Hubris: A Study of Pride

Hubris: A Study of Pride

Hubris: A Study of Pride

Hubris: A Study of Pride

Excerpt

This book came about as the result of conversations with Charles Williams in a coffee-house in Ludgate Hill. He had spoken, I remember, of Wordsworth's "unknown modes of being", and from there he had gone on to wonder whether it was possible to write a history of the naked human soul divorced from accidental history, for it seemed fairly clear that the human soul had nothing to do with changing dynasties, Acts of Parliament or indeed anything recorded in our history books. "Surely," he said, "the human soul has a history, for it grows, it changes, it is never the same. The poor thing, which is after all the most important thing, has been forgotten. It ought to be written, but I suppose no one will." He paused, sipped his sherry and went on: "I don't know, but I have a feeling one could do it from the poetry." He mulled this over, but it occurred to him that poetry was lacking in definition, and though in poetry you hear the soul babbling to itself, you are never sure whether it is telling the truth. In his book The English Poetic Mind he made sorties against the invisible fortresses of the soul, but retired from the combat with the feeling that the poetic mind was not an unimpeachable witness of the truth; I think he said as much in discussing Shakespeare Troilus and Cressida.

It was some weeks later, after a re-reading of Hooker's furious diatribes against pride, that it occurred to him that the history of pride might offer a solution to the problem, for was not pride the soul confronting itself in a mirror, overjoyed at the recognition? But not only pride-there were other things, and most important were those concentrated moments of consciousness when the spirit . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.