By Robert Coover
A satirical fantasy of small-town the US facilities on a builder's spouse and the erotic energy she exerts over her acquaintances, reworking sooner than their eyes and altering ceaselessly their notions of correct and mistaken.
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Additional resources for John's Wife
Such actions ‘most powerfully appeal to the great primary human affections: to those elementary feelings which subsist permanently in the race, and which are independent of time’ (1965: 593–4). Such an art escapes the predicament of the modern: the alienation of artists from his society, their Introduction: Victorian Poetics 7 conﬁnement to subjectivity as the material of art, and their location in a mundane contemporaneity. Arnold advocates a style appropriate to poetry as he conceived it: the grand style, in which beauty or elaborateness of expression does not offer itself as an independent pleasure, distracting the reader from the action.
Although one works with the visible world, the other with the spiritual, both try to ﬂash upon you in a sudden way a new and perfect sense of the artist’s intuition, rejecting all ready-made impressions and conclusions. Symons’s linking of impressionism to symbolism recalls how close throughout the Victorian period, from Tennyson to the PreRaphaelites, were a poetics centring upon visual impressions as a way of communicating an emotional landscape and a poetics evoking emotion through language distanced from its immediate referents.
He revises Arnold’s advice to the critic to see the object as in itself it really is; the aesthetic critic must ‘know one’s impression as it really is’. Having reduced experience so radically, Pater asserts that intensity of experience is the only success to which one can aspire. The love of art for its own sake offers the best way to achieve the ‘quickened, multiplied consciousness’ that Pater desires. Aesthetic poetry provides a distillation of a transﬁgured world, an artiﬁcial or earthly paradise.