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Arthur Hiller Quotes
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... While much recent historicist criticism has assumed early nineteenth-century readers attuned to subtle ideological nuances in poetry, actual responses from readers often come closer to clulessness. ... It is no surprise that no one understood Blake, but other poets fared not much better. ... Coleridge's 'Christabel' was 'the standing enigma which puzzles the curiosity of literary circles. What is it all about?', while another reviewer asked about Shelley, 'What, in the name of wonder on one side, and of common sense on the other, is the meaning of this metaphysical rhapsody about the unbinding of Prometheus?'. Even Keats was condemned for 'his frequent obscurity and confusion of language' and his 'unintelligible quaintness'. Byron, never to be outdone, boasted in 'Don Juan' that not only did he not understand many of his fellow poets, he did not understand himself either: 'I don't pretend that I quite understand / My own meaning when I would be very fine.' ..."
Author: Andrew Elfenbein

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