Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto:  Message ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Goto Page: Previous123All
Current Page: 3 of 3
Re: The Beautiful
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 24 January, 2021 10:57PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think I like “ A Fragment of Life” more than
> you did, Platypus, but I’d admit it’s not
> something I’ve read more than three times or so,
> and not very recently.

I did not dislike the story. But it does require a bit of patience. It does have its memorable parts, and I recognized them instantly when I reached them, though I could not for the life of me remember having previously read what went before. Nor can I feel bad about finding the dull parts dull, since even Machen seems to agree with me.

In the end, it reminded me a bit of "A Crazy Tale" by G.K. Chesterton (which I can recommend without hesitation because it is VERY short).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 24 Jan 21 | 11:26PM by Platypus.

Re: The Beautiful
Posted by: Kipling (IP Logged)
Date: 30 March, 2021 10:41PM
Platypus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dale Nelson Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I think I like “ A Fragment of Life” more
> than
> > you did, Platypus, but I’d admit it’s not
> > something I’ve read more than three times or
> so,
> > and not very recently.
>
> I did not dislike the story. But it does require
> a bit of patience. It does have its memorable
> parts, and I recognized them instantly when I
> reached them, though I could not for the life of
> me remember having previously read what went
> before. Nor can I feel bad about finding the dull
> parts dull, since even Machen seems to agree with
> me.
>
> In the end, it reminded me a bit of "A Crazy Tale"
> by G.K. Chesterton (which I can recommend without
> hesitation because it is VERY short).

Have you read the first half of Machen's autobiography, "Far-Off Things"? Machen's account of his early years is evocative of beauty through certain incidental details like his description of a room or a favorite book chanced upon in youth. I haven't gotten to part two, "Things Near and Far," which may be less pertinent to the subject.

jkh

Re: The Beautiful
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 31 March, 2021 11:38AM
Kipling --

Oh, indeed I have read Far-Off Things and Things Near and Far and The London Adventure. These are among my favorite books, read repeatedly, and Far-Off Things in particular is dear to me. I suppose I would give up anything else by Machen before I would give up these -- yes, good-bye "White People" and "Black Seal" and "Inmost Light" and "Great God Pan" etc. (It would be hard to give up "The Great Return" and "N" -- If it were a choice between those two stories and Far-Off Things, I'd keep the stories... but this line of thought is getting silly. All I mean is that I love Machen's autobiographies, and most of all Far-Off Things. In the sifting process of time, Far-Off Things especially has emerged as simply one of my favorite books -- although what I have is just a printout from an online source.)

Re: The Beautiful
Posted by: Kipling (IP Logged)
Date: 31 March, 2021 05:40PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Kipling --
>
> Oh, indeed I have read Far-Off Things and Things
> Near and Far and The London Adventure. These are
> among my favorite books, read repeatedly, and
> Far-Off Things in particular is dear to me. I
> suppose I would give up anything else by Machen
> before I would give up these -- yes, good-bye
> "White People" and "Black Seal" and "Inmost Light"
> and "Great God Pan" etc. (It would be hard to
> give up "The Great Return" and "N" -- If it were a
> choice between those two stories and Far-Off
> Things, I'd keep the stories. Dale-- I read "N" recently and would rate it one of his finest stories. S.T. Joshi snubbed it, which also counts in its favor. What's your opinion of "The Green Round"? I know an ardent admirer of Machen who didn't like it, and surely it isn't quite as good as most of his later short stories, but I may give it another try if you think well of it. With regard to other great fantaisistes and their sensitivity to the beautiful, the one that comes immediately to mind is Blackwood, but even more than Algernon, Lafcadio Hearn of all "weird" writers is the most persistently focused on expressing the beautiful in his various works. This includes not only those reprinted in his Selected Writings (1949), but also a series of lectures he gave in Japan on English Literature. I have begun reading his Appreciations of Poetry, the second volume presenting these lectures as transcribed from remarkably complete notes taken by his Japanese students. It covers the 19th Century poets exhaustively, except for Tennyson (only a short extract). But his own fiction, "Chita" being a novel-length example, is probably more intensely expressive of beauty than that of any fantasy author. Any thoughts on Hearn?

jkh

Re: The Beautiful
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 31 March, 2021 09:43PM
Yes, Kipling, Mr. Joshi is a remarkable scholar of the details of HPL's life, but he is not an impressive critic.

