Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes

By Ted Hughes

Ted Hughes's Birthday Letters are addressed, with simply exceptions, to Sylvia Plath, the yank poet to whom he used to be married. They have been written over a interval of greater than twenty-five years, the 1st many years after her suicide in 1963, and symbolize Ted Hughes's purely account of his dating with Plath and of the mental drama that led either to the writing of her maximum poems and to her dying. The ebook turned an fast bestseller on its ebook in 1998 and gained the ahead Prize for Poetry within the comparable yr.

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Sample text

Riedel outlines the Neoplatonic (originally gnostic) quest for henosis (or union with the transcendent One from which the soul has become estranged) together with the quest’s Christianization in patristic thought, and also in the mystical heritage of Pietism that formed Hölderlin’s own natal religious milieu: The salvation of union is attained by sacrifice (‘giving up’/resignatio) of the world (as well as of one’s own self as belonging to the world). 7 Riedel goes on, however, to discuss the supplanting of this quest by the ideal of a return to and union with infinite nature and with the all of earthly life (which, of course, are not transcendent).

Hölderlin’s fascination, as a poet, with the singular in its unique sensuous presencing, and his sensitivity to the nuances of human relationships, appear to be in tension here with his philosophical passion for effacing the singular in a union with Nature. What further distinguishes the three versions from the Frankfurt Plan is that in all of the former, but not in the Plan, Empedocles remains essentially solitary, a stranger to the human sphere, suggesting that Hölderlin may quickly have come to see his character’s sensitivity to human bonds as imperiling his devotion to the all.

43 The chorus, Hegel now stresses, is not merely the reflective spectator, but ethicality in its immediate, still unitary reality. Even though historically it evolved from the sacred origins of Greek tragedy (being specifically linked to the Dionysian cult), and even though this origin is in tension with the mythic content of Attic tragedy, the chorus remains essential to its modality of representation. In contrast, any attempt to reintroduce the chorus into modern tragedy is incongruous, since here the action does not issue from an originary, undivided consciousness.

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