blurry line between no and no

by heytherewildflower

These bleak sequences include an equally bleak view of the life course. Lives in most art works have, in Yeats’ phrase, “character isolated by a deed,” but lives in Gluck have no deeds, no moments of decision, only a remembered “before” and a startled, stripped down “after,” with “the field parched, dry,/ the deadness in place already.” In a poem called “The Myth of Innocence,” Persephone realizes that neither an account in which she says “I was abducted,” nor an account in which she says “I offered myself… I willed this,” fits: the name for her life, for all lives, is neither victimhood nor heroic choice, but impersonal fate, which we can resent indefinitely, or else resign ourselves to living out.

Stephen Burt