I like The Green Round very much and have read it five times. You might know that it has a connection with "N." If anyone is curious -- I wrote a long short story in which Mr. Hampole is a supporting character. It's unpublished, but I would be happy to share it with anyone here who is interested. (Email me
at gmail -- I'm "extollager" at that location.) However, several short essays on Machen have been published on the Wormwoodiana blog. You could start here with one on "N":

[wormwoodiana.blogspot.com]


About Hearn -- I used to have my students read some of the pieces from Kwaidan when I created & taught a "Literature of the Non-Western World" course. But there's much by this author that I haven't read. On hand is his Writings from Japan in the fondly-remembered Penguin Travel Library.

I brought Hearn and Machen together in this piece:

[wormwoodiana.blogspot.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 31 Mar 21 | 10:12PM by Dale Nelson.

Re: The Beautiful
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 2 April, 2021 07:51PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Perhaps there will be interest in a conversation
> about the beautiful and wholesome in fantastic
> literature.
>
> I begin by making a distinction between the
> beautiful and that which is a matter of taste.
>
> The former is something that should be recognized,
> so that, in the person who does not recognize it,
> defect of attention or of sensitivity may be
> assumed. Thus, the wind-tossed daffodils growing
> by the lake, in Wordsworth’s poem “I Wandered
> Lonely as a Cloud,” are beautiful; the failure
> to perceive their beauty would demonstrate defect
> in the observer.
>
> Conversely, taste or appreciative sensitivity
> allows for variations of preference as regards
> good things. Sally likes the music of Ralph
> Vaughan Williams more than that of Mozart, while
> Joe prefers Mozart to RVW, but Sally and Joe can
> perceive merit in the music liked by the other
> person. It would be silly to quarrel about it.
>
> Rather than beauty, it is taste that is basically
> subjective. It is awkward to refer to
> “taste” and the “eye” of the beholder
> together, but if the mixed metaphor may be
> permitted, we could say that taste (not beauty) is
> in the eye of the beholder.

I don't actually want to get into a discussion about beautiful humans -- but I did want to nudge this thread into further visibility.

[www.newscientist.com]
[www.discovermagazine.com]

All I'd like everyone to take from the above amusing articles is the suggestion that the beautiful is something real, not just social conditioning, "eye of the beholder" etc. Again, though, I think there's probably a discussion to be had that we could take further relating to the beautiful in the writings of sf, fantasy, etc.

Re: The Beautiful
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 2 April, 2021 10:37PM
Things can be beautiful on different levels. That which is true to the principles of Nature is profoundly beautiful. Rembrandt could paint a portrait of an aged human being, that is beautiful to look at. A thing of many components that harmonize, some of which sensibly contrasts, and of great complexity that transcends the mind's ability to fully rationalize and analyze it, is beautiful.

Re: The Beautiful
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 2 April, 2021 11:05PM
That which goes against the principles of Nature, is ugly. And when it is actually promoted by the ruling elite, it is also a crime.

Re: The Beautiful
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 2 April, 2021 11:08PM
... A serious crime against our culture and existence.

Re: The Beautiful
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 2 April, 2021 11:40PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That which goes against the principles of Nature,
> is ugly. And when it is actually promoted by the
> ruling elite, it is also a crime.

Yes, but it's not as bad as robo-calls...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: The Beautiful
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 3 April, 2021 10:37AM
It all goes together, doesn't it?

Re: The Beautiful
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 3 April, 2021 12:20PM
Hah! :^)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Goto Page: Previous123All
Current Page: 3 of 3


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
Top of Page