need the web at home- must get one of those mobile dongles !
Again, with Motion, I think his biography is quite respectful and his focus on the theme of Keats being the outsider--on the "margins" of things, especially regarding his political views, his poetical philosophies and writings, and even at times his physical experience (dying a virtual exile in Rome) is intriguing.
If you see this thread Malia you can see what I mean- I haven't time in the library to re type it all:viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4654&start=225
And Motion has written quite a few untruths.
Also, I personally don't think he disrespects Keats, but tries to explain the thoughts and attitudes of Keats's day in regards to TB (and how it, too, could marginalize those who suffered from it).
To be fair, I have read up a lot on TB and I haven't come across any historical references which state that it was believed in the Regency period that TB was caused by masturbation. It was believed it seems, that unexpressed passion could make it worse, but that really is not far off the mark- we know today that stress has an affect on the body's ability to heal and can cause stress related diseases such as stomach compliants, headaches, pain etc.If TB was considered such a social disgrace then why would the Keats family have made it known what Tom was suffering from? And the same with our dear poet- he wouldn't have been invited to stay in people's homes, especially when he was very ill in the last few months of his time in England before he went to Rome. he wrote to his sister that he hadn't quite got into a Consumption, but he would certainly if he didn't go to Italy, yet Motion states that John never used the word Consumption in relation to his illness due to the social disgrace- that is an example of one of the lies in his book.
And frankly, whether Keats did or did not masturbate doesn't matter to me. It doesn't change my opinion of him in the least.
I'm certainly not shocked by the idea of masturbation! It is a normal, healthy activity for a young man to engage in, so I most certainly share your above sentiments. He was a sensual young man, passionate and sensitive as shown in his letters and poems. He loved the ancient Greek spirituality which celebrated sexuality, sensuality and knew that these aspects of life were also spiritual- unlike the hypocrisies of the Church at the time. I think he might have been confused by what his soul was telling him ( the truth of the beauty and sensuality in Nature and sexuality), what Burton's book was saying and what restraints society/the Church was imposing upon him.So yes, in this way he was a little at the edge of the society. He wasn't free to enjoy his sexuality as freely as he should have done.
But I think Motion and Coote have overdone it in his view of John being constantly gripped by sexual fustration- that is a tad disrespectful to his memory. Coote describes "humiliating masturbations"- I suspect this is where Motion got his idea to write lots about this topic from. Coote had already done this before him. By using the word humiliating
it humiliates Junkets.
Interestingly, neither Coote nor Motion mention Fanny B's sexual fustration- surely she had feelings too?
I expect that Keats would be more shocked by someone reporting his love affair with Fanny Brawne to the world (or making a movie out of it, no less!) than he would at the suggestion that he visited the "life school" once in a while--like several of his friends, and indeed many of the men in his class of society did at one time or another.
was made with great respect and admiration for him and Miss B- so I feel he would be happy with how that turned out. I think he would not be shocked by this- he seemed to know that after he had gone their love would become public knowledge. I don't think he would be be upset at his love affair being known about as long as respect was given- which the film does show a great deal of.
The way Motion attempts to keep proving that he visited the "life school" and even going so far as to use a joke about stockings Brown made as proof (
) that John cheated on Fanny with a whore, that he was seeing Isabella Jones as well as Fanny- really...
he put great effort into trying to prove that John must have had VD and that he was sexually fustrated most of the time. Very very disrescpectful
- put it this way Malia- how would you like someone writing such things aboout your brother?