The Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motionn ( JK link)

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Re: The Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motionn ( JK link)

Postby Credo Buffa » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:03 pm

Raphael wrote:I think if he had recovered:

*marriage with Fanny and living with the Brawnes in Wentworth Place

Once upon a time we had a discussion on the forums here about the relationship Keats and Fanny would have had if he had lived. I remember that several of us, myself included, concluded that they really wouldn't have been terribly happy. Theirs was a relationship built so much on youth and passion that I kind of doubt either of them was thinking too much of practical considerations as to how well they would work as a unit. Plus, I've always had a feeling that Keats, at least as far as we were able to see him up to age 25, never struck me as the kind of character who could be happily "tied down." Perhaps that's something he might have grown out of over time, especially if his career were to pick up and give him the opportunity for a bit more security. But. . . yes, I suppose we'll never know for sure, will we? :(
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Re: The Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motionn ( JK link)

Postby Raphael » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:13 pm

Once upon a time we had a discussion on the forums here about the relationship Keats and Fanny would have had if he had lived. I remember that several of us, myself included, concluded that they really wouldn't have been terribly happy.


Yes- I have seen it- that was before I had joined. I was surprised that people had decided the two of them were doomed and incompatible. I think to the contrary- that they were compatible. The evidence for me? Her letters to his sister. She shows in them that she loved him as much as he loved her and that she understood him.

Theirs was a relationship built so much on youth and passion that I kind of doubt either of them was thinking too much of practical considerations as to how well they would work as a unit.


How can you say that Credo?! The devotion they showed to each other went beyond the impulses of sex ( which they didn't give sway to, so that in itself shows their feelings were based on more than just sexual passion).Yes, they found each other beautiful to look at , but it was their whole selves they loved in each other, despite the faults they also saw in each other. He rejoiced that she was the only woman he had met who loved him "for my own sake."

Fanny certainly proved herself by her devotion to him when he was dying - according to the descriptions of him by people from this period he was losing his handsome looks ( Severn described him as looking "ghastly" for example). We know she found him good looking when she met him by his mentioning it in his letters and saying to her that he was not to be admired- but she loved him for more than that- once his looks started to lose their lustre she could have left him- she did not.

That is hardly the stuff of youthful infatuation. I think their love was more real , more deep than most people ever experience.

His letters show that he was thinking of "practical considerations"- by his efforts to improve his finances so that he could marry her. He mentions this subject many times in his letters.


Plus, I've always had a feeling that Keats, at least as far as we were able to see him up to age 25, never struck me as the kind of character who could be happily "tied down." Perhaps that's something he might have grown out of over time, especially if his career were to pick up and give him the opportunity for a bit more security.


Most men at 25 have a fear of being "tied down" and many grow out of it as they get older. He wasn't unusual there. Yet he wrote to Fanny that for her- he would give up his "freedom". Fanny wasn't the sort to have given him grief for going away on writing retreats after they had got married- she would have been no barrier to his writing career- after all - all the other poets of his time were married- didn't stop them writing did it?


But. . . yes, I suppose we'll never know for sure, will we? :(


They promised to love each other forever...so who knows where they are now, wherever it is, I think they are together. :D
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 Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motionn ( JK link)

Postby Credo Buffa » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:54 pm

Raphael wrote:How can you say that Credo?! The devotion they showed to each other went beyond the impulses of sex ( which they didn't give sway to, so that in itself shows their feelings were based on more than just sexual passion).Yes, they found each other beautiful to look at , but it was their whole selves they loved in each other, despite the faults they also saw in each other. He rejoiced that she was the only woman he had met who loved him "for my own sake."

Fanny certainly proved herself by her devotion to him when he was dying - according to the descriptions of him by people from this period he was losing his handsome looks ( Severn described him as looking "ghastly" for example). We know she found him good looking when she met him by his mentioning it in his letters and saying to her that he was not to be admired- but she loved him for more than that- once his looks started to lose their lustre she could have left him- she did not.

I don't say so because I doubt their devotion, or that Fanny was in any way unworthy or uncaring of Keats. Quite the contrary, I certainly don't consider myself in the camp that thinks of Fanny as "beneath" Keats in any way. I simply wonder if external factors played too much of a role in their being drawn together to provide a strong enough foundation for a happy, lasting relationship. I remember from previous discussion that we talked about how Keats met Fanny at an extremely tumultuous time in his life, when the last threads of his family life were dwindling, and that his latching onto her might have been, at least in part, a way of "replacing" the loss of his brothers. I've watched many a long and evidently devoted relationship end in tears because at least one of the parties involved was seeing that relationship as filling some kind of emotional hole--fear and emptiness disguised as love, I guess you could say.

