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JOHN KEATS’S THEORY OF “NEGATIVE CAPABILITY”

The receptive state of mind of the psychoanalyst listening to his/her patient. Andrew Motion’s biography was very thought provoking.

Dream Seeker

The most living thing in Keats’s poetry is the recreation of sensuous beauty, first as a source of delight for its own sake, then as a symbol of the life of the mind and the emotions. Speculated and philosophical interests always formed the major part of Shelley’s experience and the young Wordsworth for a time was hag – ridden by them: there is almost no trace of this in Keats. Keats did not like to foster abstract thought in himself and his poetry. He cared little for it. In fact, he resented intellectual truths which make demands upon the mind without being verifiable in immediate experience. Keats differs from Shelley on the point of intellectualization of his poetry and his advice against it and the other is his opinion about Truth coming through Beauty.

David Daiches, in his book Critical Approaches to Literature, Longman, 1977, gives a lengthy explanation of…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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