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the dumb creatures, and in the old vital dependence upon the earth.
His View of Life. — But Hardy does not merely show us the tragedy and comedy of human life, played by men and women of strong passions, of simple and powerful natures, upon an ancient and majestic scene. He is not an impartial, dispassionate observer, he is an interpreter or critic of life; he shows us the pettiness, the defeats, the cruel misery and tragedy of man's lot, and forces us to ask why these things should be. The transitory and ineffectual life of man is contrasted - as in the poetry of Matthew Arnold — with the permanence and power of the physical universe. But in Hardy's view, Nature is not merely indifferent to man: at times there is something in the constitution of things almost positively malign.
Without inquiring into the correctness of Hardy's views, we may observe that the passionate sincerity of his convictions has seemingly impaired his impartiality as an observer of the facts of life. Especially in some of his later books he resembles a scientist who, in his anxiety to prove a preconceived theory, observes and reports upon only one set of facts, unconsciously slighting or suppressing whatever militates against his conclusions. This inability to weigh all the evidence and to see life fairly in all its aspects is a flaw in Hardy's art. At the same time, his earnestness, his sincerity, his poetic genius, and dramatic power entitle him to a high place among the masters of English fiction.
Rudyard Kipling (born 1864). — Far removed from the quiet, poetic world of Thomas Hardy, with its twilight of pessimism, is the practical, active, and oftentimes rough, life in camps and cities portrayed by Rudyard Kipling. While Hardy dwells upon those
memorials of England's past which are preserved in the quiet valleys of Wessex, Kipling takes us to the frontiers of the British Empire, and looks upon England's present greatness and prosperity and her promise in the future with true British satisfaction. More truly than any one else, Kipling is the representative author of English colonial life. He has traveled in India, Africa, Australia, and America, and he has portrayed especially the life of the military and governing classes of India with a rough vigor and fidelity. His work is noted for its splendid energy, and for its wholesome delight in the more primitive passions of men of action and of war. Kim, one of his few novels, is a brilliant and effective study of Anglo-Indian life, but in such collections of short stories as Soldiers Three (1888), Plain Tales from the Hills (1890), and The Day's Work (1894), Kipling is at his best in the realm of fiction. In describing the life of the British soldier and sailor, he shows the journalist's power of grasping the essential facts of his subject and of shaping them into a picturesque and vivid narrative. The same rough, masculine vigor, the same indifference to conventional standards, are seen in his verse. He is the poet of the life of action, the poet of Imperial England, and in the march of his resounding lines we find again the vigor, the hopefulness, the unquestioning courage of youth.
While the fullest and most spirited pictures of the daily life and interests of the Victorian period are found in the novel, the poets have given artistic expression to the spiritual unrest, and the higher needs and aspira
tions of the time. Victorian poets, like those of the age of Queen Anne, have usually aimed at correctness and beauty of form, and even in the lesser Victorians, while the thought may be familiar and the inspiration weak, we generally find the verse smooth and the style carefully finished. Tennyson is the representative poet of the period; and while his manner is very different, Tennyson is in his own way as correct and as careful an artist as Pope. But Victorian poetry has a broader range, as well as a deeper passion, than that of the Augustan age. Pope and his contemporaries excelled in one kind of verse, the heroic couplet; Tennyson and the other poets of the Victorian era are remarkable for their mastery of many meters, and their successes in different and often novel poetic forms. Victorian poetry treats of a wide variety of subjects, classical, medieval, oriental, and modern, but it is above all else personal, a revelation of the inmost thoughts and feelings of the poet himself. It has produced In Memoriam, , a poem in which the poet tells us of his sorrows, doubts, and hopes, but it has not excelled in the drama, for there the author must forget himself and reveal the life and character of others.
Science and democracy, the two dominant motive forces of the era, affected the Victorian poets in different ways. Some, repelled and disgusted by much that seemed to them ugly and commonplace in the everyday life about them, sought to escape through poetry into an ideal world, less vulgar and more to their mind. Unlike Wordsworth, these poets saw nothing wonderful or beautiful in the lives of the men and women about them. Like Keats, they ignored the hopes and perplexities of their own age, and finding no beauty in modern life sought for it in the past. They took
refuge from the prosaic and the commonplace in the romance of the Middle Ages, or they tried to escape the unrest and struggle of the century by going back in imagination to the calm beauty of the world of the old Greeks.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. — This impulse to get away from the prosaic features of modern life through art manifested itself in painting as well as in poetry; and it is closely connected with the rise of a new school of painters known as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. This school was founded about 1848 by three young painters, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and John Everett Millais. The members of this school were called Pre-Raphaelites because, while it was usual for art students to copy Raphael, the Brotherhood studied and followed certain Italian painters before Raphael's time. The Pre-Raphaelite movement was but another manifestation of that impulse to get back into the medieval world which had already shown itself in poetry, in the novel, and in other forms. The ideas of the Pre-Raphaelites found literary expression in a magazine called The Germ (1850). Rossetti, a leading spirit in the Pre-Raphaelite movement, was a poet as well as a painter, and he often embodied the same or similar conceptions in his poems and in his pictures. Rossetti was not only a man of genius, there was something about his singular personality which won him enthusiastic and devoted followers; and being master of two arts, he exercised a strong influence on poets as well as painters.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882) was the son of an Italian patriot who had been exiled for political reasons and had taken refuge in England. Rossetti's father was a remarkable man of highly artistic nature, a poet, a
musician, an artist, and a student and critic of Dante. Rossetti, though born and brought up in London, was thus surrounded in his childhood by Italian art and culture, and, besides this, was three-fourths Italian by descent. The boy's love of art showed itself very early. From his childhood he was both a writer and a maker of verse, and at fourteen he left school and began to study to be an artist. It was while he was an art student at the Royal Academy that he met Millais, Hunt, and a sculptor named Thomas Woolman, who were soon to be associated with him in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. He did not, however, give up poetry for painting, as the Blessed Damozel, one of the best known and most characteristic of his poems, was composed in his nineteenth year. In 1871 he published some masterly translations of early Italian poetry, but his public recognition as a poet dates from the appearance of a collection of his poems in 1870. This volume created a sensation in the literary world.
Rossetti's Poetry. — Rossetti, one of his followers declared, had "ever something about him of mystic isolation,” and one of the most obvious characteristics of his poetry is its remoteness from actual life. Rossetti and his associates separated themselves from the ordinary interests, occupations, and desires of the men around them, and found a delight and a place of refuge in a world of emotion and of art. Such an unnatural separation is almost certain to injure the man and the quality of his work. The poet, loving Beauty only, and absorbed in a lifelong luxury of emotion, loses his manliness and balance of nature, cut off from wholesome, human contact with the real world.
Arnold was called “the Apostle of Culture,” Rossetti may be called "the Apostle of Beauty.” He had great