Of course, this is all conjecture about motivations, which always get muddied when you tread such sensitive territory, but I also think it's easy to look at the kind of youthful, passionate, tragic love that we see between Keats and Fanny and wonder what might have been through rose-colored glasses. Call it playing the devil's advocate, in this case.
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Re: The Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motionn ( JK link)

Postby Raphael » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:48 pm

I don't say so because I doubt their devotion, or that Fanny was in any way unworthy or uncaring of Keats. Quite the contrary, I certainly don't consider myself in the camp that thinks of Fanny as "beneath" Keats in any way.


Good to hear Credo! :D When I first joined here I only knew about Fanny Brawne by what biographers had written and from reading John's view of her from his love letters ( from which we can get glimpses of her personality coming through)- as I've said in a few threads biographers present aview of someone which is often based on their own agendas. I certainly liked her straight away, but after reading her letters to Miss Keats I really really admired her. I will be completely honest with you Credo- but I very much doubt I would have had her courage ( the way she handled John leaving for Italy and his passing).


I simply wonder if external factors played too much of a role in their being drawn together to provide a strong enough foundation for a happy, lasting relationship. I remember from previous discussion that we talked about how Keats met Fanny at an extremely tumultuous time in his life, when the last threads of his family life were dwindling, and that his latching onto her might have been, at least in part, a way of "replacing" the loss of his brothers.



I doubt this too- he would have known other families and young women- it was her he wanted. And this is not bad reason- sometimes someone arrives in our life the exact time we need them, bringing healing, love and comfort. And this can be a great foundation for a real, deep lasting love.


I've watched many a long and evidently devoted relationship end in tears because at least one of the parties involved was seeing that relationship as filling some kind of emotional hole--fear and emptiness disguised as love, I guess you could say.



I know what you mean- but John was aware of the problems of emotional dependence and had, despite his painful sufferings, managed to remain independent of a woman's love yet Fanny captured him completely- he was helpless against her charms! :D
It wasn't driven by fear and emptiness- he had many close friends who helped him out despite being alone in the family sense (with just his sister left). He knew people loved and admired him. He had a warmer, more genuine circle of friends than most of us exprience today. That counts for a lot- and he wrote this many times in his letters.

Of course, this is all conjecture about motivations, which always get muddied when you tread such sensitive territory, but I also think it's easy to look at the kind of youthful, passionate, tragic love that we see between Keats and Fanny and wonder what might have been through rose-colored glasses. Call it playing the devil's advocate, in this case.


Love is for youth really- older people don't fall in love the same way, don't have mush passion left- so I don't go with the argument that being young made their love less real- for me it makes it more so.
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 Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motionn ( JK link)

Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:53 pm

Raphael wrote:I certainly liked her straight away, but after reading her letters to Miss Keats I really really admired her.

Is there a good published edition of the Fanny K/Fanny B letters floating around out there? I feel like I've heard of such a thing before but have yet to find one myself.

Raphael wrote:I doubt this too- he would have known other families and young women- it was her he wanted.

There is a lot to be said for proximity, though. ;) Fanny WAS literally the girl next door!

Raphael wrote:Love is for youth really- older people don't fall in love the same way, don't have mush passion left- so I don't go with the argument that being young made their love less real- for me it makes it more so.

Of course I'm still rather young, but I've always considered myself to have a pretty mature, practical opinion of love and relationships. I agree that what people look for in others changes as they age, but in my opinion it seems to be for the better. When you're young, you're still not entirely certain of what you want. You're still evolving as a person. You have romanticized notions of fairy tale happiness, that you'll be swept off your feet by the love of your life and live happily ever after. Then you learn that relationships are work. They require debate, compromise, diplomacy, planning. . . Successful, long-term relationships are just as much business partnerships and the coming together of practical ideas and lifestyles as they are about the physical and emotional. It's the former that I wonder about as far as Keats/Fanny is concerned.
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Re: The Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motionn ( JK link)

Postby Maureen » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:41 pm

Credo Buffa wrote: Then you learn that relationships are work. They require debate, compromise, diplomacy, planning. . . Successful, long-term relationships are just as much business partnerships and the coming together of practical ideas and lifestyles as they are about the physical and emotional. It's the former that I wonder about as far as Keats/Fanny is concerned.

This is so true: one of my best friends had an apparently solid, loving relationship from the age of 17 until 23, when suddenly they split. It took me by surprise, but when we had a girly heart to heart she told me they had become different people who wanted different things in life, and in hindsight she realised that for her her boyfriend filled a gap left by the loss of her father, who died a couple of years before they met. I have seen other relationships fall apart which start out just as devoted and passionate as John and Fanny.

