Category Archives: ideals

To Sulk Upon My Joyful Mother’s Breast

In William Blake’s “Infant Joy” within his compilation of Songs of Innocence, the jubilant speaker sings of joy in hopes that a newborn infant will find it in life, yet it is not made clear if the speaker is the mother or the baby themselves. In his companion piece “Infant Sorrow” found within his Songs […] Continue reading

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Truths and Ideals

In Sir Joshua Reynold’s analysis in his work “The Discourses of Art,” he proposes that “a mere copier of nature can never produce anything great,” implying that a true artistic genius must “[captivate] the imagination” through their own accord only (41-42). The graffiti inscribed on William Blake’s “The Lacoon” echoes his own stance on the […] Continue reading

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“You Gradgrind”: The Role of Literature in Saturday

Dan Fang questions McEwan’s stance on literature in Saturday as she uses examples of literature’s possible power and influence in Perowne’s life. For a neurosurgeon who doesn’t seem to like literature, Perowne seems to attract quite a bit of poetic justice, both figuratively (with Baxter under his knife at the end) and literally (with Daisy […] Continue reading

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“You Gradgrind”: The Role of Literature in Saturday

One of the most curious things about Ian McEwan’s Saturday is his take on literature. We know Henry Perowne adores Daisy, his poet of a daughter; but McEwan beats us over the head with the point that Henry himself has no clue about literature. He’s slow at reading the books assigned to him by Daisy (currently […] Continue reading

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