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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And My Bowels Shall Sound Like an Harpe

Thaumiskomania: morbid indulgence in exclamation marks.

‘Each ejaculation a lost novel.’ (Balzac)

‘A walking joint of beef on whom God has lavished all the thoughts an imbecile can have.’ (Balzac on his publisher Gosselin)

Coleridge suggested his father’s greatest contribution to scholarship was the re-naming of the ablative case in Latin grammar with the ‘sonorous and expressive term of the Quippe-quare-quale-quia-quidditive Case!’

‘For you are such an ugly fellow!’ (Christ’s Hospital schoolmaster, adding extra stroke when beating Coleridge.)

Coleridge sworn in to 15th Light Dragoons at regiment headquarters in Reading: ‘a very indocile equestrian.’

‘Discharged, S.T. Comberbache, Insane: 10 April, 1794.’

Southey expelled from Westminster for editing a magazine, The Flagellant.

Coleridge on Southey: ‘He is truly a man of perpendicular virtue – a down-right upright Republican!

‘I am attracted by the notion of a hearty indifference to one’s own and other people’s feelings, when a fragment of the truth is in question.’ (Empson)

‘You don’t even know my name, and yet you ask who I am. The cheek!’ (Lacenaire, Les enfants du paradis)

‘24 People Killed, Tokyo, 1988-1994, Bowing Greetings to Each Other’ (headline, The Independent on Sunday, 26 June 1994.)

‘I am not at all surprised, when the red hot prejudices of aristocrats are suddenly plunged into the cool waters of reason, that they should go off with a hiss!’ (STC)

To ‘glide down the quiet rivulet of life, a Trout!’ (STC)

‘I think the subject of Pregnancy the most obscure of all God’s dispensations – it seems coercive against Immaterialism – it starts uneasy doubts respecting Immortality & the pangs which the Woman suffers seem inexplicable in the system of optimism. Other pangs are only friendly admonitions that we are not acting as Nature requires – but here are pains most horrible in consequence of having obeyed Nature.’ (STC)

‘Wherefore my Bowels shall sound like an Harpe.’ (Isaiah, adopted by STC as motto for The Friend)

‘Escapes from Misery, a Poem’
‘Halo Round the Candle – Sigh Visible’ (titles of abandoned STC poems)

Finds Nanny laying the fire with torn-up Watchmen.

‘I mean to work very hard, as Cook, Butler, Scullion, Shoe-cleaner, occasional Nurse, Gardener, Hind, Pig-Protector, Chaplain, Secretary, Poet, Reviewer, and omni-botherum shilling-scavenger.’ (STC to Poole)

‘You know, I would not wish to touch with the edge of the nail of my great toe the line which should be but half a barley corn out of the circle of the most trembling delicacy!’ (STC to Poole)


George said...

While supplies last:

The I Love Samuel Taylor Coleridge Keychain

Ron said...

Are you reading Richard Holmes too, puthwuth?

puthwuth said...

Richard Holmes does an excellent job of making Coleridge the wreck, in art and life, seem more interesting than, say, Wordsworth the dazzling success. A very fine biography.