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that #t: In our first classthis weekyou mentioned therearetalesthat seemasif they You mentioned the werewritten for us: that we--andnot others--are intendedaudience. that readingKafka felt like that for you, but you alsomentionedthat this tale no longer to though,whenit did speak you, you probablythought to "speaks you." Presumably not therewasmuchthat wastnre--and simply true foryou,but universally,eternallytrue-in the tale. 'oChristabel" doesnot readto me asif I wereamongits natural,intended I essays, mustsaythat,moreoftenthan (thoughreadingsomeof Coleridge's audience that part of maturingis while I agree this to not, he doesspeak me). Perhaps is because, of an awareness honestaccount how thingsfeel, including,if true, bringingto conscious arealizationthat what othersmight deemasentirely repulsiveI find, at leastin part, the only the first step--setting stagefor pleasurable, feel that this is, thoughmiraculous, I what I find most real growth. I believethat I maturenot by thenlearningto smbrace and ffid but repellant, by disablingthe ability of what I now perceive, experience, what I me from beingableto repulse (goodriddance!:you and haveperceived experienced, shouldnot havebeentherein the first place). This is not a retreatto previous and or unawareness denial: I amjust not like Blakeandoffer a role for that I oppose, see (When I am at living) in untaintedpleasure. a kind of "death" (an inhibition to energetic but me, my best,praiserelanes asit doesBlake (or so he says, if feelingrelaxedbrings thendoeshe tnrly know what it is to be relaredwithout aboutfearsof poeticimpotence, but this statebeingcoupledto, andfollowedby, feelingsof anxiety?), I bestattendwhen I am relared. Not all praiseis from this fount,but praisecanbe an indicationof having company,andhopefor humane audience--humane and an appreciative sympathetic citizenry. Amidst loving company,it is easyto imaginereal supportfor the difficulties for to you might encounter shouldyou boldly explorethe world; which amounts a "spuro' living life largely.) by errbraced Leoline,where Geraldine has Christabel a "vision of fear" whenshesees of "bosomold"--her'bosomcold." But whenthe senses this againGeraldineos shesees a vision passawayshesees new andnow comfortingvision wheresheis in this same breast." It is a couplingof armswhich '?ut a rapturein her [Christabel's] Geraldine's to Coleridgeseems imply is most experiences--the feaxfulwith the mostpleasurable--that of one covpling:onecannolexperience without the other: "Suchgiddiness a necessary

case, In savefrom rugeandpain"(675-676). Christabel's seldom heartandbrain/ Comes in and one the fear of Geraldine's old breastis associated juxtaposed mgmory(I think its comfortinganns. But a memory,shesayssheis strickenwith a vision) with Geraldine's she what is mostpleasurable, must also to that for Christabel experience do we agree she endureterrible pain? And if we suspect must,do we feel, do we "intuit," that what to as appliesto ourselves well? Doesthe poemspeak us as we believetrue for Christabel throughnot beingafraid has,"perhaps," a tluth felt sopowerfully thatwe feel Coleridge no ze to recogni andarticulatethe tnrths of experience matterhow discomforting ("(O us shouldthis be true!" (674)),presented with a universaltuth of sorrowandshame ratherthan a personaltruth that canbe quite difficult for us to humanexperience, that this kind of truttris a difficult or acknowledge uncover. If we do, andif we accept seemeitherimmaflne (they nay oneto accept(we must be brave)thenperhaps Sayers pleasure from pain, or yet haven't,like the'tirgin" Christabel, experienced that to acknowledged themselves they havefelt this way), and/orcloistered. However, may audiences be the thosewho do not experience poemasif they wereits intended are more likely to exploreif ,"perhaps,"thetre thingsthat arefirre (unfortunately)for and Christabel otherswhich may not hold true for themselves. his that Coleridgegivesus the sense Leoline,asa father,likely expressed feelingsof of alongwith--or, aswe aretold, eventhrough--feelings rage. This love for Christabel to presses "His gentledaughter shouldcometo our mind sinceLeoline,like Geraldine, wherean ernbrace his breast"(397)in the poem.But since,unlike aswith Geraldine and a to seems us asrxlquestionably kind of "illicif' first for Christabel therefore (which in of appropriatelywalranting a sense real transformation her from the experience ("SureI have and we areofferedwith her hissing,her silence, in her voicedcomments with has sinned!"(381)),Christabel had a full childhoodof experiences her fatherof matched together.Of courseChistabelwould find emotions these"miss-matched" of combination pain with love is how she pleasure Geraldine's embrace!--the in way of her experiences relationshipwith her father. It is likely, for her, the fundamental if life. What maybe universalfor us HomoSapiens, we tnrst the wordsof experiencing (and, StanleyGree,lrspan takeit from me, we really should),is that "[t]he capacityfor derivedfrom the companyof othersarethe earliest intimacy andthe interestandpleasure

