February 10, 2007

Heading for eternity

I can't help, but kick myself for writing my two page paper on "Ode on a Grecian Urn" last week before I read this article. I think that it would have helped me to understand it a bit more before I dove in and made a fool of myself. I found the arguments that Austin made very to the point. I liked the way he set up his article and found that there was a healthy mix of text and author background to make the article easy to understand (at least to me). He backs up his opinions with quotations from "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and other texts that Keats wrote in his time. The claim that the poem was an explaination of eternity was well defended by first describing all of the different view points and then by coming back and showing how each of them is a less vaild argument and why the idea that eternity is more valid than the other claims. Austin also uses Hirsch's essay well in defending his position that the poem has a general theme of eternity.

The quote that I think Austin uses best to demonstrate his defense comes after a long explaination of how the eternity interpretation can be proved through letters written by Keats and other works written by Keats. Austin states that, "This interpreataion fully meets the criterion of coherence...Although we cannot establish that Keats believed consistently in eternity, we can establish that he tentatively proposes the idea and that he undoubtedly hoped for the kind of eternity he imagines" (51). This quote ties together nicely what I was talking about in my blog on the Watson article. I think that it is important to have a healthy mix of author background and text to help one understand what is occuring in the poem. Austin's application of this approach helps me to realize more fully what I have been doing wrong and hopefully I will be able to improve upon it.

As I read this essay I couldn't help but note the personal events that occured to Keats (such as the loss of his brother, Keats's impending death, and letters discussing eternity) and how well Austin was able to integrate those into his desfensive articles to his claim. Everything fit together nicely. The best part about the essay I think was the end because everything was tied up and concluded in such a manner that I felt inclined to believe more strongly in the idea that eternity was what Keats was trying to get across in his poem. Good job Austin!

Austin, ''Toward Resolving Keats's Grecian Urn Ode -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at February 10, 2007 2:29 PM | TrackBack

As I said in my entry on this essay, this was well argued and wrapped up the points necessary to convince me that the argument Austin was favoring was the one I should consider favoring.

Rhetoric aside, the concept of Keats' eternity spiked my interest in the poem. I might have to write -my- paper on this one for this week, haha. I'm sure you could write another one that's entirely different and no one would care, Tiff. :)

Posted by: Karissa at February 11, 2007 7:54 PM

I think this was a great model for what we should have written our papers about. Austin drove his points home with great quotes and Karissa knows how I am about quotes ;)

Posted by: Erin at February 12, 2007 12:50 PM

I must agree that maybe we should have read Austin with Hirsch to have a full grasp of what was expected.

Posted by: Mitchell Steele at February 15, 2007 4:00 PM
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