Thursday, November 29, 2007

Negative Capability

. . several things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously--I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason--

(written by William Butler Yeats John Keats, an excerpt from a letter)

(LOL!! Yeats, Keats, very little difference. I have to tell you that I didn't even realize my mistake until I was driving down the highway taking the kids to ice skating lessons, with no prospect of being able to correct my error for at least 4-5 hours. Why in the world I waited to edit my blog post until I was driving down the road, I do not know. This is a very interesting brain I am dealing with.)


JacciM said...

"...capable of being in uncertainties". That's a steak dinner for the thoughts :)

I had to laugh about your blog editing in the car. It bugs me when I realize I've made an error I can't fix right away, too.

Willa said...

LOL. I like the quotes you've been sharing.

Mother Auma said...

Triss and I have been recognizing the need for negative capability all over the place since we read this quote-- in her history reading, in our reading of Emma by Jane Austen-- we even saw an example of it in "The Little Drummer Boy" Christmas special: the little boy is told that the infant is the immortal King and says, "The baby? But I don't understand..." One of the three kings looks at him and says, "It is not necessary to understand."

We looked at each other and said, "Negative capability!"