The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

Portrait of a Sandwich

OK, so you don't want to talk about necrophilia. Fair enough. But you should read this rather awesome poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne. (It's a good thing he became a poet. You couldn't be a butcher with the name Algernon Charles Swinburne.) "The Leper" is really just the logical next step in the tradition of courtly love, with its idealized ladies who were unattainable to begin with. Actually, I'd go so far as to call it a brilliant commentary on all romantic writing by men in which the loved woman is effectively an erotically charged object, described mainly in terms of the feelings the loving man has about her. Even really smart men who are really good writers have written whole books in which the main female character might as well be a sandwich. Actually, that's a game we could try: in every story in which a woman's purpose is to be obsessed over by a man, imagine her as a corpse. Or a sandwich. I should have done that with Portrait of a Lady.

BONUS I think this poem may have just provided me with the proper title of the Zeppo and Friends stories, on account of I'm literary as hell.
Tags: algernon charles swinburne, henry james, poetry, writing, zeppo and friends
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