Andrew Motion's Keats bio

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

Moderators: Saturn, Malia

Andrew Motion's Keats bio

Postby dks » Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:30 am

Has anyone read Andrew Motion's bio on Keats?

If so, I wondered what anyone thinks about the assertion of Keats having contracted syphilis at Oxford while there with Ben Bailey.




"That which is creative must create itself."
User avatar
dks
Dante
 
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:14 am
Location: Texas

Re: Andrew Motion's Keats bio

Postby Despondence » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:34 am

dks wrote:Has anyone read Andrew Motion's bio on Keats?

Has anyone not.... :lol: Sure, I mean - it's one of the most recent, comprehensive and popular bios, so it's probably the most commonly read one.

dks wrote:If so, I wondered what anyone thinks about the assertion of Keats having contracted syphilis at Oxford while there with Ben Bailey.

I don't remember what case Motion made in his book, but I always thought Gitting presented a very convincing case that the taking of "a little mercury" (see appendix 3 in Gittings's Keats bio) was more likely for gonorrhoea than for syphilis. Does Motion refute this, with some line of arguments?
Despondence
 

Postby Malia » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:41 pm

I've read the Motion bio. I read it in full when it first came out. . .was it really 10 years ago? Yikes! And I've recently glanced through it again. I think the assertion that Keats contracted a VD (probably syphillis) at Oxford is pretty well accepted by most--if not all--Keats scholars. Motion wasn't making a new or surprising point by mentioning it. Gittings and Ward both mention it--and go into how he used Mercury to treat it. I don't think Keats regarded this as his "finest hour" but he was a young guy in a world where there was no real protection against VD so it was almost bound to happen.
Stay Awake!
--Anthony deMello
User avatar
Malia
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 1606
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:55 am
Location: Washington State, USA

Postby dks » Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:18 am

Yes. I agree.

I, too, am familiar with Motion, Gittings and Ward. Eileen Ward's is the best bio, I think.

So...what does anyone think of Motion's "pilgrimmage" from London to Rome aboard an old sailing ship in effort to recreate Keats's harrowing journey on the Maria Crowther to Rome? Motion said he about went nuts.
User avatar
dks
Dante
 
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:14 am
Location: Texas

Postby Malia » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:03 am

I saw Motion's omnibus program "The Last Journey of John Keats" back when it first aired in England in 1995 as part of Keats's bicentennery (sp) celebration. I don't remember much of it, but I do recall the ship--and how coffin-like the sleeping berths were (pretty creepy). It is absolutely amazing that Keats survived the journey. I'm sure Motion didn't have to deal with the storms or squalid air and crampt accomodations (i.e. he wasn't travelling with 3 other passengers--one with TB). I'd love to see the program again and I'm actually in the process of trying to obtain a copy through interlibrary loan. It is available for purchase on DVD through some kind of scholastic website--for $80 (too rich for my blood!)

What did you like/not like about the program--what do you remember about it?
Stay Awake!
--Anthony deMello
User avatar
Malia
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 1606
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:55 am
Location: Washington State, USA

Postby Saturn » Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:04 am

Aww I wish I had seen that but back then I wasn't the slightest bit interested in poetry, Keats, reading, or anything literary so I wouldnt have been interested in watching that back then.

Much like Keats himself I was a bit rough-and-ready in my early days :wink:
"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 dks » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:22 pm

I read a posted transcript of a lecture Motion gave a few years back and he expounded on his ship experience. I haven't seen the program...I have seen it online for sale...but since it's rare it's very expensive.

You know, when I signed onto this forum I was under the impression I would keep getting emails when people replied to postings...now I know I don't and I've missed an entire topic thread!!!! *GASP* People talking about Keats and me not getting to be there... :(

You guys talked about having a connection with someone you have never met and never will...well, when I die and leave this world for the gilded stable--I think I shall see him...and he'll be reading under a plum tree with the same deep auburn hair I imagined him having...and no--I don't see him sitting with Fanny. Maybe he'll want to sit with me. :lol:
User avatar
dks
Dante
 
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:14 am
Location: Texas

Postby Malia » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:48 pm

dks wrote:I read a posted transcript of a lecture Motion gave a few years back and he expounded on his ship experience. I haven't seen the program...I have seen it online for sale...but since it's rare it's very expensive.


