10 outubro 2006


Desafio, John Donne

Quem ainda se interessa por John Donne. Artigo na London Review of Books sobre a nova biografia do escritor: Donne: The Reformed Soul, de John Stubbs:
«Literary biography is one of the background noises of our age. It’s a decent, friendly sort of hum, like the Sunday papers or chatter on a train. It gives the punters a bit of history and a bit of literature, and perhaps a bit of gossip, and what’s more it saves them the trouble of reading history. And poems too, for that matter. Not to mention the ordeal of ploughing through a load of literary criticism. But there are two respects in which literary biography is intrinsically pernicious, however well it’s done. The first is that literary biographies need a thesis in order to catch the headlines. This can turn what ought to be a delicate art into a piece of problem-solving or a search for a key to a life. Wordsworth? Well, that stuff about Lucy is really all about his affair with Annette Vallon. Byron? Just remember he loved his sister. Shakespeare? Didn’t you realise he was the Earl of Oxford? The other problem is that even the best examples can’t entirely avoid the naive reduction of literature to evidence or symptom – epiphenomena which are brought about by, and potentially reducible to, biographical origins.»

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