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English 1022E Lecture Notes - Aestheticism, Authorial Intent

Course Code
English 1022E
David Bentley

of 2
ENGLISH 1022E November 25th, 2010
ENGLISH Lecture 22
“Intentional Fallacy”
Pastoral Classical, Christian
Physical gives way to metaphysical. Very romantic view of childhood, that children have some special
insight that’s lost to us adults. Common in the united states in the 19th century to show children with
great big eyes, as if they see more than we do.
PLATONIC FORMS: ladder upwards, towards the ideal forms that Plato says exist in some higher realm
that we remember because of the Doctrine of Recollection. We deal with the abstraction of truth, of
PLATONIC TRIAD: Three special abstractions we should focus on in our lives, achieve balance. Goodness,
Truth and Beauty. Wordsworth and Keats are saturated with Platonism.
KEATS: published 1819 1820, shortly before Keats died. Truth is Beauty, Beauty is Truth” this line
takes good out of the equation, telling you should only hunt for beauty which becomes truth, and vice
versa. By doing this, you throw out morality. This had enormous appeal to two people in this century:
those who rebelled against middle class values, finding them restricting, as well as the people who were
repulsed by the ugliness of the materialism and machines and more from the previous time. They
created aestheticism, meaning art for art. For beauty, to be enjoyed just for its beauty. For a while Keats
was the go-to person, being the beginning of this aestheticism.
ENGLISH 1022E November 25th, 2010
POEM: It’s extremely difficult to tell whether the speaker admires the urn, what it stands for, or
whether he is critical of it, as a mere artefact, with nothing to tell us, contemptuous of it. Does he look
up to the Grecian poem? Or down on it? You can write a poem about an urn, but can’t meld that poem
into the urn to make them the same. The urn is gendered female, with hints to it being ravished, and the
animal that’s going to be sacrificed on it is a female animal.
Undecidability: his perspective, is he for or against?
Indeterminacy: we can’t tell what it means, too many possible meanings
“Intentional Fallacy”: Keats doesn’t know what the urn reflects. Was it used for ashes, or oil?
Pastoral: shepherd of a man with sheep, the classical meaning, and not the Christian way, with a
shepherd of people, a preacher.
Last 4-5 lines… The way you read it makes all the difference. You can read it admiringly, or coldly,
contemptuously. The footnote makes it worse, debating whether the Beauty is Truth, Truth is Beauty
statement is a positive motto, or sarcastic and cynical.
Middle… failed CSI quality to it. Question after question about what happened. He’s going to try to
approach the urn, trying to take a spiritual quality out of it. It’s becoming a much more personal
response now.