Sunday, October 28, 2007

Syntactical healing

He could tell, just from reading the plays, that Shakespeare "obviously" suffered from irregular heart rhythm. Poetry, like the "magnetism" of a faith healer, could repair damaged cells, whereas prose could do the opposite. After being diagnosed with cancer, he came to think that writing his prose treatise ... had destroyed his immune system.
Peter Stothard reports on Ted Hughes' "somewhat eccentric views" and an exchange of letters with Prof John Carey. Add your own punchline.


  1. I suggested a title that could be used in a variety of contexts:

    John Carey: a gobshite

    But it didn't pass moderation.

  2. Anonymous11:35 pm

    I think Hughes, like the most intelligent clerics, knew the energies and applications of passionate belief, and that only a fool argues himself out of his own powers for the sake of Reason. Did *every* genius who painted an Annunciation, or composed a Magnificat, hold in his/her rational mind a common-sense belief in the risen Christ, the Son of God? Surely not.

    It's a trick we learn in childhood, but some of us forget how. Some of us go on to kill over it, of course, but at least Hughes got nothing more sinister than great poems out of his capacity to believe so thoroughly in nonsense.



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