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Re: Negative capability

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  • Mary
    After Louise introduced Keats concept, I found the letter she s now posted, and was once again reassured that poetry, like much fine art, can often offer more
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 2, 2010
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      After Louise introduced Keats' concept, I found the letter she's now posted, and was once again reassured that poetry, like much fine art, can often offer more philosophical thought. With the Camus quote, I mistakenly left out "No doctrine tempts it," which might have provided some clarity. I don't believe Camus means we shouldn't consider the ideas of others but that we can lose ourselves to the certainty which others seem to possess. As to what a mind is, I am of several minds. Entertaining ideas is not thinking per se, but what is a mind without the thoughts of others? I believe minds are created by other minds, but that in no way cancels creativity and imagination which in turn may engage other minds.
      The Auden poem I chose not to reproduce dealt precisely with Keats' sentiment: "This pursued through volumes would perhaps take us no further than this, that with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration." In the poem, Auden wondered about the darling poet of the Nazis, who lived in the same Austrian village, though not simultaneously. Josef Weinheber committed suicide and was buried like a dog in his garden, while Auden died of old age and was buried in this same village's cemetery. Would their considerations have been obliterated by the beauty they experienced in that lovely Austrian village? It was certainly possible.

      I'm enjoying the conversation about music and confess that last evening I listened to Sting's Brand New Day and let my clumsy feet and still somewhat graceful hands dance me away. I'm not admitting that any of our music choices qualify as fine art, but popular music can create a sweet camaraderie which often transcends considerations.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Louise" <hecubatoher@...> wrote:
      >
      > Just to make clear what Keats meant by the term, "negative capability", here is an extract from the letter to his brothers George and Thomas in which his explanation is given:
      >
      > "I had not a dispute but a disquisition, with Dilke on various subjects; several things dove-tailed in my mind, and at once it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously - I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason-Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. This pursued through volumes would perhaps take us no further than this, that with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration."
      >
      > http://www.mrbauld.com/negcap.html
      >
      > I am not sure whether I understand Mary's quotation from "The Myth of Sisyphus" away from its immediate context, but on the face of it I cannot see how it violates human experience, as my own suggests that each mind is separate. Is it not our separateness which makes it meaningful that we are interdependent, and able to be influenced?
      >
      > Louise
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "dick.richardson@" <dick.richardson@> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > [ "The only thought to liberate the mind is that which leaves it
      > > alone,
      > >
      > > certain of its limits and its impending end." Mary ]
      > >
      > > Upon what justifiable criteria of evidence did he judge that to be the
      > > case? It does not correlate with human experience – NO WAY. To the
      > > contrary in fact.
      > >
      > > Also NO thoughts can leave the mind alone, that is ridiculous; thoughts
      > > take place in the temporal ration discursive mind. He is no philosopher,
      > > he is just guessing, and getting it very wrong obviously. Kids can make
      > > guesses :- ) If anyone is going to talk about the human situation then
      > > KNOW IT. DON'T talk about what you DON'T KNOW. It is STUPID.
      > > LIFE is here – study it, and your self. A life not studied is a life
      > > wasted. When will they ever learn! Negative Capability is what he
      > > obviously had.
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@> wrote:
      > >
      > > > " The only thought to liberate the mind is that which leaves it alone,
      > > certain of its limits and its impending end."
      > > >
      > > > Mary
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
    • Mary
      Inasmuch as aesthetics is a branch of philosophy, I ll position Camus It is not patient inquiry, the unceasing, sterile illustration of a thesis...
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 3, 2010
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        Inasmuch as aesthetics is a branch of philosophy, I'll position Camus' "It is not patient inquiry, the unceasing, sterile illustration of a thesis..." alongside Keats. In my uttermost, desolate moments of realizing the impossibility of fact and reason to provide comfort for myself or others, only then has there arisen a creative impulse. Counting myself fortunate.
        Mary

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Louise" <hecubatoher@...> wrote:
        >
        > Just to make clear what Keats meant by the term, "negative capability", here is an extract from the letter to his brothers George and Thomas in which his explanation is given:
        >
        > "I had not a dispute but a disquisition, with Dilke on various subjects; several things dove-tailed in my mind, and at once it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously - I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason-Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. This pursued through volumes would perhaps take us no further than this, that with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration."
        >
        > http://www.mrbauld.com/negcap.html
        >
        > I am not sure whether I understand Mary's quotation from "The Myth of Sisyphus" away from its immediate context, but on the face of it I cannot see how it violates human experience, as my own suggests that each mind is separate. Is it not our separateness which makes it meaningful that we are interdependent, and able to be influenced?
        >
        > Louise
        >
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "dick.richardson@" <dick.richardson@> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > [ "The only thought to liberate the mind is that which leaves it
        > > alone,
        > >
        > > certain of its limits and its impending end." Mary ]
        > >
        > > Upon what justifiable criteria of evidence did he judge that to be the
        > > case? It does not correlate with human experience – NO WAY. To the
        > > contrary in fact.
        > >
        > > Also NO thoughts can leave the mind alone, that is ridiculous; thoughts
        > > take place in the temporal ration discursive mind. He is no philosopher,
        > > he is just guessing, and getting it very wrong obviously. Kids can make
        > > guesses :- ) If anyone is going to talk about the human situation then
        > > KNOW IT. DON'T talk about what you DON'T KNOW. It is STUPID.
        > > LIFE is here – study it, and your self. A life not studied is a life
        > > wasted. When will they ever learn! Negative Capability is what he
        > > obviously had.
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@> wrote:
        > >
        > > > " The only thought to liberate the mind is that which leaves it alone,
        > > certain of its limits and its impending end."
        > > >
        > > > Mary
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        >
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