Do you know where this transcript can be found? I'd love to read it if it's still up somewhere.


You guys talked about having a connection with someone you have never met and never will...well, when I die and leave this world for the gilded stable--I think I shall see him...and he'll be reading under a plum tree with the same deep auburn hair I imagined him having...and no--I don't see him sitting with Fanny. Maybe he'll want to sit with me. :lol:


:lol:
Stay Awake!
--Anthony deMello
User avatar
Malia
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 1606
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:55 am
Location: Washington State, USA

Postby Saturn » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:08 pm

Here's A lecture by Motion on Keats - not sure if it's the same one though, but interesting nonetheless:

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/arts/bwriting/stories/s122753.htm

[Scroll down a bit]
"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 dks » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:50 pm

Malia, yes, that's the one. Thanks, Saturn.

So, am I the only one who's ever used 'junkets' as a computer password??

:D
User avatar
dks
Dante
 
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:14 am
Location: Texas

Postby Credo Buffa » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:01 am

Ah! I think I remember getting up insanely early one morning to watch that program when it was on here in the US. . . I think it might have been on BBC America or something like that in the wee hours.

From what I remember, I quite liked it. Most of the information I already knew, but it was nice to have visuals to go along with it. Like Malia, I too was very struck by the cramped quarters in which Keats would have made the journey. . . and he wasn't even the sickest passenger!

I also distinctly remember Motion dropping the plate of pasta out the window, as Keats did. That story always kills me when I think about it, and seeing someone actually do this, hearing the crash on the pavement below, imagining Keats in that same position. . . bwa ha!
"Holy Kleenex, Batman! It was right under our nose and we blew it!"
User avatar
Credo Buffa
Lamia
 
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:42 am
Location: Minnesota

Postby Credo Buffa » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:06 am

dks wrote:So, am I the only one who's ever used 'junkets' as a computer password??

:D


A bit off topic (actually, way off topic), but I actually put this on the back of my softball jersey a few years back. See, I was trying to make it the geekiest shirt ever made. To begin with, this was a softball league made up of different musical ensembles from my college, which in and of itself is pretty geeky. Names for teams basically went by ensemble: Bandies (that was my team, since I was in the band), Orchies, LaLas (this was the choir), etc.

So imagine this if you will: the front of this shirt says "Bandies" in green letters in your typical baseball-esque font, and on the back is "Junkets" and the number 88 (for the number of keys on a piano). Can you get much geekier than that?!
"Holy Kleenex, Batman! It was right under our nose and we blew it!"
User avatar
Credo Buffa
Lamia
 
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:42 am
Location: Minnesota

Postby dks » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:12 am

Hee. I didn't know Motion did that. Can't you see Keats?
"Now, Severn, you shall see we will have a real dinner."

I LOVE his ornery spirit--even as sick as he was, it was almost a throwback to his feisty, pugilistic days at Enfield with George.
You can almost see Severn, wide eyed...like, "My God!"

One thing that's always struck me was something he wrote to Fanny. You know, he was geniously self-aware, and always the first to admit his highly charged, passionate nature--he wrote that all other women were 'trash' to him in light of her--"unless I should find a woman who's heart burns with the same passion as mine."

An interesting comment. Ah...some of those letters are simply gorgeous...I mean, no one I know has ever deemed me their "delicious"... :( Alas, I'm in love with a man not of this world...
:lol:
User avatar
dks
Dante
 
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:14 am
Location: Texas

Postby dks » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:16 am

So imagine this if you will: the front of this shirt says "Bandies" in green letters in your typical baseball-esque font, and on the back is "Junkets" and the number 88 (for the number of keys on a piano). Can you get much geekier than that?![/quote]


Credo, that's great! I love it! :lol:
User avatar
dks
Dante
 
Posts: 1469
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:14 am
Location: Texas

Postby Despondence » Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:35 am

Credo Buffa wrote:Can you get much geekier than that?!

Worth a try: my two computers are named Hyperion (laptop) and Endymion (desktop). On several other web forums I am known as "junketswede"....which also happens to be my skype name (now, no prank calls, mind!)

:roll:
Despondence
 

Next

Return to Life and Letters

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest

cron