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Revaluating one of Professor Nitze's earlier suggestions, I have tried to use the concept of sovereignty for the understanding of the composition of Chrétien's Erec. This controversial concept, a husband's patriarchal sovereignty in the atmosphere of Arthurian courtliness, will be shown in this paper to be a constituent factor in Yvain, the most mature of the romances completed by Chrétien himself. Hitherto not discussed in the impressive literature, this question, one of sens, cannot be developed without some discussion of the several widely divergent views on the matière and will seem less confusing, if we begin by studying the final phase (vss. 6527 ff.), and, then, work retrospectively toward the main plot and the beginning of the romance.
Did Wolfram have any other sources beside Chrétien? Opinions are still divided. According to Fourquet, he used only two different Chrétien Mss. Weber assumes three additional sources, one for the “Enfances Perceval,” another for books i and ii, and a third one, which he considered an alchemistic writing, for the Grail. Schneider, summing up the investigations of scholars in his history of MHG literature, holds that Wolfram must have known, beside Chrétien, a Grail story in Oriental setting. My own research has gone in a similar direction and like Schneider, I am indebted to the pioneers in this field, to Veselovskij and Singer, founders of the Ethiopian theory.
Critics on occasion have remarked the peculiar unity of tone which distinguishes Richard II from most of Shakespeare's other plays. Walter Pater wrote that, like a musical composition, it possesses “a certain concentration of all its parts, a simple continuity, an evenness in execution, which are rare in the great dramatist. … It belongs to a small group of plays, where, by happy birth and consistent evolution, dramatic form approaches to something like the unity of a lyrical ballad, a lyric, a song, a single strain of music.” And J. Dover Wilson, in his edition of the play, has observed that “Richard II possesses a unity of tone and feeling greater than that attained in many of his greater plays, a unity found, I think, to the same degree elsewhere only in Twelfth Night, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest.”
This study is of the position of Thomas Dekker in a literary genre, prison literature, which comprises descriptions in prose works, poems, and plays, of one or more of London's fourteen prisons. The study seeks to establish the canon, chronology, and significance of Dekker's contributions to this literature, and, at the same time, it undertakes to overcome the absence, in literary and social history, of an examination of penal writings published during the reign of James I of England. The genre first flourished in the Jacobean period, and Thomas Dekker was its earliest principal writer. He wrote or collaborated upon about half of the entire output of Jacobean prison works; he composed all of his prison writings, with the possible exception of one, throughout the course of more than twenty years; and he cast the material into the four literary types of which this genre is composed: rogue exposures, dramatic settings, reformatory essays, and “characters.”
However closely Shakespeare in writing Antony and Cleopatra may have followed North's Plutarch, he did not find in the biography a ready-made tragic heroine. Though Plutarch's Cleopatra is admittedly vivid and fascinating during her days of prosperity, she falls far below the demands of tragedy when her fortune changes. For the Cleopatra of the last two acts of his play, Shakespeare had to look elsewhere. It is my belief that he found what he wanted in Horace's Cleopatra Ode.
As a critic of French letters, Chateaubriand desired above all to inaugurate a new literature which, rejecting the eighteenth century of the philosophes, would rejoin the fruitful tradition of the golden age that had produced such masters as Bossuet and Racine. His aim was no uninspired copying of seventeenth-century forms, but rather the creation of fresh masterpieces informed with the Christian, dualistic conception of man's nature which had been disregarded by the anti-religious eighteenth-century followers of French classicism. New elements from the national and Christian heritage were to be introduced, but the essential was to be the revival of what Chateaubriand judged to be the true spirit of the grand siècle.
Auch dem oberflächlichen Leser muß es aufgefallen sein, daß Faust an entscheidenden Wendepunkten seines Lebens die Flucht in die Natur ergreift, um in ernster Zwiesprache mit ihr über sich selbst, sein Wollen und Tun klar zu werden. Ist doch die Natur für Faust wie für Goethe selbst ein geheimnisvoll lebendiges Wesen, das er wie ein Liebender in immer neuen Formen umwirbt. Im Gegensatz aber zur menschlichen Geliebten, welche die Schwächen des Mannes nur allzu gern übersieht, ist die Natur eine strenge Göttin, die alle seine Gebrechen schonungslos aufdeckt und jeden Versuch, sich ihrer Wahrheitsforderung zu entziehen, unbarmherzig bestraft. Der Mensch, der bei ihr Rat und Hilfe sucht, muß sich also bewußt sein, daß er eine richterliche Instanz anruft, gegen deren Urteilsspruch es keine irdische Berufung gibt. Die Bereitschaft, sich diesem Urteil zu unterwerfen und sein Leben in dessen Sinn auszurichten, ist dann der Gradmesser seines menschlichen Wertes, seiner reinen Menschlichkeit.
In the memoirs, diaries, journals, and reviews of the first half of the nineteenth century, Samuel Rogers (1763-1855) has an importance which is in sharp contrast to his present obscurity. It is no fault of the modern reader that he cannot remember one of Rogers' poems. Even before Rogers' death, his contemporaries had judged his work as essentially worthless, but they continued to speak with admiration of the “bard, beau, and banker” of St. James's Place. They remembered always the little house which he had made one of the great sights of London, of cultured society in the western world. Here above all was revealed Rogers the man of taste, arbiter elegantiarum, a rôle which he played with a curious combination of modesty, pleasure, and pride. Since his was the first small home to become a great museum, comparable to the Bache Collection today, No. 22 St. James's Place is worth reconstructing in detail and considering as an influence on its time.
