i just finished Arthur Symons' symbolist movement in literature this morning which is great if you want to read about 19th century French writers and the various states of detachment, mysticism and insanity they explored
Symons wrote this and some poems then had a psychotic episode which put him out of commission for 20 years further evidence to be careful with that french lot
More info- it's translations of an unpublished notebook of thoughts, epigrams and stuff that he sent to Pound to translate when he was an old man I think.
A few dodgy antisemitic/anti-suffragette thoughts creep in to some of the later entries, but it's a good read. I didn't know anything about him before but apparently he wrote a lot about and was defender of the symbolists which is why I mentioned it.
I've been reading a bit of Midsummer Night's Dream on the bog. I love the names of the 'rude mechanicals'. (And some of the comedy in their scenes is still amusing.) I like how Puck is a nasty piece of shit that enjoys tearing mortals to shreds through emotional manipulation/date rape. I love Bottom. (Quote that @Mr. Tea.) No need to mention the language – but was any other SS written so predominantly in heroic couplets?
But what I never quite twigged before is that the whole thing could be read as a satiric takedown on the arbitrariness and madness of love. A comedy in the sense of showing life to be farcical (and theatrical, natch).
Well…lots of MSND is blank verse but some uses the heroic form. Early plays are much likely to be more reliant on heroics as that was the convention at the time. But as he develops he stretches the potential of the standard iambic pentameter and flirts with something much closer to prose at times.
I think MSND has a rich variety of forms reflecting: the prose of the proles; the regal Lang of the duke; the faeries’ verse and then the parody of melodramatic verse in Pyramus and Thisbe.
I'm hacking my way through hopscotch which has been mentioned here before. doing the simplistic reading in the first place. seems to lose a bit of momentum when the lead guy leaves Paris but I'll persevere.