the voice

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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the voice

Postby Becky » Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:32 am

Who would Keats have sounded like? I've always imagined he'd sound like John Hegley, but i know I'm miles out. When he was described as a cockney poet, they were laughing at his accent, weren't they?
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Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:47 am

I imagine he sounded a bit more posh than your average cockney as he was in most other respects a middle class boy who went to a good school and was well educated, so I don't think he would have sounded like a character from Eastenders.

Maybe he sounded a bit like Jude Law or someone like that.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Becky » Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:38 pm

The Romantics as an episode of Eastenders! What a frighteningly possible thought. Lamb's sister's done her mother in...how will Lamb react? It means he has to stay in the series to look after her, whilst Byron and Shelley leave with a bang to safeguard younger viewers. All the while, we can see Keats in plenty of chaste bedroom scenes as, in a plot-line built up over months, he dies painfully, increasing the audience's TB awareness - spot the signs, folks...jealousy and incredible genius. For summer specials, there are always jaunts to the Lakes with a drug-addiction sub-plot with Coleridge, and Wordsworth can be bitter in flashbacks for the christmas special, set in the pub outside Tintern Abbey.

Maybe then we'd finally go back to being fascinated by the poems, realising its the art, not the life, that made them special.
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Postby Despondence » Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:44 pm

Becky wrote:Maybe then we'd finally go back to being fascinated by the poems, realising its the art, not the life, that made them special.

Chicken and the egg paradox - did their art make their lives special, or did their lives make their art special?

For this particular bunch of romantics, I think the two can not be separated. They lived for their art, and died for it (unlike, say, Shakespeare).
Despondence
 

Postby Becky » Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:33 pm

Shakespeare was always fighting to live for his art.
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Postby Despondence » Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:22 pm

Becky wrote:Shakespeare was always fighting to live for his art.

The playwright was his livelihood, not his mental lifeline. He had a life beyond and besides his art, to which he retired in "old" age as he put aside the quill.
Despondence
 

Postby Saturn » Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:22 pm

Yes he was a successful businessman too, though all his social advancement and that of his family was decimated by the loss of his young son Hamnet at a young age.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Becky » Mon Feb 21, 2005 5:34 pm

You have to have a steady business head to run a theatre. Its not a bad thing if you stay solvent long enough to perform your works. People like Keats ignored the money aspect and suffered for it in peace of mind...the stress of his funding crisis could easily have worsened his condition. If he hadn't had that to worry about, who knows, he could have written more.

Not only that, people like Marlowe got overly involved in the politics of the time and paid with their life. Shakespeare's great sacrifice to carry on writing was to avoid the blatantly controversial and focus on the writing itself. Obviously he had a family, so would Keats if he hadn't died so young, and even more obviously it was TB, not poetry, that killed him.
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Postby Despondence » Mon Feb 21, 2005 6:09 pm

Aha. All true, of course. Your point being?
Maybe we're talking past each other - my only point by contrasting with Shakespeare was that he separated internal and external affiars and kept his feet on the ground. And by "this particular bunch" I wasn't just thinking of Keats, but also Shelley, Byron, Coleridge etc etc. Their radical political engagements and romantic idealism controlled and consumed their lives, is all I'm saying, while Shakespeare, during his professional career, stayed in control of his.
Despondence
 

Postby Becky » Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:04 pm

And all I'm saying is, maybe Shakespeare had a point. The longer you're alive, the more time you have for art. Art shouldn't consume you to the point of death. Should it even control your life?
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Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:33 pm

Here's what Rilke said on this point:

“The great artists have all let their lives become overgrown like an old path and have born everything in their art. Their lives have become atrophied, like an organ they no longer use.”
From a Letter to Clara Rilke, Sept. 5th 1902.

To be a successful artist it seems in the majority of cases to be a requirement to have total dedication and obedience to the muses - they are fickle and harsh mistressess. :wink:
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Despondence » Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:55 pm

I'd mortage my soul in an instant for a hot line to my muse.. :D (in fact, in a sense I'm already doing it, as I started spending some of my retirement money on a studio upgrade....who wants to live for ever anyway)
Despondence
 

Postby Saturn » Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:14 am

Retirement is a dull fantasy of the middle classes - go for it - you only live once 8)
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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