The 'Currently reading' thread...

Discussion of other topics not necessarily Keats or poetry-related, i.e. other authors, literature, film, music, the arts etc.

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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Malia » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:36 pm

Plumly's work is excellent, Saturn. It is definitely for serious Keats lovers like those of us who post to this forum. Being a poet, as you are, you will *absolutely* get a lot out of it, I believe, as it really is a meditation from one poet to another. :) Please let us know how you enjoyed it when you're done reading.
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Saturn » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:56 pm

Will do Malia, looking forward to getting my teeth into it :)
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Ennis » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:21 pm

Malia wrote:Plumly's work is excellent, Saturn. It is definitely for serious Keats lovers like those of us who post to this forum. Being a poet, as you are, you will *absolutely* get a lot out of it, I believe, as it really is a meditation from one poet to another. :) Please let us know how you enjoyed it when you're done reading.


Hello, Saturn!

I so enjoyed Plumly's biography; it was very refreshing to read a poet's "take" on Keats, and it reads more fluently than Motion's biography. Even though Motion is also a poet, his focus was to tell Keats's story within a historical framework (confine?). Plumly's work is much more poetical, and for that I appreciate it more than Motion's. Since you are a poet as well, I'll be very interested in your opinions, thoughts, and reflections. I'll have to reread it, however, so I can "converse" with you and our other Keatsian friends -- I last read it two years ago this past June when it was released here in the US.
Not long after Posthumous Keats was published, I came across an interview (on the Internet) with Plumly concerning the book. I wish I could remember the address of the site, but . . . . I did print it (to add to my collection of all things concerning The Man), so when I get home, I'll locate it and post the address, if you're interested. Although, it could most likely be located by typing "interview with Plumly Keats bio" (DUH . . . :roll: :oops: [that's on my stupid account! certainly not yours!!]).
There are two other biographies about Keats written by poets that you may be interested in, if you aren't alreadey aware of them:
Petitions for Immortality by Robert Cooperman and
Junkets on a Sad Planet by Tom Somebody-or-Another
The interesting thing about both of those biographies is that they are written in free verse! I prefer Cooperman's eloquent slim little volume.
Anyway, if I've rambled too much about what you probably already know, I'm sorry. It's just so exciting to me to know others who love and appreciate John Keats as much as I do.
Thanks to you all.
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Raphael » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:41 pm

I just finished reading The Journal of Dora Damagethe other night. It is about a woman in the 1860's who is the wife of a book binder- Peter Damage who becomes to ill to work and she has to take over the business against great obstacles- her husband's belief that a woman cannot run a business, poverty, and a daughter with epilepsy who needs special care. She finds herself a contract with the sly Mr Diprose who gives her women's journals to bind then gives her work from an aristrocrat, Sir Jocelyn Knightley whose books are of the erotic kind. At first the books are mainly erotic and slightly shocking to the innocent Dora, but as time goes on she gets given more books and photographs of the extremely disturbing kind. Some of the photos make her physically ill and she has to wrestle with her consience in continuing to take the commissions.Then the aristocrat's wife, Lady Knightley, sends a runaway African American man to work for Dora (his wages paid by Lady Knightley) and Dora's life begins to change in ways she could never have imagined...
I found this novel very absorbing- really recommend it! Not only does the novel explore tragedy but the writer herself passed away tragically young due to complications from an operation, leaving behind her husband and two children and never got to see her novel published.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby BrokenLyre » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:26 pm

So many good books to read. If only I had more time.

Ennis - I will look for the Plumly interview. Thanks for the heads up.

I am reading a book called "Symmetry" by Marcus Du Sautoy. Just interesting how symmetry is everywhere and also quite beautiful.
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Ennis » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:43 pm

Good afternoon, fellow Keatsians!!

Can anyone recommend a decent biography of Leigh Hunt? Of all of Keats's friends, I think I'd most like Hunt if we all could ever meet these guys. I know Keats separated himself from Hunt when he realized Hunt's negative influence on his poetry, but Hunt did not desert Keats at the end of our poet's life. I believe had he not been "burdened" with a wife and, what, FIVE kids, he would have accompanied Keats to Rome. Hunt's "eulogy" to Keats written to Severn (although Hunt was not aware Keats had already died) moves me to tears no matter how many times I read it.
Thanks!
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Saturn » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:46 pm

An excellent recent one is 'The wit in the dungeon' by Anthony Holden.
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Ennis » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:20 pm

Thanks, Saturn!! I'll try to locate a copy.
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby marwood » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:24 pm

I have just returned from the library with three books by Seamus Heaney.
The Haw Lantern, Death of a Naturalist and The Human Chain.
I found on the web a site where he reads some of his poems,
now when I read them I can hear that lovely soft Irish accent!
Great stuff.
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Saturn » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:22 pm

Excellent! You should try and find his recording of his translation of Beowulf, it is enchanting and epic; like listening to a tale by the fireside by some ancient Irish bard.
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Ennis » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:20 pm

I've just finished Andrew Motion's novella The Invention of Dr. Cake. It's a most interesting take on the whole "what-if" concept. I'm glad I bought it; it'll make a different addition to my Keats library. It's the only book that I'm aware of that takes on that "what-if-Keats-hadn't-have-died-when-he-did" concept. Figures Motion would have thought of it. . . .
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Raphael » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:49 pm

Is it meant to be John Keats then? I thought the character was just based on him. Is there a female protagonist like Fanny?
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Ennis » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:41 pm

Raphael wrote:Is it meant to be John Keats then? I thought the character was just based on him. Is there a female protagonist like Fanny?


My take is that it's meant to be him -- there are just too many "coincidences." I'm at school now and don't have access to the book to give you any specifics, except two. I thought it was most interesting that when Dr. Cake was buried, there was no name engraved on the brass plaque on the coffin . . . (take that detail where you will . . . ), and, right before Dr. Cake dies, his housekeeper is observed burning papers (letters? poems?) under his direcvtion. Also, when the other doctor (Tabor?) came out and asked him if he was indeed Keats, Dr. Cake did not deny it.
The only female in the story was Dr. Cake's aforementioned IRISH housemaid; I was so hoping there would be a nice, neat little twist at trhe end of the tale concerning her, but there wasn't.
It is, nonetheless, a most interesting read.
"But if you will fully love me, though there may be some fire, 'twill not be more than we can bear when moistened and bedewed with Pleasures." JK to FB 08.07.1819
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Raphael » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:57 pm

Thanks for the information Ennis..no Fanny B?! :cry: Is Dr Cake/Keats on his ownsome then?

I just finished Gittings Monday night- very good biography- with some ancedotes and info not read before.
Tonight I started to read some of The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte by Daphne Du Maurier, on the bus home- I just got that today at the second hand book shop and I may start to wade into Spenser's The Faerie Queene ( 1909 edition) I also got today. I thought it was about time I read it, since it was one of our man's favourites and it influenced his poetry. I presume it was The Faerie Queene he was marking out beautiful passages for Fanny B to read ?It looks heavy going and will take me ages to read- I wonder how long it took our man to read it?
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Saturn » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:13 am

Don't know how long it took Keats, but it certainly is a long, if rewarding read. It took me about two weeks, even reading for about 3 or 4 hours a day at that time. Happy reading Raphael!
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