Sunday, February 3, 2008

Silence of Lord Chandos

The crisis of Chandos is both psychological and ethical. His poetry would be dishonest were he to write about anything in this state of knowing but being unable to speak or write. I believe his condition is a psychological state only because I came across a scholarly article on silence during therapy and what that silence communicates - I can imagine this letter being spoken (or relayed with silence) to a psychologist or therapist in that context. The Letter has a confessional feel to it. 

His 'aesthetic' sense is in working order, however. The empathy with everything he sees that Heidi spoke about in class is apparent, and he has many subjects to write about. The passage near the end about his "nameless joyful feeling" in experiencing ephemeral pleasures in the world and of the man who loved his eel are observations that are highly aesthetic in a way I associate with Japanese poetry and art. Does he retain his poetic soul and ethics? Is he protecting them with his vow not to write? 

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