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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: February ::
Re: Ozymandias
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0312  Wednesday, 25 February 1999.

[1]     From:   Carol Barton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Feb 1999 08:56:01 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0309 Re: Listening in on Great Minds

[2]     From:   C. David Frankel <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Feb 1999 09:51:43 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.0309 Re: Listening in on Great Minds

[3]     From:   Helen Ostovich <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Feb 1999 10:46:31 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0309 Re: Listening in on Great Minds

[4]     From:   Marilyn A. Bonomi <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Feb 1999 10:34:56 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0309 Re: Listening in on Great Minds

[5]     From:   David Crosby <
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        Date:   Wed, 24 Feb 1999 18:49:05 -0600
        Subj:   Re: Listening in on Great Minds


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Barton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Feb 1999 08:56:01 EST
Subject: 10.0309 Re: Listening in on Great Minds
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0309 Re: Listening in on Great Minds

>>Shelley's "Ozymandias," one of the canonical texts of
>>Romantic poetry (a field where the young Bloom made his pioneering
>>reputation), rightly asserts that art transcends politics: Art is the
>>only thing that lasts, amid the great swirl of nature.

>Did anyone else have my reaction to this, that what "Ozymandias"
>+actually+ asserts is that all that will be left of great art is a pair
>of wellie boots in the sand?

Yes, of course-"behold my works, ye mighty" (buried in the swirling
sand) "and despair."  But I'm not sure Shelley meant  "great arts" per
se-only the kind the artist or patron creates/has created as a monument
to himself (sort of  "so long lives this," but with a vengeance).

Carol Barton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           C. David Frankel <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Feb 1999 09:51:43 -0500
Subject: 10.0309 Re: Listening in on Great Minds
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.0309 Re: Listening in on Great Minds

Robin Hamilton <
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>Did anyone else have my reaction to this, that what "Ozymandias"
>+actually+ asserts is that all that will be left of great art
>is a pair of wellie boots in the sand?

I would think if it asserts anything it is that all that will be left of
"great" conquerors is that pair of wellie boots in the sand.  I don't
think anything in the poem suggests that the fallen statue of Ozy is
great art.

Although there *is* a sonnet about that somewhere. . . .

cdf

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Ostovich <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Feb 1999 10:46:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0309 Re: Listening in on Great Minds
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0309 Re: Listening in on Great Minds

Re: Ozymandias:

I incline to the wellies in the sand reading.  Isn't he saying that all
things decay, art as well as politics?  Power is relative, not
permanent.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marilyn A. Bonomi <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Feb 1999 10:34:56 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 10.0309 Re: Listening in on Great Minds
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0309 Re: Listening in on Great Minds

> Did anyone else have my reaction to this, that what "Ozymandias"
> +actually+ asserts is that all that will be left of great art is a pair
> of wellie boots in the sand?
>
> Robin Hamilton

I just hauled out the old Adventures in English Lit. used by the
teachers of juniors here in my school.  I reread the poem.

It's NOT about "art" at all!  It's about politics: that all the
arrogance, all the hubris of the great Ozymandias amounts to nothing
more than those wellies and a visage still revealing his cruelty and
self-centeredness.

That the sculptor captured O's nature so well that it has survived in
this ruin is tangential to the point.

In my humble opinion, of course <blush>....

Marilyn A. Bonomi

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Crosby <
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Date:           Wed, 24 Feb 1999 18:49:05 -0600
Subject:        Re: Listening in on Great Minds

Dear Robin:

I certainly had a reaction similar to yours, though perhaps what
Ozymandias, "King of Kings," created was not really great art, but the
self-aggrandizing public art, the "marble [and] gilded monuments of
Princes," that Shakespeare declared his "powerful rhyme" would outlive.

David Crosby
Alcorn State University
 

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