Keatsian Criticism

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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Keatsian Criticism

Postby Malia » Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:36 am

I'm not sure if this is the right thread in which to ask this question, but here goes!

Have any of you read any critical essays about Keats's letters and/or poems that particularly stand out in your mind or has influenced how you see/understand Keats? Anything you've learned through critical essays that you'd like to share?

I'll share a few things I've learned--once I get home and can refresh my memory on the particulars ;) There is one essay I read in particular that is *amazing* and has great insights into Keats as the poet physician.

I'm asking this question mainly because I made the "mistake" of going to amazon.com the other day and purchasing more books that I *don't* need :lol: Among them was the Cabridge Companion to Keats's poetry--filled with literary essays on his work. Can't wait til it comes in the mail!
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Postby Saturn » Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:46 am

I try to avoid criticsm per se - it may be perceptive and helpful but I don't wan't to 'unweave the rainbow' - I like to make my own judgements on Keat's work.

If I was studying it yes I'd read it, but in general no.
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Postby Credo Buffa » Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:53 am

I haven't particularly read much Keats criticism either. . . unless you count biographies a form of criticism. I've actually sort of avoided academic study of Keats (with the exception of my British Romantics class), because I want to keep my readings my own and not have to worry about feeling oppressed by what critics, who are supposedly smarter and therefore more "correct" than I am, tell me I should be getting out of them.
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Postby Saturn » Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:59 am

Credo Buffa wrote:I I want to keep my readings my own and not have to worry about feeling oppressed by what critics, who are supposedly smarter and therefore more "correct" than I am, tell me I should be getting out of them.


My feelings exactly.

All critics are failed artists anyway.

They make a career of pointing out, and pin-pointing the flaws in the works of greater artists. :roll:
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Postby Malia » Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:07 am

Hmm. . .this is interesting because I've found some real gems in some essays on Keats. True, there's a lot of chaff out there (some critics like to hear themselves talk) but I see it almost as getting other people's opinion on Keats and his ideas--just as we're doing here. I like having a lot of ideas around me--it really broadens my own view.
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Postby Saturn » Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:10 am

Or it can narrow your views by making you think that one poem has a particular meaning, even if you think differently.

You might begin to think 'Oh this distinguished critic thinks so-and-so so It must be right'.
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Postby Malia » Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:14 am

I think if you know that your thoughts are your own and you make the final decision about what you believe or don't believe about a certain interpretation, then just believing what a critic says because he says it isn't an issue.

I certainly disagree with certain points/ideas raised by several of Keats's biographers even though they are rock-solid Keatsians such as Robert Gittings. I research, use logic and come to my own conclusions.

I think that criticism--approached critically--can be used to help a person think in new and challenging ways.

One thing I learned in school was--just because someone wrote it you *don't* have to believe everything they write--no matter who they are or how distinguished.
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Postby Saturn » Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:21 am

I wish they had taught me that at school - there seemed to be no room for personal opinion in English Literature, at least how it was taught when I was at school. :?
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In Defense of Keats

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:30 pm

Yeah I know exactly where some son of a bitch critics attacked Keats in a fit of uncreative rage! Lord Byron wrote a pamphlet against Keats if anything I would vomit on such garbage. How dare some mediocre Romantic dispense his propoganda about Keats. And yes just like Byron's poetry ain't much neither were his criticisms of Keats.

BUt it's not unlike people with the pompous mentality of Byron to do such things. Who knows what kind of ties he must have had to oligarchs;for the newspapers that praised Byron were the equivalent of Washington Times or some other establishment paper.
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Postby Saturn » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:37 pm

This is pure garbage - Byron did not write 'a pamphlet against Keats' - he did attack him in one of his letters to Shelley but even Byron later wrote that Hyperion "was as sublime as Aeschylus".
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I'll find the info and prove it cousin

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Sun Feb 19, 2006 2:42 am

I'll post up what I'm talking about real soon once I find my facts
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Postby redan » Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:43 am

The W. J. Bate critical biography of Keats is still the best. Published oh, 40 years ago it remains the most intelligent, deep and loving analysis of Keats and his works. Title is simply Keats, I think. Not near my copy at this moment. Bate was a great scholar, and his biography of Dr. Johnson is as great as his Keats biography.
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Postby Malia » Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:46 am

redan wrote:The W. J. Bate critical biography of Keats is still the best. Published oh, 40 years ago it remains the most intelligent, deep and loving analysis of Keats and his works. Title is simply Keats, I think. Not near my copy at this moment. Bate was a great scholar, and his biography of Dr. Johnson is as great as his Keats biography.


That is a wonderful bio, redan. I like it, too. I especially like his focus on poetical analysis through diagramming poems. It helped me to see more clearly how *thoughtfully* Keats used inter-rhyme in Hyperion.
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Postby Saturn » Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:16 am

I still haven't read Bate's biography yet - can't find it anywhere :(

I kick myself for not buying it when I saw it in a second-hand bookstore a few years ago :roll:

It was a really gnarled and dog-eared copy so I never bought it :?
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Postby dks » Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:19 pm

Saturn wrote:I still haven't read Bate's biography yet - can't find it anywhere :(

I kick myself for not buying it when I saw it in a second-hand bookstore a few years ago :roll:

It was a really gnarled and dog-eared copy so I never bought it :?


Saturn, I'm pretty sure I can get it for you at Amazon US--I could ship it to you...or mayeb you could get off of Amazon UK? It is an excellent bio...
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