phenomena indicatereal desire"(Growthof theMind,1997). Painmustbe good, that desire:the we with something mostneed,our mostfundamental it because is associated that love of our parents.To denythat pain shouldbe accepted, pain is not a goodthing, is pain really is good for them because for unlikely for someone whom this poemspeaks love (or at least in it because is likely associated their mindswith feelingsof parental may be like a kind of Kantian thatpain pairedwith pleasure attention). Sowe accept the aprioritruth abouthow we experience world that we might cometo inescapable to from a first readingof "Christabel"(andthushaveit speak us) awareness conscious with throughher experience was ableto or camecloserto realizing andChristabel Geraldineandthe "fortunate" failure of "Jesu,Maria" to "shield her well" (and sincethis can awareness, leadto furtherrefinements, "recognition,"this bringlngto conscious but of furtherexplorations her self it alsoqualifiesasan "enlightenmenf'), only if our the own privateway of experiencing world we believeit alsofirre that we live "in a world of sin" (673). This is the pairingI believelikely to be inseparable. of childhoodexperiences the world asif they were Coleridgedoesdescribe universallythe same.Childrenwho "alwaysfi"{} andnever,""q' (659) delighting tnrth: Coleridgefollows, but does as fatherswith pleasure.This is presented a universal and of this not precede, description a child andfather'sperception feelingswith a series of "perhaps"which seemto follow naturallyfrom the earlierlisting of truttrs. Yet of is throughChristabel, offeringus an example a very particularkind of Coleridge, childhood:shegrewup without a mother(shedoeshavethatmotherspirit "alter,'in her intertwinedthenwhat if headthough,hmmm). Presumably pain andlove arenecessarily holds true for the fatherwould havebeentrue for the motherhad shelived: the delight (665).Yet in would havebeenexpressed 'bnmeantbitterness" shehad for Christabel of Coleridgedoesnot offer us sense sucha mother. Shegaveher last prayerfor (throughthe gift of the child), sothe poetcanusethis to challenge Leoline'shappiness Leoline: "And wouldstthou wrongthy only child, I Her child andthine?"(634'635). as The poet asksLeolineif he shouldfreatChristabel if shewereonly his, or if he should to treat her in a mannerappropriate her being the child of this holy mother. Yet, with he presumably, Leolinetreatsher ashis wife intended wouldnot t:eatChristabel if with 'lmcontaminated"careandlove. I bitterness,andinsteadfieat her by-and-large