Keats had many and intense literary admirations. Some of these were seasonal and passed away with maturity: such were his youthful fondness for Beattie and Mrs. Tighe. Others were permanent and deepened with time: among these were his affection for Shakespeare, Milton, Spenser, and Chaucer and his continued love for Homer and Dante. Keats's attitudes toward important writers of his day were varied. Toward a considerable group of them he appears to have been more or less neutral, at least non-committal; for others early admiration was later wholly or partially reversed, with Hazlitt, among those he first esteemed, virtually the sole exception to a modified estimate. Thus, his early devotion to Leigh Hunt gave way to critical coolness as he began to see through the fellow's weakness; and though he once read Byron with pleasure and praised his poetry in a sonnet, he later learned to despise him for what he regarded as insincerity and perverted taste. He sometimes praised Moore and on occasion imitated his verse, but in a more final judgment he classed him with Southey and Rogers as poets he did not like. His feeling for Wordsworth alternated between almost reverential acceptance and modified rejection. Keats owed much to Wordsworth and was, perhaps, in one way or another influenced by him to the end; but after meeting the poet in London in the winter of 1817-1818, he began to see traits in him not to his taste and was thereafter inclined to speak of him and of some of his work with reservations.
Through the years detailed attention has been given to the lyric, epic, short-story, drama, novel, and other literary forms, but comparatively few references have been made to the dramatic monologue. A beginning towards the understanding of this neglected form was made by Stopford A. Brooke, who devoted one chapter to a discussion of Tennyson's use of the dramatic monologue in his Tennyson, His Art and Relation to Modern Life. S.S. Curry in his Browning and the Dramatic Monologue made a study of three characteristics of the form: speaker, audience, and occasion. He likewise gave a short history of the genre, and analyzed the methods for presenting examples of the form orally. R. H. Fletcher classified Browning's dramatic monologues. Claud Howard traced the development of the type in his pamphlet The Dramatic Monologue: Its Origin and Development. Phelps devoted one chapter to analyzing the content of Browning's dramatic monologues. Bliss Perry defined the type, mentioned the same characteristics Curry had enumerated, and stated that the form is somewhat akin to the lyric. The present writer stressed the necessity for definiteness of each of the aforementioned characteristics and suggested that continuous interplay between speaker and audience be added as a clear-cut, fourth characteristic. Examples in both American and continental literature were grouped as follows: typical, formal, and approximate.
Every life is said to contain enough material to fill one novel; but Gustave Flaubert attempted three times to give some account of his adolescence; at the age of seventeen he finished Les Mémoires d'un Fou (1838), at twenty-one Novembre (1842), at twenty-four the first version of L'Education sentimentale. The first two novels he struck off rapidly; the last occupied him for two years.
The book to be discussed brings to mind a fascinating chapter of the fossil record of the evolution of life. Some two hundred million years ago, the geologists tell us, the Ammonites began to make their appearance among the crustaceans. Starting from modest and primitive beginnings, they were destined for a notable future. In the course of ages a million times beyond the span of human memory they grew in size and complexity, attaining to functional perfection of their chambered septa and streamlined beauty of their spiral convolutions. They grew in numbers until they came to dominate the scene of teeming marine life. Then a change set in. The conservative classical form of the shell gave way to striking variations. It is as if the ingenuity of the race had suddenly abandoned itself to an orgy of formal experiments. The curves became more intricate and capricious, producing a bewildering variety of scallops and flutings, spirals and fantastic ornaments and an equally bewildering range of sizes and proportions. The whole genus seemed to be off balance, to be skidding erratically along the screen of evolutionary Time. Then, suddenly, when this giddy orgy seemed to have reached its climax the whole genus disappeared, as though a relentless hand had blotted it from the screen once and for all.
At the end of Canto VIII of the Inferno we read that the devils shut the gates of Dis against Vergil, leaving him—the context suggests—pale with anger. Dante, who had himself turned pale with fear on seeing his leader's change of color, says at the beginning of the next canto: ‘That color which cowardize pinse in (or ‘on′) me, as I saw my leader turn back, the more quickly repressed within him his own new color';1 that is, caused him to dissemble, for Dante's sake, his own evidences of perturbation. “Pinse,” in this context, is interpreted “painted” (Italian “dipinto”) by part of the commentators and translators, and by the rest “pushed forth,” “brought out,” “impressed,” “imprinted,” etc. (among the Italian commentators “spinse,” or “sospinse”). Among the later interpreters there is rather a distinct leaning away from the former explanation: while Scartazzini hesitates, for instance, Vandelli says “spinse,” and Grandgent shifts from “painted” to “pushed forth” between his first and second editions. Perhaps Vittorio Rossi's authoritative voice may be accountable for this; he says: ‘Fuor mi spinse is contrasted to “dentro ristrinse” of verse 3; which seems to me to exclude the more common interpretation: “painted on my countenance.” ‘