Of course we can never know how things would have turned out, but given their youth, the fact that she was literally on hand next door, and John's own tumultuous feelings, as well as hers, a happy future is by no means certain. Add in his financial difficulties, which would have put pressure on them not only on a practical level but with family and friends against marriage unless John was financially stable enough to support a wife. And the key thing for me is that they never spent any sustained length of time together before he became really ill - it is sustained time in each other's company that will often lead to a realisation that the relationship is built merely on physical attraction - or the reverse.
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Re: The Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motionn ( JK link)

Postby Malia » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:46 pm

Good points, Maureen--especially your statement about your girlfriend realizing that her boyfriend might have been filling a space left by the death of her father.
It is also interesting to consider how Fanny Brawne might have reminded Keats of his own mother. She was flirtatious and lively and enjoyed fun, as his mother did; she also shared his mother's name. I think some of his angst surrounding her was partly a projection of his own anguish and anger with his mother. (I know, totally "Freudian" but I think it makes sense in this case.)
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Re: The Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motionn ( JK link)

Postby Raphael » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:08 pm

Is there a good published edition of the Fanny K/Fanny B letters floating around out there? I feel like I've heard of such a thing before but have yet to find one myself.


Yes- I got it from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Letters-Fanny-B ... 643&sr=1-9


I doubt this too- he would have known other families and young women- it was her he wanted.

There is a lot to be said for proximity, though. ;) Fanny WAS literally the girl next door![/quote]

He had lived at a few addresses with "convienient" young women around- this was not the reason he fell for her- he fell for her because she was unlike any other woman he had ever met. She was more than just beautiful- she was witty, funny, unusual and she interested him.



Then you learn that relationships are work. They require debate, compromise, diplomacy, planning. . . Successful, long-term relationships are just as much business partnerships and the coming together of practical ideas and lifestyles as they are about the physical and emotional. It's the former that I wonder about as far as Keats/Fanny is concerned.



That is not giving them credit of any intelligence or maturity. If you read her letters you can see that she was extremely mature and level headed- one can fall passionatley in love yet still retain such attributes.... :D
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 Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motionn ( JK link)

Postby Raphael » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:10 pm

Malia wrote:Good points, Maureen--especially your statement about your girlfriend realizing that her boyfriend might have been filling a space left by the death of her father.
It is also interesting to consider how Fanny Brawne might have reminded Keats of his own mother. She was flirtatious and lively and enjoyed fun, as his mother did; she also shared his mother's name. I think some of his angst surrounding her was partly a projection of his own anguish and anger with his mother. (I know, totally "Freudian" but I think it makes sense in this case.)


Freud was a twit! :roll:
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 Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motionn ( JK link)

Postby Credo Buffa » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:09 pm

Raphael wrote:Yes- I got it from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Letters-Fanny-B ... 643&sr=1-9

Yikes, that's a pricey one! At least it's out there.

Raphael wrote:He had lived at a few addresses with "convienient" young women around- this was not the reason he fell for her- he fell for her because she was unlike any other woman he had ever met. She was more than just beautiful- she was witty, funny, unusual and she interested him.

To be fair, relationships take two people, so Fanny had to have been interested in him as well. Who knows who else Keats might have had in his sights before her? We know a lot about who was in his circle, yes, but that doesn't mean we know everything. . . or everyone!

Raphael wrote:That is not giving them credit of any intelligence or maturity. If you read her letters you can see that she was extremely mature and level headed- one can fall passionatley in love yet still retain such attributes.... :D

By the same token, this might be giving maturity alone too much credit in the act of sustaining a relationship. Intelligence/maturity and long-term compatibility are not mutually inclusive.

Just yesterday, I found out that my brother (25) and his girlfriend of over three years (22, so somewhat comparable in age to Keats/Fanny) are pretty much over. They were a great couple and very happy together, had been talking about marriage for awhile once they were both out of school (she's out getting her PhD right now--incredibly smart girl), and my brother had been saving up for months for an engagement ring. Things got rocky for awhile, they tried to resolve it, but. . . done. For all the love, maturity, and history shared between them, something just wasn't working. Just like everything else in the world--but death and taxes, of course--nothing is for certain. :|
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Re: The Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motionn ( JK link)

Postby Raphael » Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:38 pm

[
quote="Credo Buffa"]
Raphael wrote:Yes- I got it from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Letters-Fanny-B ... 643&sr=1-9

Yikes, that's a pricey one! At least it's out there.



I didn't find it pricey and I'm jobless- you must have some mega cheap book shops in the USA! It is worth getting tho- as Fanny's amazing character shines through her words. She was special allright.



To be fair, relationships take two people, so Fanny had to have been interested in him as well.

Well of course she was- she was in love with him!


Who knows who else Keats might have had in his sights before her? We know a lot about who was in his circle, yes, but that doesn't mean we know everything. . . or everyone!


He seems to have been attracted to Isabella Jones and Jane Cox- but he had never been in love (that are his own words- from one of his letters). He made the distinction between attraction and love. Fanny Brawne was the only woman he fell in love with- by his own admission.


