Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The lives of others …

… This Long Pursuit. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In a wonderful essay, “Shelley Unbound,” Holmes discusses the warping effect the actual events in a subject’s life have on our later assessment of that subject. This is a very odd, very astute observation, and one he explores brilliantly in showing how Shelley’s untimely death “was used to define an entire life, to frame a complete biography,” producing “what might be called thanatography.” Prime mover in this respect was Shelley’s friend, “the incorrigible myth-making” Edward John Trelawny, who, over fifty years, continued to rewrite his account of the fatal shipwreck “accumulating more and more baroque details, like some sinister biographical coral reef.”

No comments:

Post a Comment