The Non-Place of Eros. On John Keats and the Logic of Flowers and Bees

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The Non-Place of Eros. On John Keats and the Logic of Flowers and Bees. / Henning, Peter.

In: Romantik: Journal for the Study of Romanticisms, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2017, p. 63-83.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - The Non-Place of Eros. On John Keats and the Logic of Flowers and Bees

AU - Henning, Peter

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - The following article investigates Keats's expansion of the notion of Eros, arguing that it forms a dialectic relation between the self-sufficiency of the lover and a dream of mutual exchange between the subject and its object of desire. In order to discern the specific concerns of Keats in this regard, the study analyzes a letter sent to his friend John Hamilton Reynolds on the 19th of February 1818, suggesting that it constitutes a paradigmatic focal point from which a Keatsian logic of desire may be subsequently outlined. The letter in question is well known to romantic scholars, famous for its positing and purported contrasting of two different modes of subjectivity: that of the flower, and that of the bee. As I want to contend, however, the issues of subjectivity raised by this text have not been adequately addressed, either with regard to their psychological or literary significance. Tracing the bee motif historically, the article discusses its appropriation by Keats, in order to highlight its problematical role in hislyrical work. Against this background, the letter to Reynolds is shown to exemplify a conflicting, utopian, discourse of being and loving: a non-place of Eros.

AB - The following article investigates Keats's expansion of the notion of Eros, arguing that it forms a dialectic relation between the self-sufficiency of the lover and a dream of mutual exchange between the subject and its object of desire. In order to discern the specific concerns of Keats in this regard, the study analyzes a letter sent to his friend John Hamilton Reynolds on the 19th of February 1818, suggesting that it constitutes a paradigmatic focal point from which a Keatsian logic of desire may be subsequently outlined. The letter in question is well known to romantic scholars, famous for its positing and purported contrasting of two different modes of subjectivity: that of the flower, and that of the bee. As I want to contend, however, the issues of subjectivity raised by this text have not been adequately addressed, either with regard to their psychological or literary significance. Tracing the bee motif historically, the article discusses its appropriation by Keats, in order to highlight its problematical role in hislyrical work. Against this background, the letter to Reynolds is shown to exemplify a conflicting, utopian, discourse of being and loving: a non-place of Eros.

KW - Apiculture, Roland Barthes, Chronophilia, Chronophobia, Desire, Utopia

KW - Apiculture

KW - Roland Barthes

KW - Chronophilia

KW - Chronophobia

KW - Desire

KW - Romanticism

KW - Keats

KW - Utopia

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 63

EP - 83

JO - Romantik: Journal for the Study of Romanticisms

JF - Romantik: Journal for the Study of Romanticisms

IS - 1

ER -