Keats dood weens mediese flater

John Keats (1795 - 1821)

John Keats (1795 - 1821)

Pas het daar uit die pen van Sue Brown ‘n biografie in Engeland oor die lewe en werk van Joseph Severn verskyn. Severn was ‘n jarelange vriend van John Keats en die persoon wat hom in sy laaste dae in Rome versorg het. Volgens hierdie biograaf blyk dit nou dat Keats weens ‘n gruwelike mis-diagnose van sy siektetoestand dood is.  Dr James Clark, wat Keats in November 1820 in Rome ondersoek het, het aanvanklik geglo dat Keats se ongesteldheid toe te skryf is aan “mental exertions and application which seemed chiefly situated in his Stomach.”

Later het hy egter wel tuberkulose gediagnoseer, maar ‘n besonder streng dieet, bestaande uit slegs ‘n stukkie brood en één sardientjie, voorgeskryf. Boonop was hy ‘n toegewyde ondersteuner van bloedlating as vorm van behandeling. So het hy by geleentheid ‘n verdere agt onse bloed getap nadat Keats reeds twee koppies bloed uitgehoes het.

“Keats’s doctor didn’t kill him, but he didn’t treat him very well,” skryf Brown in haar biografie. “That was medical ignorance [but] what was sad in Keats’s case was three things. The bleeding pulled him right down, and also the near starvation was almost unforgivable. There were times when Keats was hallucinating for lack of oxygen and lack of sustenance.” Volgens Brown is die mees tragiese aspek van Keats se sterwensbed nie die fisiese pyn en lyding daarvan nie, maar die feit dat hy vas oortuig was dat sy lewe sinloos en sonder enige sukses as digter was. “When he died on 23 February 1821, he died believing he had been a complete failure as a poet. There was also the pain, not of a failed relationship with Fanny Brawne, but of one which could never be consummated.”

Gaan lees gerus die volledige berig op The Guardian se webblad.

Soos dit telkens die geval is met hierdie dinge, is die tydsberekening van Sue Brown se biografie natuurlik ook besonder goed, aangesien daar pas ‘n film, Bright Star, oor die gefrustreerde liefdesverhouding tussen Keats en sy Fanny deur Jane Campion vrygestel is. Ben Whisaw en Abbie Cornish vertolk die hoofrolle.

Vir jou leesplesier plaas ek Keats se gedig “Bright Star” onderaan vanoggend se Nuuswekker.

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Op die webblad kan jy gerus Bernard Odendaal se bespreking van Ingrid Jonker se“Die lied van die gebreekte riete” lees, asook Andries Bezuidenhout se volgende aflewering oor die argitektuur van Johannesburg en Ronel Nel se ode aan haar laptop.

Lekker lees en bly tog weg van brood en sardientjies vandag, hoor.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

Bright Star

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art –

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters

At their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors –

No – yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever – or else swoon to death.

© John Keats

 

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