January 2009 Archives

Hamilton: Words I Did not Know

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While reading Eagleton I came upon a few words that I had not crossed previously.  Thankfully for Hamilton I now have an understand of what Metonymy, Synecdoche, Litotes and Chiasmus mean.

"...Keats inplies that process, involving decay and death, is necessary to beauty;  the only beauty of genuine and lasting satisfaction is a truth that includes the fact of mutability"  (Austin 48).  To truly appreciate beauty, one must be able to recognize that which would be considered ugly.  To appreciate life, one must completely understand that they will die, and that it could happen at any moment.  Is it any wonder that those who have been involved in serious accidents that nearly cost them their lives, typically change their attitudes and try harder to seek out that in life which makes life worth living.  Those scenes on the Grecian Urn are beautiful because they never change, the young couple are forever in their "honeymoon phase".  But what allows this work to remain beautiful is that we and Keats understand that by hindsight, that we will never again experience those emotions and dreams in the same way we did the first time they enveloped us.  They are beautiful because we remember them as being so. 

Elliot: Find Yourself in Your Reading

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"...The dead are remote from us because we know so much more than they did.'  Precisely, and they are that which we know"  (Elliot3).  It is impossible to express oneself without expressing our memories.  Whether it be memories of parents, friends, or even a feeling gathered from a reading.  What we are is a combination of all that is around us now, and what has been around us in our past.  If there is an idea yet unfounded, it is only through the study of our history that we can see there is something yet unseen.  It is because of those that preceeded us that we can understand what may be in our future.

Keats Forever Spring

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"Ah, happy, happy boughs!  that cannot shed Your leaves, nor ever bid the spring adieu;"  I really liked this section of the poem because it gives the feeling that comes every year when the snows begin to melt and the sweaters and jackets disappear.  I love those first days when the sun is shining, maybe a little snow remains on the ground, but the air is warm and the feeling of overbearing winter is lifting.  On this Grecian Urn those feelings remain forever on it's surface.  Life to those on the urn will always have the best of life, spring, in the essence of age always young, in the essence of scenery always colorful.  Green leaves, flowers budding, bees buzzing, life has come back in all its glory and forever it will stay.

"...different historical periods have constructed a 'different' Homer and Shakespeare for their own purposes..." (Eagleton 11).  This is very true, it is impossible to tear a historical writing from the time it was written, doing this would undermine much of the reason it was written.  This does not only hold true for a society at large, but even down to an individual level.  The George Orwell I read when I was nine is certainly a 'different' George Orwell than I read last year.  The text did not change, but I did.  Therefore it would seem that without a personal connection to the work, literature itself would crumble. 

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