381. (Aristotle)

As often in Aristotle, what seems empirical is in fact metaphysical realism. The Poetics used to leave me baffled—like others—by…

380. (Toni Morrison)

In an earlier post on Song of Solomon I tried to make sense of the presence of melodrama in the…

379. (Leo Tolstoy)

Hadji Murat should be a tragedy—it is not. That is the crucial fact about it. Tolstoy refused to write tragedy, here…

378. (William Empson)

Note: looking back at this post, it seems to show how “patterns” by being everything are also nothing—the paraphrases of…

377. (Hilda Doolitle)

          The relations of poetry to pattern are diverse. A poem is patterned by conventions of rhyme, exists in a…

376. (Gilbert Murray)

What did Tennyson add to English poetry? Or Wordsworth? Or Swinburne? It’s not a trivial question in the way a…

375. (Henry James)

The Turn of the Screw is the turn of the key into the heart of Henry James’ fiction; it is…

374. (William Shakespeare)

Though Titus Andronicus is probably felt to be Shakespeare’s worst play by many, The Merry Wives of Windsor is held in a special place…

373. (T.S. Eliot)

Modernism is a disputed word. Critics nowadays remind us that there are many modernisms, and rightly, since there are many…

372. (William Shakespeare)

It is pleasant to suppose that Shakespeare ended his career in a series of collaborations with Fletcher: Henry VIII, which Shakespeare…