Monday, August 29, 2016

The white goddess of tragedy

Jonathan Bate's new biography of Ted Hughes is excellent: judicious, sympathetic with deep understanding of both poetry and human imperfection. After finishing I reflected about those passionate lifes and lines and first thought that so typical of artists, jumping into dangerous depths heedless of safety - but maybe all lifes are, ultimately, mad and heedless, even if only in the absence and fear of those things. Fundementally, I suspect, there are no dignified, measured ways to exist: passion, fear and love will through in one way or the other.

One curious thing is the, dare one say, "goddess mongering" - like with Yeats or Graves, his great heroes, the particular "objective correlate" (inversed in a very Eliotian way: rather should he have talked about subjective correlate) is so very ridiculous. Wasting his time writing silly things about the Goddess in Shakespeare (or something), just as Yeats with his bizarre astrological histories. And of course not wasting: finding his burningly serious subject matter through strange, outwardly barely coherent meanderings.

All the while living that life of betrayal, hurt and great love, living a tragedy, for himself and his loved ones. With no party being a stereotype, not helpless victim nor sadistic abuser, tracing, imitating the courses of stars, the swift lines between them.

1 comment:

Herdy Nemsy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.