Spring 1954 • Vol. XVI No. 2 CommunicationsApril 1, 1954 |

Othello Is Saved

SIRS: The violent abscission of part of an object, part of an egg-yolk for instance, or a slice of a human head, may make the object look rather queer, even repellent. This is what is done, unwittingly, by Mr. William Empson in his lively and interesting review of my Flaming Minister in your winter number: my enjoyment of his really remarkable essay is impaired by the sensation of partial (but not unbloody) decapitation. He excides and discusses only the first word of my main topic, "pride and self-esteem" (see Index, also the first sentence of my Introduction), ignoring the distinction made by Renaissance thinkers, and surely by common sense, between false pride and true pride, i.e. right self-esteem. I agree with him that in the Renaissance view "there was a great deal to be said for pride"—pride, however, in the sense of vital self-esteem. This, indeed, is one of the most important of those "decent human feelings" which Mr. Empson (page 166) accuses me of disparaging; thoug

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.