Essay on Sarojini Naidu

It was at my persuasion that The Golden Threshold was published. The earliest of the poems were read to me in London in 1896, when the writer was seventeen; the later ones were sent to me from India in 1904, when she was twenty-five; and they belong, I think, almost wholly to those two periods. As they …

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Essay on Gustave Flaubert

Salammbô is an attempt, as Flaubert, himself his best critic, has told us, to ‘perpetuate a mirage by applying to antiquity the methods of the modern novel.’ By the modern novel he means the novel as he had reconstructed it; he means Madame Bovary. That perfect book is perfect because Flaubert had, for once, found exactly the …

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Essay on Edgar Allan Poe

The poems of Edgar Allan Poe are the work of a poet who thought persistently about poetry as an art, and would have reduced inspiration to a method. At their best they are perfectly defined by Baudelaire, when he says of Poe’s poetry that it is a thing ‘deep and shimmering as dreams, mysterious and …

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Essay on Emily Bronte

This was a woman young and passionate,Loving the Earth, and loving most to beWhere she might be alone with liberty;Loving the beasts, who are compassionate;The homeless moors, her home; the bright elateWinds of the cold dawn; rock and stone and tree;Night, bringing dreams out of eternity;And memory of Death’s unforgetting date.She too was unforgetting: has …

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Essay on John Donne

Biography as a fine art can go no further than Walton’s Life and Death of Dr. Donne. From the ‘good and virtuous parents’ of the first line to the ‘small quantity of Christian dust’ of the last, every word is the touch of a cunning brush painting a picture. The picture lives, and with so vivid …

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Essay on Charles Lamb

There is something a little accidental about all Lamb’s finest work. Poetry he seriously tried to write, and plays and stories; but the supreme criticism of the Specimens of English Dramatic Poets arose out of the casual habit of setting down an opinion of an extract just copied into one’s note-book, and the book itself, because, he …

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The Gold-Bug by Edgar Allan Poe

“What ho! what ho! this fellow is dancing mad! He hath been bitten by the Tarantula.” -All in the Wrong. Many years ago, I contracted an intimacy with a Mr. William Legrand. He was of an ancient Huguenot family, and had once been wealthy; but a series of misfortunes had reduced him to want. To …

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A Painful Case by James Joyce

Mr James Duffy lived in Chapelizod because he wished to live as far as possible from the city of which he was a citizen and because he found all the other suburbs of Dublin mean, modern and pretentious. He lived in an old sombre house and from his windows he could look into the disused …

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