that if the motherhadnot died shewould imagines that Coleridge it suppose is possible havetreatedChristabelwith love, andher fatherwould havetreatedChristabelwith the would haveexperienced and bitterness, thusthroughtwo differentpeopleChristabel the emotions, it is only because fatheris the sole and "forc[ing] together"of opposite I parentthat he mustbe both loving andbitter--however doubtthis is the case: Coleridge had the to doesnot seem integrate motherandher likely behaviortowardsChristabel she lived with the "moral of the story," andis savedfrom this beingmore apparent, half presumably eitherowing to the motherseeming mythicalto us, andthuswe naturally to we and look for humantnrthsfrom Christabel Leoline,or because comeprepared and accept'the moral of the stoqy''--it "feels" right to us, so we accept moveon, or, if and an "seeing" this for the first time, experience enlightenment be forever changed.(I know, I shouldbe more carefulhere:I know that "the moral of the stoqy''could probably of to, be takenasimplying what the work amounts andI think that the overall experience more for the the poemmay not be in completeaccord,or may amountto something to in thanits encapsulation the moralizingc,onclusion part two.) reader, her a If Christabelhad experienced motherwho had embraced in childhood,andkept her warm to her youthful breast,I doubtvery much that Christabelwould havehad an (again,I acceptthat given the ernbrace throughGeraldine's enlighteningexperience with that natureof her father,understanding "sinful" behaviorcanbe connected pleasurable feelingswould havebeenan enlighteningrcalizationfor her). Shemay that insteadhavebeenleft with the new understanding sheshoulddo her bestto avoid of in suchexperiences future. If her experience the world wasthroughan eady with a loving motherandfatherwho did not provide"mixed messaget"--..9., relationship that would not readilyconcede the world shelives I I punishyou because love you--she in is "a world of sin": it neverwould havefelt that way to her. Shemay not take to because would havebeenfortunateenough know she pleasure Geraldine's embrace in rapttrous love without it being coupledwith crushing,snakewhat it is like to experience against wann andloving breast).As is, with her a like, pain (a lovely e,mbrace she together, eovpled necessarily seeming with experiences her fatherof theseopposites pleasure; had shehad a firm conception,from but quite believably experiences of because to of experiences, beingwarmly lovedwithout needing integrate, continuous

with a cold breast feelingsof hatredaswell, a couplingof a wann ernbrace their absence, as that would at leastfeel like a couplingof opposites couldbe imagined, being as imaginedandunderstood being all entiretyof the experience disentangled--withthe a beenunambiguously embrace the the bettersans "cold, old breast"i.e.,had Geraldine's that the she with Geraldine couldconclude loving one. Fromher new experience of down" of an experience to--atbest--a'fuatering of combination hateandlove amounts in of she true love, because would havea conception love available her memorythat is to unavailable her assheis in the poem. what I ffid ffi&ybe misinterpreted, thereforeseemunimaginative--but This, I suspect, by take am not saytngis that what we sometimes asbeingugly cannotbe envisioned beautiful. I am not sayingthat an old woman,with only one else someone assomething is breastcannotbe beautiful. But this is not what Coleridge telling us. Coleridgeis not is, bitterness seenfrom a himselfwith unmeant trying to tell us that Leolineexpressing might be if we focused good,asan olderwomanwith onebreast new light, something (like a goodPtatonist) highertruthslike the stateof her soul. No--heis sayingthat the on the only way we experience good,*re father'slove, is throughhis realbrutality. To pain. This is the trutt! of a sinful world. love, we must alsoexperience experience this The ramification of accepting asfiuth is that we may not feel compelledto route (not snails,slimy things,or onebreasted out the "ugly'' (the truly ugly like child abuse in to women--allthingsI am readilyequipped seeasbeautifuD) our world. Indeed, the parentinglike Christabelhaslikely cannotdo sobecause anyonewho hasexperienced would feel like the to lossof the ugly, coupledasit is to his or her attachment her parents, who's to love. It is not a frameof mind congenial a progressive--someone lossof parental concernis to route out miseryfrom our experientiallives. This may be why asmuch as I Lasch,I turn to his workslessandlessoften. He is a Freudian onceenjoyedChristopher or that in the sense he thinks it impossibleto transcend dramaticallyimprove the human The bestwe cando is condition:we arestuckwith the id, the ego,andthe superego. involving somesacrificeand with our choicenecessarily figure out the properbalance; to to somebenefit. I imagine"Christabel"speaking Lasch. It doesn'tspeak me: love the better:they dese,lne unanrbiguous of all Leoline,Geraldine dese,nre Christabel, ones. I'll be part of the of not admiringparents, the 'tnmeant bittsrness" anrbivalent

