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February 25, 2010 4:10 AM   Subscribe

William Hazlitt (1778-1830) wrote beautiful things.
posted by turgid dahlia (11 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:11 AM on February 25, 2010


Loved his work since I was first introduced; this piece on the trip out of London to see a boxing match is one favourite. There's the poignancy about the way he exposed himself to ridicule from many his enemies with Liber Amoris but wrote it anyway as he was dedicated to higher things than just getting one over in a literary spat.
posted by Abiezer at 4:26 AM on February 25, 2010


The Irish poet and critic Tom Paulin wrote a biography reasonably recently; sounds like my kind of thing but not read it yet and would be interested in the opinions of anyone who has.
posted by Abiezer at 4:28 AM on February 25, 2010


I think "sacred to the FANCY!" would be a good band or user name.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:31 AM on February 25, 2010


His London home is also a lovely, small (but quirky) hotel.
posted by kcds at 6:16 AM on February 25, 2010


See also the newly-formed Hazlitt Society, which has an informative website (including articles by Paulin and others). It also publishes a journal.
posted by mattn at 6:17 AM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


The one Hazlitt aphorism I've made a point to remember:

"It is essential to the triumph of reform that it shall never succeed."
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:32 AM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do not keep on with a mockery of friendship after the substance is gone - but part, while you can part friends. Bury the carcass of friendship: it is not worth embalming.
Extend this to relationships in general, and you've just answered about 27% of all AskMe questions.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:48 AM on February 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


Bury the carcass: it is not worth embalming. -- good advice for another 8% of AskMe questions (if I'm reading them properly, which I may not be).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:25 AM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do not keep on with a mockery of friendship after the substance is gone - but part, while you can part friends. Bury the carcass of friendship: it is not worth embalming.

Obviously, Hazlitt was ripping off The Shins:

"You've got too much to wear
On your sleeves.
It has too much to do with me.
And secretly
I want to bury in the yard
The grey remains of a friendship scarred."
posted by msalt at 9:48 AM on February 25, 2010


"The Spirit Of The Age" is one of the few attempts to come to terms with the zeitgeist (if that isn't too much of a tautology) of the Romantic era from one of its contemporaries - if you're interested in any of the major Romantic writers, this is required reading. Also, even if you're not, he gets off some of the greatest zingers of all time. For instance, on Jeremy Bentham (the utilitarian philosopher): "His works have been translated into French. They ought to have been translated into English."
The essay on Brummell - the preeminent dandy of his time, and a precursor to overly-well-groomed gentlemen of all times - is similarly delightful.

Also, I think it's in "My First Acquaintance with Poets," he has a write-up of "the immortal dinner," a dinner with Wordsworth, Coleridge, and a few others. For the subsequent fifty years, if you asked any poet who they'd most like to have dinner with... Hazlitt did that night, and wrote about it.

Great FPP!
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 7:13 AM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


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