August 27, 2008: Williams on Poetry - 0 Comments

"Poetry is a good game - let us take it lightly. But is also 'liberty and power' - let us take it seriously."

- Williams, The English Poetic Mind, 1932.

August 26: 2008: Tillyard on living vicariously - 0 Comments

"The exaltation of poets into demigods is all part of the modern tendency to live vicariously, to watch semi-divine sportsmen giving exhibitions instead of playing yourself, to listen to professionals making music on the air instead of yourself acquiring a personal skill, to buy ready-cooked food in tins instead of using the domestic oven."

- E.M.W. Tillyard, The Personal Heresy (part VI), 1939.

August 25, 2008: Lewis on Writerly Courage - 0 Comments

"I know that we hear much of this kind of courage in publisher's advertisements; there every scribbler is 'daring' when he defies gods whom he does not believe in, or conventions that have no authority in the only circles he frequents. But had not 'courage' of this sort better be left to blurb-writers? For, to tell the truth, literary composition is not an employment that makes very heavy demands on this arduous virtue. What meditation on human fate demands so much 'courage' as the act of stepping into a cold bath? I should be glad to hear of it, for I know no path to heroism which sounds so suited to my own capacities."

- Lewis, The Personal Heresy (part V), 1939.

August 19, 2008: Reynolds on the Unreliability of Artists - 0 Comments

Regarding the manner in which artists depict historical characters in the modus vivendi of their own age:

"I have often wondered when and how this historical sense began, and how far it has carried us. The Victorians certainly thought they had it, and were doubtless attentive to sartorial detail in a stage play; yet their mediaeval romances are merely fairy-stories about themselves, rigged up in fancy dress and waving property Excaliburs. Will our own work look any more convincing to the irreverent gallery of Posterity?"

August 17, 2008: Lewis on literary experience and individuality - 0 Comments

"Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the priviledge, of individuality. There are mass emotions which heal the wound; but they destroy the privilege. In them our separate selves are pooled and we sink back into sub-individuality. But in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Likethe night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.
- Lewis, Experiment in Criticism, 1961.