249. (Charles Dickens)

The similarity between Molière and Dickens illuminates what is essential to the power of each: the insight into self-deception that co-exists alongside deception, the fear of hypocrisy that, to serve ends and ideals quite apart from those of society, can insinuate itself within it, draw off its life, and threaten disorder. There is no comedic author in English so like Dickens as is Molière. But … Continue reading 249. (Charles Dickens)

174. (Lord Byron)

Like many other great works of Romantic literature, Don Juan finds human caring to be a source of life and makes it an object of contemplation; like Blake’s lyrics and visions, like the poetry of Wordsworth’s decade, or Coleridge’s ballad, Byron’s mock-epic cares about caring. Looking for criticism on the topic, I came to Erik Gray’s study of nineteenth-century British poetry, The Poetry of Indifference, but found … Continue reading 174. (Lord Byron)

90. (Andrew Marvell)

Yesterday’s post on Andrew Marvell perhaps flew too high in abstraction; the thought that literature might be classified by tolerance of waste on the one hand and the abundance or scarcity of the world on the other could seem perversely arbitrary or narrow, even taking into consideration waste’s variety. But it can be defended. First from the guarded position that to claim these characteristics are … Continue reading 90. (Andrew Marvell)