think it's Keats, either -- does sound a wee bit modern.
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: Where is this Keats quotation from?

Postby Raphael » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:30 pm

I am sure it isn't something he wrote- not in any of the letters that I have seen.It does sound rather late c.20th in its wording. I don't think he would even have seen "failure" of his poems as a positive thing either!
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Where is this Keats quotation from?

Postby Fanny » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:40 pm

I wonder if it's not from one of his letters to Fanny...
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Re: Where is this Keats quotation from?

Postby Ennis » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:17 pm

Ennis wrote:I don't think it's Keats, either -- does sound a wee bit modern.



But I am lucky enough to have a Concordance of Keats works. It's rather old, but obviously may still be helpful. I'll look up "failure" and some of the other key words and see if I'm able to hit a reference to a poem or letter.
I just reread the quote, the second part does sound (to me) somewhat Keatsian -- except for the "failure is, in a sense, a highway to sucess" part.
Last edited by Ennis on Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: Where is this Keats quotation from?

Postby Cybele » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:13 am

Doesn't sound like Keats to me, either. Maybe someone loosely paraphrased something he *did* write in one of the letters, but I'm pretty sure our guy did not write this as it's presented.
"The philosopher proves that the philosopher exists. The poet merely enjoys existence."
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Re: Where is this Keats quotation from?

Postby Ennis » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:31 pm

Ennis wrote:
Ennis wrote:I don't think it's Keats, either -- does sound a wee bit modern.



But I am lucky enough to have a Concordance of Keats works. It's rather old, but obviously may still be helpful. I'll look up "failure" and some of the other key words and see if I'm able to hit a reference to a poem or letter.
I just reread the quote, the second part does sound (to me) somewhat Keatsian -- except for the "failure is, in a sense, a highway to sucess" part.



I looked up "highway to success," "highway," "success" (which I, obviously, found a "hit" or two, but none that apply to the quote), and "failure," and that last word sums up my lack of success. Sorry!
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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