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Love and its Critics

Michael Bryson
Arpi Movsesian


Texte intégral

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.
And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not, writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.
And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.
—William Blake, “The Garden of Love”, Songs of Experience

Et si notre âme a valu quelque chose, c'est qu'elle a brûlé plus ardemment que quelques autres.
—André Gide, Les Nourritures terrestres

Die Wissenschaft unter der Optik des Künstlers zu sehn, die Kunst aber unter der des Lebens.
—Friedrich Nietzsche, Die Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik

1This book emerges from multiple experiences and perspectives: teaching students at California State University and the University of California; leaving a religious tradition, and leaving a country and an entire way of life; extensive written and verbal conversations with people from all over the world—from the Middle East, Africa, Sri Lanka, Western Europe, the former Soviet Union, and the Asian Pacific Rim; and finally, an attempt to understand what has happened to the study of poetry, especially love poetry, in modern literary education. Our thanks go out to Alessandra Tosi, Lucy Barnes and Francesca Giovannetti at Open Book Publishers, who worked tirelessly with us on the manuscript to make this book possible. Thanks are due especially to Nazanin Keynejad, who read and commented upon the first draft of this book, and to Modje Taavon, who provided valuable insight into the similarities between the early modern European and contemporary Middle Eastern cultures. Special thanks are also due to Robert Bryson, Naomi Bryson, Heather Bryson, Alan Wolstrup, Steven Wolstrup, Yeprem Movsesian, Ruzan Petrosian, Haik Movsesian, and Edgar Movsesian, not only for their differing experiences and perspectives, but for personal encouragement and support.


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