Coleridge invents trinketization

coleridge1_2Samuel Taylor Coleridge was ahead of the game in so many ways.  His other work is of course crucial, stuff about an albatross, and the opening sequence to the newsreel section of Citizen Kane. A massive influence and to be adored. This piece is a small fragment written around 1800.

To a critic

Who extracted a passage from a poem without adding a word respecting the context, and then described it as unintelligible.

Most candid critic, what if I.
By way of joke, pull out your eye.
‘Ha! ha! that men such fools should be!
Behold this shapeless dab! – and he
Who own’ed it, fancied it could see!’
The joke were mighty analytic,
But should you like it, candid critic?

From Samuel Taylor Coleridge Selected Poems.

The eye as trinket is excellent – it cannot see on its own. Though Bataille finds other functions.

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  • Stuart  On 26/10/2009 at 09:16

    Coleridge was a drug addict to compensate for a psychotic personality disorder. Poetry is a deeply narcissistic form and criticism rarely goes down well with them ever…Tom Paulin on Newsnight does a wonderful impression of a whippet’s arse sucking a grapefruit for anything less than the standard ‘his’ hallowed work reaches.

    Critics are usually failed artists…why take them seriously?


    • john hutnyk  On 26/10/2009 at 10:16

      Stuart, yeah, I usually write Crrritics, and hear the sound of a cockatoo squarking in that word. Crrrriticccckk. But perhaps your diagnosis of Coleridge – a drug addict? to compensate… – is a bit beside the point. I think he was following the letter of your last sentence – as artist – and not taking them seriously. Don’t we have to agree.


  • Stuart  On 26/10/2009 at 18:39

    he probably needed the opium to cope with it, seriously, tompaulin


  • me  On 19/03/2010 at 22:56

    He used the opium to help regulate his bipolar disorder when he hit the lows.



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