Some of my analysis of Coleridge’s Kubla Khan:

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s opening explanatory paragraphs to Kubla Khan inform the poem in several different ways.  The most obvious way is explaining the circumstances under which the poem was written.  The further function arises in Coleridge’s explanation that the “lines that are here preserved”(460) are just a 54-line fragment of the dream that could have been up to 300 lines.  As a reader, this gives me a sense of Coleridge teasing me, saying ‘here’s just a taste, and you will never have the rest.’  The poem as a whole leaves one with a sense of awe and a myriad of unanswered questions, Continue reading

James Joyce on artistic beauty

“Beauty expressed by the artist cannot awaken in us an emotion which is kinetic or a sensation which is purely physical. It awakens, or ought to awaken, or induces, or ought to induce, an esthetic stasis, an ideal pity or an ideal terror, a stasis called forth, prolonged and at last dissolved by what I call the rhythm of beauty.”
-James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man p180