Keats (John); one of my teenage literary idols, of an ennui-less me. An adolescent, who wrote between the ages 18 to 23. Fed on Greek and English Literature. Who wrote brilliantly but within the context of the literary milieu of the day. He loved the Greeks obviously, and Spencer. Probably Milton. And carried forward a movement started by Wordsworth and Coleridge.
He also longed for more books – many more than he had access to. Now I, sitting here two hundred years later, inexplicably, feel some weird kinship with that brilliant star. I also wonder, if I had been born then – an exciting intellectual time by all accounts – would I have been able to create any work as profound as some of Keats’; with the same felicity of thought, feeling and language? I could also ask, if Keats had been born today, if he would have dared to be himself?
Wouldn’t he be considered too soft? Too other worldly? Wouldn’t people question his orientation? Or maybe, he would have evolved differently. Maybe he would have turned to Goth Rock or Video Games or been a Green Activist. The other question is, would he have found any magic in this 21st Century World; this wired, banal, blasé world where there seems to be no perceptible intellectual direction or breakthrough possible.
This is a moribund time. A dull resting period in humanity’s humdrum life – just business as usual; where art and what it means and can mean, seems to have no tangible value in daily life. It feels sometimes, that everything that needed to be said has been said. There are too many books (with such similar blurbs!) too much music – the internet is just too vast. There’s too much competition.
Everyone wants the consumer’s attention. In such a world – this wired world – what would Keats have done? What will I do? In which direction can I go, that will be unique – my shining way?
Maybe the shadows have an answer.