Sweet illusion to those who think that a great artistic creation is the fruit of any divine illumination

In The Philosophy of Composition, Edgar Allan Poe explains in detail his process of poetic creation, exemplifying through his best-known poem, the marvelous The Raven.

Without intending to summarize even more what is already extremely summarized in the few pages of the essay, let’s go to some interesting topics.

Poe…

Jude the Obscure exposes the entrails of this repugnant organization called society

Jude the Obscure is Thomas Hardy’s latest novel. Received in hostility by the critics, some say that the epithets from “dirty” to “immoral” justified Hardy living little more than thirty years without publishing a new novel.

The fact is that Hardy abandoned the genre exactly after the publication of a…

Adams saw American skyscrapers doomed to become, one day, ruins of an ugly and false civilization

First, the teacher. Otto Maria Carpeaux’s words about Henry Adams, in my translation:

Finally, Henry Adams, the last, returns to his homeland, and no longer recognizes it, this country of uneducated millionaires and corrupt politicians who use democratic slogans to exploit the amorphous masses. Henry Adams’ first reaction was the…

The poet never sits concerned with the logical exposition of an idea or feeling

In radical opposition to a non-fictional text in prose, whose object is usually rationality, lies poetry, whose purpose is often rewarded with incomprehension.

The poet never sits concerned with the logical exposition of an idea or feeling: what he seeks is the power of expression, the beauty. And it is…

Fathers and Sons, by Ivan Turgenev

It is said of Bazarov — the protagonist of Fathers and Sons, by Ivan Turgenev — the first nihilistic character in history.

The importance of this work, therefore, is immense.

Bazarov inaugurates in the literature the posture of denial to any kind of authority or moral principle.

Materialistic intellectual, he…

Candide, or Optimism, by Voltaire

Just as George Orwell’s Animal Farm is the best vaccine against communism, Voltaire’s Candide, or Optimism is the best vaccine against the risible contemporary notion of man’s self-reliance.

“You can get what you want,” “The world is a projection of your interior,” “Thinking positive is the key to success,” and…

Orthodoxy, by G. K. Chesterton

I feed my misanthropy of delicacies and she, in response, gets fat.

Then I completed another year, smiling, and this time with a Chesterton volume in my hands.

Chesterton…

If I had read him at twenty, I might have idolized him…

But that is the way it is, and good…

Luciano Duarte

I write about literature and philosophy | lucianoduarte.com

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