BenTha'er-Horizons

Literature

Ghosts Inspire Books

Do ghosts inspire books? According to Esther Freud, an author, the cottage she bought in a Suffolk England village did. The famous Scottish artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh has lived in the home at one time. His presence seemed to infuse the home with other spirits, such as a boy of 10 or 12. Macintosh’s work is everywhere in Scotland or at least its influence and replication of look. His style is esthetically pleasing too many, including me. I’d love to have many items that have that look but cannot afford them. Nice to read a bit about him.
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War Poets 100 Years Ago

There was a lot of poetry and literature that came from the angst and terrible times of World War I. Amazing thought and words on paper. With the War’s Centennial, there is an effort to highlight and showcase the poetry from that time. One example is Wilfred Owen, a soldier and poet, who died just before war’s end. More information is located online. Here is a demonstration of some of that work.

Three lives hath one life—

Iron, honey, gold.

The gold, the honey gone—

Left is the hard and cold.

—Isaac Rosenberg, from ‘August 1914’
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Literature About Nothingness

One of television’s great comedic shows is Seinfeld. The concept behind it was writing about the “nothing” in our lives. Even a number of shows focused on Jerry and George developing a TV show for a network about “nothing”. As I read this particular article about Paul de Man and his rise (and fall) in the field of literary theory, at the end I felt his work was about the nothingness of his work and theory. I have to admit that I do not have an in depth background in the liberal arts. This story was fascinating because of all the background of Paul de Man himself and how he fooled so many people about who he was and his work. In some ways, another fine example of how we elevate the cool without knowing the substance.

“Twenty-five years ago, literary theory went through a crisis, and it has never really recovered its reputation. The crisis would have happened even if Paul de Man had never existed, or had never left Belgium, from which he emigrated to the United States, in 1948. But de Man became its symbol. His story, the story of a concealed past, was almost too perfect a synecdoche for everything that made people feel puzzled, threatened, or angry about literary theory.”
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