Samuel Butler explains relationships

As soon as Jove sees Juno, armed as she for the moment was with all the attractions of Venus, he falls desperately in love with her, and says that she is the only goddess he ever really loved. True there had been the wife of Ixion, and Danae, and Europa and Semele, and Alcmena, and Latona, not to mention herself in days gone by, but he had never loved any of them as he now loved her, in spite of his having been married to her for so many years. What then does she want?

Published in: on September 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wordsworth’s Pretty Polly

If Lucy was the kind of person portrayed in the poem; if Wordsworth murdered her, either by cutting her throat or smothering her, in concert, perhaps, with his friends Southey and Coleridge; and if he had thus found himself released from an engagement which had become irksome to him, or possibly from the threat of an action for breach of contract, there is not a syllable in the poem with which he crowns his crime which is not alive with meaning. On any other supposition, to the general reader it is unintelligible.

(Samuel Butler, Selected Essays, 1927.)

Published in: on September 2, 2010 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment