Shelley – Alastor

I’ve just added a free audiobook version of Alastor by Percy Shelley to the Internet Archive.

In Alastor the speaker recounts the life of a Poet who zealously pursues the most obscure part of nature in search of “strange truths in undiscovered lands”, journeying to the Caucasus Mountains (“the ethereal cliffs of Caucasus”), Persia, “Arabie”, Cashmire, and “the wild Carmanian waste”. The Poet rejects an “Arab maiden” in his search for an idealized embodiment of a woman. As the Poet wanders one night, he dreams of a “veiled maid”. This veiled vision brings with her an intimation of the supernatural world that lies beyond nature. This dream vision serves as a mediator between the natural and supernatural domains by being both spirit and an element of human love. As the Poet attempts to unite with the spirit, night’s blackness swallows the vision and severs his dreamy link to the supernatural.

When the Poet reaches the “obscurest chasm,” his last sight is of the moon. As that image fades from the Poet’s mind, he has finally attained transcendence to the supernatural world. The journey to the very source of nature led, finally, to an immanence within nature’s very structure and to a world free of decay and change.

Download Shelley’s Alastor Archive.org audiobook.

Cover Art for Shelley's Alastor

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