This Week in Keats, Episode 4: Inventive Keats, Allusive Keats

This Week in Keats
Brian Rejack (Illinois State University) and Michael Theune (Illinois Wesleyan University)

Re: Keats’s 22 Nov 1817 letters to Bailey and to Reynolds

For the two letters dated 200 years ago today, the KLP presents Episode 4 of This Week in Keats. In their episode titled “Inventive Keats, Allusive Keats,” hosts Brian Rejack and Mike Theune discuss the many “fine Phrases” that they look upon like lovers while reading the letter to Bailey, as well as the wide range of Shakespearean references in the letter to Reynolds (plus a possible bawdy pun lost thanks to a missing word in Richard Woodhouse’s transcript of the Reynolds letter…). Much of the discussion revolves around negative capability, that black hole of a Keatsian concept from which no one can fully escape the event horizon. Eventually we all end up in its gravitational orbit. And for Brian and Mike, the two letters from today exist right at that boundary, given the many ways they look forward to the negative capability letter. Speaking of negative capability, be on the lookout for a variety of responses to the letter on the KLP at the end of December this year!

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