proximoception: (Default)
[personal profile] proximoception
Life seems to become more and more about people as it goes. I was always a places guy, but they've lost most of their color. I wonder what I'd have done if you could have convinced me that would happen.

Date: 2016-12-30 02:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Life is an affair of people, not of places. But for me life has always been an affair of places, and that has made the difference." Misquoting from memory, a letter of Stevens's to his daughter.

Date: 2016-12-30 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Your memory palace is almost as broken as mine.

"The fact is, most people are a great nuisance, and my own disposition is not remarkably lenient in such things. Perhaps that is why my own likes are more often for things than for people: because of intolerance." (From a letter series to Elsie in 1907-8, excerpted by Holly in Sel. Letters)

"Life is an affair of people not of places. But for me life is an affair of places and that is the trouble." (From Adagia)

"And that has made all the difference." (Line 15 of Frost's "The Road Not Taken")


I don't think I've read Adagia since c. 2004, and I'm mostly innocent of Stevens criticism past Bloom, who doesn't seem to have ever quoted this bit. But I've been back to his letters a lot. Wonder if I made the same connection between the two passages that you did, on some level.

As for Frost, you may recall my arguing how "Ideas of Order" is part of a dispute between Stevens and R[amon] F[ernandez] about how to hear Dickinson. In a sense it must also be about what it means that, despite everything, "waters on a starry night / are beautiful and fair" - lines from the text I'd been (consciously) thinking of when I wrote this entry.

RE: The difference to me.

Date: 2016-12-30 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You had me thinking of that too. The Lucy poems are the kernel of Dickinson, I sometimes think. Like how Goethe's Prometheus and a few similar lyrics made Holderlin. Whose existence and opinions and isolation (and some few lines of his) she was aware of, I learned last week, since he figures heavily in a volume of Von Arnim's that Fuller translated and young ED loved.

Free association rides its own melting.

RE: The difference to me.

Date: 2017-01-01 06:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow. I had no idea. That's amazing, actually.

RE: The difference to me.

Date: 2017-01-02 08:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Isn't it? Emerson translated a page of Hyperion in The Dial around the same time, but that's another weird story.


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