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Don’t love to love yah Alexander Pope

October 9, 2015

conradbrunstrom

hunchback

Here’s why Alexander Pope is so great.  I love him but I don’t love to love him.  Actually I don’t love HIM at all.  There is nothing contextual or biographically endearing about Pope to contaminate the purity of my regard for his verse.  He’s an irritating little shit.

There are some poets who you want to be better than they really are.  William Blake for example.  Everything about the life and personality of William Blake makes you want to enjoy his poems.  But I can’t.  Then there are characters whose literary merit is certain but you’re never sure whether your affection for the author isn’t doing half the work of interpretation.

Pope suffered a variety of disabilities.  As a Catholic, he was debarred from many walks of life in early eighteenth-century England.  He was formally and legally disqualified from full citizenship.  Having the name “Pope” in a fiercely protestant country didn’t help…

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