Ancient or not, the Ossian cycle by Macpherson was influential and popular and the characters, like Malvina, inspired many other works of art and literature. This photo is a reproduction of “The Death of Malvina,” by Dutch-French Romantic painter Ary Scheffer circa 1802.
We also had some discussion on the Facebook group about authenticity. Jim Kincaid asked us to defend (or attack) the following proposition: “Originality is a myth; all art involves rearrangement of words, images, characters, plots used over and over. It is all copying.” Karla responds with “all art is an endless discussion about the human condition, by we humans experiencing our state of being. Though there is no new thing to say, everyone’s experience, every ‘speaker’ or artist, is completely unique.” What do you think?
- Why do you think Charles does not proceed with his own poetry?
- What do you think is the significance of his obsession with eating books?
- In addition to references to headaches and illnesses, if we think to the end of chapter 6, Charles “put his head upon his arm, and wept” after reading some verses from the manuscript. What do you think is wrong with him?
Finally, if you have a spare hour, you can listen to Harold Bloom discuss The Anxiety of Influence, which Charles mentions to Harriet.Listen now