[
quote="Raphael"]That is not giving them credit of any intelligence or maturity. If you read her letters you can see that she was extremely mature and level headed- one can fall passionatley in love yet still retain such attributes.... :D

By the same token, this might be giving maturity alone too much credit in the act of sustaining a relationship. Intelligence/maturity and long-term compatibility are not mutually inclusive.[/quote]

I was saying that all of those attributes help sustain a relationship.


Just yesterday, I found out that my brother (25) and his girlfriend of over three years (22, so somewhat comparable in age to Keats/Fanny) are pretty much over.


Sorry to hear that Credo.


They were a great couple and very happy together, had been talking about marriage for awhile once they were both out of school (she's out getting her PhD right now--incredibly smart girl), and my brother had been saving up for months for an engagement ring. Things got rocky for awhile, they tried to resolve it, but. . . done. For all the love, maturity, and history shared between them, something just wasn't working. Just like everything else in the world--but death and taxes, of course--nothing is for certain. :|



That's sad- but one has to take into consideration relationships don't last today the way they used to- modern fast paced life makes it harder to sustain them. People change more than they did in the 1800s and people today expect more too. A modern relationship is not that comparable to the one of John and 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.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: The Invention of Dr Cake - Andrew Motion ( JK link)

Postby Raphael » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:01 pm

I have posted your Bright Star last post to here as it fits in more with the subject:

Raphael wrote:And in addition to the masturbation topic how disrespectful to his memory- do you seriously believe John would like to see such things written about him? Would you like to be written about in such a way?

Of course no one would want to have negative things written about them. At the same time, though, we don't want to fall back into the Victorian image of Keats as the poor angelic waif killed by bad reviews.


I think I’m not making myself clear Credo- I hope this will become a little clearer to you:
I am not talking about writing about John as “ the poor angelic waif killed by bad reviews.” That in itself was demeaning to him. I am talking about biographers making up stories about him to make their book sell.

Just because things jump out at us that don't jive with our own perfect image of who someone was doesn't mean we should ignore the possibilities
.

I am not talking about "creating a perfect image of him"- I am not making John out to be some kind of etheral angel. I am a middle aged woman with enough "faults" of her own to be able to admire another human being who also had his. I am able to admire or love someone who is not perfect! :wink: .

I have read all the letters in the Grant Scott edition and am well aware of the kind of man he was- lovely but with endearing faults! I'm not one of those airy fairy New Agey types who think we are in this "Age of Aquarius" moving towards ""Ascension and mass enlightenment and peace- it will never be. I'm with John when he said he didn't believe in "perfectability".I am not some young lass in her teens or 20s who hasn't experienced much of life to still be idealistic.I am a cynical old fart actually. :lol: ( in fact I was a born cynic). So now you know my philospohy you will see I do not seek to make John into a perfect being.

What my beef is this- making up things that are not true which Motion does. That is disrespectful, rude and quite frankly offensive. Motion makes out that John visited whores, got VD and was (understandably) upset about getting the VD – yet illogically -despite meeting Fanny who he adored and wanted to be with more than any woman he had ever met- he again goes with whores! :shock: :roll:

The reasoning is flawed to start with- if he was as tormented as Motion portrays him -because of getting a VD and feeling guilty he would hardly risk it again- especially as he had met the love of his life. The whole thing is nuts- Motion wants to add spicy tit bits to sell his book- he should stick to novels as he loves fiction.

Other lies Motion tells-
Motion also states James rice had TB which he did not- nobody knows what was wrong with James Rice. But it couldn’t be TB as he died in his 40s- TB kills one within a year of getting it. Motion has little medical knowledge and it shows.

He also states that the Paolo and Francesca dream had by John was a laudanum dream- again with no proof. I have seen biographers mention that Brown found out that John had taken a few drops of Laudanum from time to time, but I don’t know where they got the info from. I’m not decrying him if he did take it by the way- it was a great painkiller and it would have helped his throat.


depression isn't something that happens for no reason.


Untrue- sometimes people don’t know why they are depressed- my brother is a mental health nurse( with over 10 years experience).He sees people like this every day.


Keats had PLENTY of experiences that could very well trigger a serious depression: losing his parents at a young age, watching family members die, being distanced from his brother and sister, expecting the illness pending on his own horizon, feeling that his life's work would come to nothing. I see plenty of instances in his writings--not to mention the fact that he was suicidal in the end--that speak to my own experiences with depression. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he was stricken with it on a clinical level at some time in his life, especially in the end.


Yes- all caused by the things that happened- not for no reason! I am a bit depressed myself at the moment- due to having wicked eczema and no job. So I sympsthise with him for feeling low.

And as for poor John being suicidal in the end- I don’t blame him- anyone would have been given what he was suffering. That is normal.
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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