ghost of appeal "Geraldines"--a eftort (ZEROTO THREE: let's eliminatethe seductive from our own nursery)to fiansformour human"soul" so we no longer contentourselves to seebeautyin a sinful world. We mustnot "Passaslightly asyou will"(155). We must parents the not heedadviceto "O softly fread"(160)out of a fearof awakening sleeping passed "hall" of childhoodwith its inescapable the in our own mind who, thoughwenve and of immediacyof the good,bad,or mixed experiences our parents their behavior towardus, still "echo" in, still haunt,orn minds.We musttnrly'?ass . . . the hall, that echoes still" (154)which canonly be doneby eliminating,or silencingthe echoes--and with an of not by framing our remembrances our pastearly childhoodexperiences Kudosto us for bravelyfollowing or fearfirl,acceptance homage. attitudeof reverential, like but to the echoes their source, the tnrly wiseknow that theseechoes, the omnipresent building,is a form of anxietyproducingnoisepollution musicin my apartment stereo to. that we shouldmakeall eflort not to acquiesce poets,ffid I cannotleaveyou I #2: In my first essay tippedmy hat to the Restoration poets. I don't--in fact I takemy hat that with the impression I think lessof the Romantic in in of offto them. Thereis a real sense exhilaration reading, encountoitg, the bold, writers. The willingnessof Coleridgeand of imagtnings these expansive, andtherefore
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beingpossessed, (andtherefore surelythemselves) Shellyto imaginetheir protagonists a requires more stable"ego" losin! their volition andconfiol, andliking this experience of and with cleardemarcations a sense order. The thanthosewho policetheir imaginings is Romanticmoveto reconcileopposites surelya liberationfrom the "firewalls" needed internalchaos. by lessevolvedsortslestthey experience is argues "the ability to form abstractions that #3: I shouldnotetoo that Greenspan into actually the ability to fusevariousemotionalexperiences a single,integrated ' who that the Romantics with him, andI agree concepf (Growthof theMind,26). I agree by delight in the new thoughts,ttrenew feelings,generated the cornbinationof opposites, fc Coleridgedoesin aremoving closerto a fulfillment of the humanpromise. W andI keepit in mind on comments the natureof hugsandkisses, "Christabel,"Greenspan comments while reading,and seeits tnrth within, "Christabel"--myotherimpassioned
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thinker,love is hugsandkissesand He notwithstanding. writes: "To the concrete formulation thinker,it is far lesssimple,amany-layered To happiness. the abstract alongwith I (27). Because conceive graduallyfrom life's experiences" acquired and humantruthsthat "[a]s our smotionalexperience the as Greenspan undeniable to and richness reachof the loveswe canfeel continue grow, so doesour understanding of of love" (27),andthat"if we limit our concept[ion] . . . love. . . to just a few that is richness the shortchange conceptual we cognitivelyfamiliar dimensions, seriously of spectrum affective . generated considering . . love . . .in the contextof the enonnous by of to that experiences relates eachof them" (36), andthat "[t]he basicelement thinking-(39; my lived experience" the true heart of the creativitycenftalto humanlife--requires ignorewhat poem"Christabel."But I cannot Coleridge's to emphasis),Iwant embrace parentingI of he tells us aboutLeoline,andthe all to real consequences suchambivalent in experiencedanly the still far from perfecthumancommunityaroundme, andthus will that the realbeautyof the poemcouldnot havebeenofferedshornof its not accept disquietinglelements.

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"Coletidge early recognized the disquieting elementsin the appeal of the Satanic-Napoleonic-Byronic figrrre, and . . . he wamed his age against it; but in vain. This personage immensely affected the life, the art, and even the philosophy of the 19th century. He became the model for the behavior of avant-garde young men and gave focus to the yearnings of emancipatedyoung women" (M.H.Abrams, Norton Anthologt of English Literature, 1968,p.704).

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