Susan Wolfson lecture

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Date/Time: Monday, November 02, 2015 5:30pm - 7:00pm


Shannon “has just done a drawing of me, which is very charming, but by an unlucky accident most damnably like Keats,” wrote Yeats to a friend in 1908.” Yeats, age 42, squirms at a likeness with Keats, dead long ago at age 25. The embarrassment is about more than the luck of the drawing. It’s about being taken for Keats, with sensitivity to what he’s taken from Keats. Yeats was too keen, too self-conscious, not to have winced at eye-rhymed Keats/Yeats as a symbolic portent. The image of the rhyme, irritated by an image “like Keats,” precipitated an unhappy Keatsian glitter on Yeatsian modernity. This talk is about Yeats’s deflections and adhesive reflections of Keats as a “last-Romantic” dilemma. Susan Wolfson is Professor of English at Princeton University and author, most recently, of “Reading John Keats.”