online:27 april 2009
modified: 26 april 2009

26 april 2009 of life itself

in a wood beside pond 2

...western sunlight illuminating the ground... the leaves... and a cloud of insects zigzagging inside a cubic metre of air by the water... two or three geese are honking intermittently as they swim about the pond behind the trees...

...and now the insects have dispersed and my thoughts return to books brought with me today: Walter Kaufmann's translation of, and commentary on, Goethe's Faust* and an edition of The Tempest** with comments by S T Coleridge*** (the Faust was chosen by chance and i selected The Tempest deliberately)...

what comes to mind (as i write this) is Coleridge's remark:
One admirable secret of [Shakespeare's] art is that separate speeches frequently do not appear to have been occasioned by those which preceded, and which are consequent upon each other, but to have arisen out of the peculiar character of the speaker.***
...apparent discontinuity as revelation of personality... and there are many such comments (in which Coleridge shares his perceptivess with everyone)... Walter Kaufmann's Faust the chance process also selected page 044 on which he noted Goethe's inconsistencies, for instance the insertion of undistinguished passages in colloquial language between lines of lyrical poetry or philosophical remarks... [and] 'his uncontainable sense of humour' (pages 45-46)... i read these and similar comments i feel enlightened by the presence of life itself in place of literary convention...

...ordinary life

*Goethe's Faust, the original German and a new translation and inroduction by Walter Kaufmann, part one and sections from part two, Anchor Books, Doubleday, New York 1963.

**William Shakespeare, The Tempest, edited by Robert Langboum, New Americn Library, New York, New English Library, London 1964, with commentary by S T Coleridge, pages 141-153.

***The quotation, from page 142 of the above, is from S T Coleridge, The Lectures of 1811-1812, Lecture IX

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