The Confessions of a Browning Lover

The Confessions of a Browning Lover

by John Walker Powell


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532997631
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/28/2016
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)

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CHAPTER II OF ARTISTS AND PHILOSOPHERS The statement of my change of heart with regard to Browning, when I came to look upon him as first of all an artist and only secondarily a philosopher, has led me a good ways afield into a discussion of the principles of art. What I have sought to do is to justify my own enthusiasm for Browning's poetry as poetry; for its tropical wealth and profusion of beauty, for its unrivaled human interest, for the spiritual inspiration afforded by its outlook upon life. It remains to tell something of the lessons I have learned from it. But at the risk of talking more about myself and my notions than about the poet who is the ostensible occasion of these outpourings I cannot forbear to dwell a little further on the spirit and temper of which I have been speaking—on the essential worth of the artistic as distinguished from the philosophic viewpoint. I might, no doubt, have learned it from Shakespeare or Keats. But, mirabile dictu, I for one learned it from the very poet who is universally supposed to have subordinated the emotional to the intellectual, to have been a thinker rather than a poet, to have aimed first of all at proclaiming amessage rather than at awakening the sense of beauty. I make haste to concede to those who have been bred in the tradition, that Browning has a message, a significant one, in which he himself was intensely interested, and to which I hope eventually to get round. But the notion that he chose the artistic way to declare his truth, and that he must be approached in a spirit not essentially other than that in which we read Shakespeare or look at Raphael's Madonnas, has been received with such astonished incredulity when Ihave ventured to broach it among the devotees of culture that I am constrained to give a furthe...

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