The Ghost of Shelley

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The Ghost of Shelley

Postby CasaMagni » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:27 pm

From the Keats-Shelley Journal, Volume 2 (1953) -

We conclude our News Notes with a report published in an Italian newspaper under the heading: Il fantasma di Shelley é ritomate nella notte alla casa di San Terenzio. The following excerpts from a translation of this article are, to say the least, astonishingly informative.

With the sub-head, “The inhabitants of the villa where the poet lived before his fatal adventure, swear that they have seen his tormented shade," the article begins:


“LA SPEZIA, 19 [May 1952]

“A truly whimsical and impressive report is circulating insistently around La Spezia: at San Terenzio the ghost of the English poet Shelley has been seen again. We say ‘again’ because, apparently, the ghost of Shelley has already appeared many times at San Terenzio.

“Fishermen and sailors of this small picturesque village in the gulf of La Spezia affirm that often, during stormy nights, they have seen a white phantom swaying in front of the poet’s house.”

“The villa Magni at the present time is rented by an Engineer, Mr. Popoff (let not the Russian name be misleading), English Vice-Consul at La Spezia. He lives there with his parents-in-law, Ida and Antonio Ratti, very nice quiet people with no trace of morbid imagination. A few days ago Mr. Ratti, during a night of strong sirocco wind, woke up suddenly and saw that a long white evanescent form was slowly entering the door. This phantom took definite shape as a tall, human being (it is known that Shelley was slender and very tall) and approached the bed and leaned on it.

“Mr. Ratti yelled and the white form, still very slowly, straightened itself up and went out of the door. Mr. Ratti turned on the light and ran into the adjoining room where he aroused his wife, Signora Ida, who at that time revealed to him that a year before, on a night when the sirocco wind was blowing, she too had had a visit of the same phantasm, which had awakened her. Mr. and Mrs. Popoff, who sleep in adjacent rooms, declare that they have never noticed anything abnormal.

“It is difficult to judge the objective trustworthiness of this tale. For the sailors of San Terenzio there are no doubts: the ghost of Shelley has come back."


© JSTOR
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Re: The Ghost of Shelley

Postby Ravenwing » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:38 pm

Speaking of which, look at what I found!

Shelley's Ghost website: http://shelleysghost.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/

If his ghost doth walketh th'Earth, then its having been observed has provided the greatest refutation of his "The Necessity of Atheism".

On having read its English pages (https://archive.org/details/selectedprosewor00shelrich), methinks it ought to be mentioned that every poet whose poems have been inspired by Keats doth knoweth from personal experience that his spirit does continue to exist, and that the same can rightfully so be said for those whose poems have been inspired by the spirit of Shelley.

Question to the floor: What do you suppose that Shelley himself might say in reply to th'argument that the Bible itself, in being an inspired text, is proof that God doth exist, as much as Keats' inspired poems are proof to their readers that Keats himself did exist, and that his spirit does continue to exist?

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Re: The Ghost of Shelley

Postby Saturn » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:37 pm

I think Shelley, being an atheist would totally deny that the bible is an 'inspired' text for a start.

The existence of Keats is not in question.
His life is extremely well documented, portraits done in life, writings in his own hand, his personal belongings, and even his physical remains lie buried in Rome and could be scientifically proven if ever proof were needed.

This is a completely false equivalency.

His 'Spirit' is an intangible, an incorporeal metaphor for the residual influence a writer might have on future readers.

That's what he would say.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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