By Charles Olson, Frances Boldereff, Ralph Maud, Sharon Thesen
A notable sequence of letters among Black Mountain poet Charles Olson and his so much ardent reader.
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Extra resources for Charles Olson and Frances Boldereff: A Modern Correspondence
The “rock rocked” beneath the trembling watchman during a terrible storm that the Demon’s curse inf licts, but the watchman does not leave his post. ” The “vast illimitable desert” of the story falls voiceless in response to the Demon’s fury, but the message on the stone tower seems as mysterious as its former occupant: a sign of stoic self command in the face of a speechless void. ” The tale’s resilient narrator, by contrast, is an inhabitant of more complex verbal worlds, capable of discerning wonder where the Demon finds only curses.
The scene’s preternatural light suggests the interior of a great theater, as well as the bodily recesses to which the “mouth” of the canal appears to lead. The events that shortly play themselves out on this vivid blend of an artificial and a natural stage ultimately point to one of Poe’s most persistent themes: the flesh for all its ethereal beauty is little more than a vessel, an elaborate Palladian palace founded upon the hidden secrets of silent waters. When on the following day the narrator of “The Assignation” visits the palazzo of the nameless “stranger” whose dramatic rescue of a drowning child began the story, he encounters there a stunning collection of priceless art and splendid furnishings, gathered in a richly illuminated and scented room that his host refers to as “my little regal cabinet”—an elaborate cultural storehouse not unlike the city that contains it.
His marriage is a bewildering blend of feverish seizure and self-centered calculation, as if his original bond with his wife were a paradoxical mixture of the medicinal and the infectious: With a feeling of deep yet most singular affection I regarded my friend Morella. Thrown by accident into her society many years ago, my soul, from our first meeting, burned with fires it had never before known; but the fires were not of Eros, and bitter and tormenting to my spirit was the gradual conviction that I could in no manner define their unusual meaning, or regulate their vague intensity.
Charles Olson and Frances Boldereff: A Modern Correspondence by Charles Olson, Frances Boldereff, Ralph Maud, Sharon Thesen