The Landscape Garden

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Can anyone direct me to an analysis on this particular tale. It would be a tremendous help. Thank-you kindly.

Brook

-- Anonymous, August 26, 2002

Answers

The first thing to say is that "The Landcape Garden" is something like an essay included in a fictional frame (rather than merely a tale or a sketch), engaging much of Poe's aesthetical reflections upon the role of the true artist (poet) amid the society. It was composed just after "The Oval Portrait" (previously called "Life in Death", staging an erring painter who doesn't perceive that his model is loosing life while he is confering life into his picture), and "The Mask of the Red Death" (another tale wherein another erring artist, out of the common humanity, trying to escape from the reality of Death, is finally caught by Him). These tales both prolong all what Poe has precisely developed in his theoretical principles involved in his various critical reviews of the same period (about Bulwer's "Night and Morning", Longfellow's "Ballads", Hawthorne's "Twice-Told Tales", Macaulay's "Essays" &c, all issued in Graham's Magazine). The motto of the text you are studying gives the key for Poe's essential concept; it comes fom a poem by Giles Fletcher, "Christ's Victorie on Earth". Read again the argument, and you will see that, for Poe, the true artist is someone like a redemptor, like a hyphen between earthly world and the one above, between man and Almighty God, just as already expressed in his early poem "Al Aaraaf". The true artist is invested by a sacred mission, not at all an inspirated one (like that presented by the Transcendentalists), but a very hardly one to complete and to accomplish through conscious and laborious work. The permanent credo of Poe the Artist. Much more to say, but with these few words just a little path to go on to Poe's philosophical views of the really sacred function of the artist... Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, August 28, 2002

Aow! I see that I forget to inform you (but you probably know it) that "The Landscape Garden" (1842) was later expanded in a longer version entitled "The Domain of Arnheim" (1847), describing Ellison's realisation. In 1849, Poe went further on this topic with "The Cottage Landor", introducing then the Female Beauty into the Natural one. We must even link with, too, "The Island of the Fay" (1841) and "The Morning on the Wissahicon" (fall of 1843). In the latter one, we see how intruding Man can disfigure natural scenery... thus contrasting so much with wealthy Ellison's ideality and artistry, himself so far from any utilitarianism, and so much convinced by art for art's sake doctrines! And, for the fun, why not to try some (suggested by Poe himself?) punning about Ellison & Addison? If you peep into the copious "Spectator" essays, you will discover that the 414th item precisely treats of... "Landscape Gardening"! Co´ncidence? Some stimulus to Poe's own meditations? Who can tell it? Sorry for my floating ideas and syntax, but the subject is a very exciting one for all of Poe's lovers. Is it not your own feeling? Yours, Raven's Shade (Belgium). P.S. A somewhat delayed answer, but there have been some troubles with "Greenspun" connection, here, during these recent days.

-- Anonymous, August 28, 2002

P.P.S. For a cleaner and clearer text, please, would you take account of these following emendations: ...redemptor.../..."Redemptor" (an intercessor, an intermediate)...; invested by/invested with; inspirated/inspired; ...hardly one &c.../...hard one to be assumed and accomplished...; (+ "all that" + "realization" + "conferring" &c, &c..)! Yours, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

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