I don't think Eliot knew either. I am offering the idea that he intuitively perceived identity crises (cf. Viv.) and fragments of patterns associated with them. At a time when all the standard id markers were disintegrating, people were flailing about, grabbing onto whatever; cf. statements like "In the mountains there I feel free" or "These fragments I have shored against my ruins". The reader jumps in and experiences the fugue in his or her own terms, both space and time - eg. it's 2:30 am here and 4:30 pm there) and then returns to reality.
The experience itself may be shattering (many voices), or deeply subconscious as with going down the river in a boat, or mystical as in the desert, perhaps in any or all combinations. A reader would have to try it on as a garment, or follow it as a map or whatever. Perhaps several times. Through The Looking Glass comes to mind. Jesus being tempted by Satan comes to mind. Sort of do it yourself poetry, aka McLuhan.
Just a somewhat different approach instead of the old stiff analytic essay.
A fine, fine example would be that cartoon book version of TWL. Brilliant. I suppose this has all been discussed a million times over. I just haven't seen recently, or applied to recent developments.
People have so much trouble with it because they try to fit it into their literate thought processes instead of using it to develop new perceptual though processes. The tarots help a lot.
Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>I know Nancy has had a fair bit to say about fugue states in the past, but
>I will put in my little bit for what its worth.
>When I trained in psychiatry (not that I did much - one year undergraduate
>and I did do a couple of years post graduate training ) it was said that the
>amount of psychiatric illness in a community stays about the same but
>expresses itself in different ways from time to time. Dissociative states
>are not so common latterly - although in this country we took a lot of
>people from Bosnia after the troubles there and we did see fugue states. I
>have only one patient now ( my clinetele runs to about 2500 ) a middle
>aged man from Lebanon who had a bad time in his adolescence who has had
>continuing fugue symptoms.
>No I dont know what it all means by the way.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "P" <[log in to unmask]>
>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Monday, August 19, 2013 4:34 PM
>Subject: TWL as ground.
>> My meditation on TWL as ground has reminded me of a Mayoress of a small
>> town who disappeared. After living a life elsewhere she suddenly surfaced
>> without remembering her other life, or something like that. Such an
>> episode is called a fugue.
>> It seems to me that TWL can be seen as a fugue. Not the person having the
>> fugue but the structure of the fugue itself into which anyone can fit.
>> Here is Wikipedia:
>> "A fugue state, formally dissociative fugue or psychogenic fugue (DSM-IV
>> Dissociative Disorders 300.13), is a rare psychiatric disorder
>> characterized by reversible amnesia for personal identity, including the
>> memories, personality and other identifying characteristics of
>> individuality. The state is usually short-lived (ranging from hours to
>> days), but can last months or longer. Dissociative fugue usually involves
>> unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the
>> establishment of a new identity.
>> After recovery from fugue, previous memories usually return intact, but
>> there is typically amnesia for the fugue episode. Additionally, an episode
>> of fugue is not characterized as attributable to a psychiatric disorder if
>> it can be related to the ingestion of psychotropic substances, to physical
>> trauma, to a general medical condition, or to psychiatric conditions such
>> as delirium, dementia, bipolar disorder or depression. Fugues are usually
>> precipitated by a stressful episode, and upon recovery there may be
>> amnesia for the original stressor (dissociative amnesia)."