As prediction Eliot's claim fell flat. (I myself don't even think it was
accurate in respect to Ulysses, but that's another topic.) The claim that
"discoveries" are made in literature as they are made in science is simply
silly. And of course writers have gone on happily both using methods several
thousand years old and inventing new ones for particular purposes. That
Eliot would try the trick of making literature lean on science for prestige
lowers one's opinion of Eliot's rhetorical finesse.
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Rickard Parker
Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2012 4:59 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Eliot, the past, and the mythical method
Tom. below is one of your earlier posts for this subject. You and CR
have gone over this some since but this seems the best one for me to
reply to. But let me repeat Eliot's statement here:
"In using the myth, in manipulating a continuous parallel between
contemporaneity and antiquity, Mr. Joyce is pursuing a method which
others must pursue after him. . . It is simply a way of controlling,
of ordering, of giving a shape and a significance to the immense
panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history. . . .
It is a method for which the horoscope is auspicious. . ."
The last sentence of this could be written as
"The forecast for the method is good."
Is that Eliot's meaning? I'm not sure.
On Thu, 26 Jul 2012 07:13:01 -0400, Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>I wrote (in reference to TSE's Tradition essay):
>T> Is he being sarcastic when he says "It is a method for which
>T> the horoscope is auspicious"?
>And Rick wrote:
>R> Sorry, I've thought some on this but I have no idea how to read
>R> this other then to ignore it as an aside.
>Rick: In context, here is the line in the essay:
>"In using the myth, in manipulating a continuous parallel between
contemporaneity and antiquity, Mr. Joyce is pursuing a method which others
must pursue after him. . . It is simply a way of controlling, of ordering,
of giving a shape and a significance to the immense panorama of futility and
anarchy which is contemporary history. . . . It is a method for which the
horoscope is auspicious. . ."
>Given the line's prominent placement, it's got to be more than an aside.
>I've been thinking that the idea of a horoscope, the idea of astrology, is
that the planets and the stars greatly influence our individual lives and
fate. In other words, something "bigger than ourselves" plays a vital part
in our lives.
>Perhaps what TSE is alluding to is that the "mythical method" is also
trying to establish a link between us and something "bigger than ourselves".
In other words, when Joyce uses the Greek myths of Ulysses' amazing
multi-year voyage and his eventual return home, and parallels it with a
one-day "journey" around a city in Ireland (and his eventual return to Molly
Bloom), Joyce is stating an implicit comparison/equivalence between the
mythical Ulysses from antiquity and a contemporary "ordinary person". So
maybe, for Eliot, the horoscope/astrology, which claims that the fate of an
"ordinary person" has its roots in the heavens is "auspicious", that is, is
yet another promising metaphor by which some other author can "control,
order, give a shape and a significance to the immense panorama of futility
and anarchy which is contemporary history".
>Just a thought.
>-- Tom --