Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Celebrating W.H. Auden

Today at Bloomsbury's Day in Literary History, a reader can find interesting remarks Ray Bradbury made about a line that W.H. Auden changed.

Auden's original:
"We must love one another or die."

Auden's re-write:
"We must love one another and die."

Bradbury preferred the first version. He scolded, "Damn it to hell, Mr. Auden, put your words back the way that you wrote them in the first place!"

Bradbury thought that the second version fell into the same habit of mind of the typical Doomsayer while the first version celebrated loving others for Loving's sake.

This re-write also reminds us what Gems are those conjunctions, what weight carried by those small words!

Oh, Darling! Do you have any preference for "and" or "or" in the sentences above? If so, I'd like to know about it; so, please whisper it in my "Comments" if you like.

I think I agree with Bradbury; and if Auden were still alive and kicking, I'd give him a shining "OR" carved from saphire. He could wear as a stunning toe ring. Would that help relieve some of those Funeral Blues?

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