Friday, August 25, 2006

Andrew O'Hagan on Robert Burns

Andrew O’Hagan on Robert Burns:

I read a number of poems by Robert Burns and fell in love, not only with the mind-warpingly beautiful lines in those poems, but with him - his life and his voice and his spirit travelling through time. The accent in Burns's poems is the one I grew up with and heard every day, but to see it used like that, for literature, shook me very much, and made me realise that writing was a kind of morality. I copied his poems out on my typewriter - it was a way of improving my typing and entering very directly into the rhythm of those works, copying them out beat for beat.

I think it was Robert Burns who made me believe that the proper study of man is man, that nothing was beneath good writing, and that a committed writer owed everything to the page and nothing to piety or conformity or the ego or the fashion. He pricked delusion, and that is a good thing for a young man filled with delusions to see.

(Thanks to Light Reading for the link.)


AC said...

That quote is just breathtaking. I'm going to go read the whole essay now. Thanks!

LK said...

Kate, you have the bead on excellent essays!

Nancy said...

I agree. What wonderful passages you include here!

roxword said...

a man's a man n all that yeah heavy n a bottl uv bred n clothes dont make th man n i'll drink 2 that my pizza's reddy helen i am woman here me roar!