Philip Sidney. From «Defense of Poesy»

Среда, 26 Декабрь 2012, 8:59 | Рубрика: Библиотека

Отличавшийся характерной для деятелей эпохи Возрождения разносторонностью — поэт, прозаик, государственный деятель, воин — Филипп Сидней (1554—1586) отстаивал права литературы в полемике с пуританами, которые считали искусство «школой разврата, лжи, безделья». Некоторые взгляды пуритан Сидней разделял, считая, в частности, достойными порицания многие популярные пьесы и песни тех времен, поскольку их авторам «самые законы искусства неведомы». Но искусство в принципе Сидней  брал под защиту, опираясь на шедшие от крупнейших мыслителей античности и средневековья представления об особенностях творческой фантазии. «Поэт ничего не выдает за правду, а потому и не лжет», — вошедшая в критический обиход фраза из трактата Сиднея  «Защита поэзии» — первого в английской критике обоснования законов поэтического высказывания, творческого вымысла.

Now then go we to the most important imputations laid to the poor poets. For aught I can yet learn, they are these: first, that there being many other more fruitful knowledges, man might better spend his time in them than in this; secondly, that it is the mother of lies; thirdly, that it is the nurse of abuse, infecting us with many pestilent desires, with a siren’s sweetness drawing the mind to the serpent’s tail of sinful fancies (and herein especially comedies give the largest field to ear, as Chaucer says); how both in other nations and in ours, before poets did soften us, we were full of courage, given to martial exercises, the pillars of manlike liberty and not lulled asleep in shady idleness with poets’ pastimes; and lastly and chiefly, they cry out with open mouth (as if they had overshot Robin Hood) that Plato banished them out of his commonwealth. Truly this is much, if there be much truth in it.

First to the first. That a man might better spend his time is a reason indeed, but it does, as they say, but beg the question. For if it be, as I affirm, that no learning is so good as that which teaches and moves to virtue and that none can both teach and move thereto so much as poesy, then is the conclusion manifest that ink and paper cannot be to a more profitable purpose employed. And certainly, though a man should grant their first assumption, it should follow, methinks, very unwillingly that good is not good because better is better. But I still and utterly deny that there is sprung out of earth a more fruitful knowledge.

To the second, therefore, that they should be the principal liars, I answer paradoxically (but truly, I think truly) that of all writers under the sun, the poet is the least liar and, though he would, as a poet can scarcely be a liar. The astronomer, with his cousin the geometrician, can hardly escape when they take upon them to measure the height of the stars. How often, think you, do the physicians lie when they aver things good for sicknesses which afterwards send Charon a great number of souls drowned in a potion before they come to his ferry?  And no less of the rest which take upon them to affirm. Now for the poet, he nothing affirms and therefore never lies, for, as I take it, to lie is to affirm that to be true which is false. So as the other artists, and especially the historian, affirming many things, can in the cloudy knowledge of mankind hardly escape from many lies.

But the poet, as I said before, never affirms. The poet never makes any circles about your imagination, to conjure you to believe for true what he writes. He cites not authorities of other histories, but even for his entry calls the sweet muses to inspire unto him a good invention, in truth, not laboring to tell you what is or is not, but what should or should not be. And therefore, though he recount things not true, yet because he tells them not for true, he lies not, without we will say that Nathan lied in his speech before alleged to David. Which as a wicked man durst scarce say, so think I none so simple would say that Aesop lied in the tales of his beasts (for who thinks that Aesop wrote it for actually true, were well worthy to have his name chronicled among the beasts he writes of). What child is there that, coming to a play and seeing «Thebes» written in great letters upon an old door, does believe that it is Thebes? If then a man can arrive to the child’s age to know that the poets’ persons and doings are but pictures what should be, and not stories what have been, they will never give the lie to things not affirmatively, but allegorically and figuratively written. And therefore as in history, looking for truth, they may go away full-fraught with falsehood, so in poesy, looking but for fiction, they shall use the narration but as an imaginative ground-plat of a profitable invention.

Печатается по кн.: The Idea of Literature. The Foundations of English Criticism. – Moscow

Progress Publishers, 1979, с.31 – 33.





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