What more can we learn?

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

Moderators: Saturn, Malia

What more can we learn?

Postby Matt » Tue Aug 24, 2004 4:55 pm

I wonder? After reading the major biographies of Keats? Is there much more we can learn about the man whom we so love?

We could read his letters for a more detailed and firsthand take on his life. But after that-what is there in terms of fact?

Perhaps there are undiscovered letters or documents? What do people think?
Matt
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 5:26 pm

New evidence

Postby Saturn » Tue Aug 24, 2004 9:28 pm

There are always letters and things turning up all the time to do with Keats and the other Romantics. These occasions are few and far between, but there was a major set of letters of Byron's found in a bank vault in the mid-seventies which were entrusted to his friend Scrope-Beardmore Davies (I think it was him). He deposited a suitcase in the bank and never collected it. Only 150 years later were the letters discovered.

Who knows what else is lying in some vault or in some family album somewhere?

Personally I think we know almost too much much about Keats. There are not really that many mysteries left to be solved that come immediately to mind.

I sometimes wish we didn't know so much about our heroes. Shakespeare, because he is so mysterious is someone who seems more like a true artist, anonymous as Homer (and just as legendary) as his personal life is so sketchy that speculation will always continue on who it really was that wrote the greatest poetry of all time.

I think that it is sometimes intrusive to learn too much about a person - even if they are long dead. There are some things about a person, no matter how trivail and unimportant they are that the living person would not have liked even their nearest and dearest to have known.

Even if knowing something might help to explain their work or opinions, some things should be left respectfully with the dead.

I'm not sure waht I'm getting at here, but generally though I enjoy biographies I still feel a little like a intruder, bungling into someone else's life without permission.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3939
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am

Postby Matt » Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:27 pm

Interesting points made Steveo.

I love Shakespeare and as with many 'heroes' I feel that part of the adoration maybe due to the fact that he appears almost mythical to the point where he seems God-like. Contrasting with this though, whenever I am reading Shakespeare a feeling of genuine dissapointment comes over me when (as happens whenever I read Shakespeare) I think of the possibility that perhaps he didnt write what i'm reading after all.

As fickle as it is, the mystery doesnt have to come in terms of what I dont know about a person but instead I feel that just for someone to have lived previously to my birth adds some sense of mystery, for me anyway. The fact that I dont know the way of their times, and have never conversed with them as I would with another person in the present. This along with some sort of Romantic (or adulterous) persona is what makes up 'hero' for me.

Maybe indicating my heroes will make my thoughts more clear?

Elvis,
Byron,
Keats,
Guevara,
The Streets-(I am aware that he is alive!)
....and of course, David Beckham.


What a shoddy, confused post! I apologise. Perhaps afterall, our heroes are the people who more than others, we dont understand. Perhaps.

Matt
x
Matt
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 5:26 pm

Not David Beckham!!!!

Postby Saturn » Thu Aug 26, 2004 10:07 am

Oh no, not David Beckham - come on please!!!

Elvis I can understand (almost - overrated I think, though very influential to others)

Byron I totally agree with (for his work at least)

Keats ditto.

Che Gueavra - all students like him (do you have the t-shirt yet, or the poster?)
You'll soon grow out if that. He was a violent revolutionary in the end - no man of violence should be reagrded as a hero in my eyes. Here's what Shelley said about soldiers:

“…from the moment that a man is a soldier, he becomes a slave. He is taught obedience; his will is no longer – which is the most sacred prerogative of man – guided by his own judgement. He is taught to despise human life and human suffering; this is the universal distinction of slaves. He is more degraded than a murderer; he is like the bloody knife which has stabbed and feels not; a murderer we may abhor and despise, a soldier is by profession beyond abhorrence and below contempt.”

The Streets I'll give you maybe (not my cup of tea, but Dry your eyes I like).

But David Beckham!!! - once a good player, now merely mediocre. Too wraped up in his commercial enterprises to be the player he could have been.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3939
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am

Postby Matt » Thu Aug 26, 2004 11:20 am

I know what you mean about the ol' Student-Guevara relationship.

I am not ashamed to say that yes I do have a tee shirt. But its not the classic tee shirt with the image that adorns posters in millions of student bedrooms all over the country.

My tee-shirt is actually from cuba and depicts a rare photograph of che, some few years before he died. He is fully bearded and does not wear the famous che hat that we have come to recognise him by. His hair is not long and flowing either but very short, presumably due to military influence.

I do not know too much about Che's violent and from what I hear, barbaric, life but am much more familiar with the Che who is a young man, just out of University with a doctorate, who is witty and reflective whilst somewhat naieve at the same time. This Che can be found in 'The Motorcycle Diaries'. I hear that a film is out at the moment but I read the book years ago. It is a bit like a travel book, as it is Che's accounts of his travels over South America (from what I can recall) but his language is wonderfully descriptive. At times it comes close to being on par with Berniere's descriptions of Kephalonia in 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' -(A top quality, amazing read by the way!). It is also interesting to hear about the boyish scrapes that Che got himself into on his travels, which I'm sure, are a world away from the violence that was soon to engulf his life.
Matt
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 5:26 pm

Che Guevara

Postby Saturn » Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:08 pm

I'm going to see The Motorcycle Dairies when it comes out.
You are the second person who has told me about it and who has read the book - I must be living in a nineteenth century timewarp or something!!

I actually know very little about Che Guevara so it wll be interesting to see what inspired him to become a communist.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3939
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am


Return to Poems, Odes and Plays

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests