Apart from drafts to the Waste Land, the "ivory gates" of Ash-Wednesday are generally supposed, as I recall (sorry, I don't have a source for my recollection), to reference the ivory and horned gates of Roman myth:
"And the blind eye creates/
The empty forms between the ivory gates"
I won't start up again with my reading of AW as a statement that reason leads us to despair, and that Eliot adopted religion an act of faith through hope -- rather than through belief -- and considered that he did so in defiance of reason. This passage figures in my argument to that effect.
In a message dated Sun, 20 May 2001 7:35:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
<< In a message dated 5/20/01 6:20:20 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
early on Nerval brings up the ivory and horned gates that I believe that
Eliot had in one of his drafts to TWL. If so then Eliot was at least
thinking of dreams when writing TWL.
Nerval might be referring to the famous passage in Virgil's Aeneid where the
horn and ivory gates are the gates of true and false dreams. I think one has
to remember that Eliot isn't the only person who alludes to famous literary
passages. Also, Freud gave so much attention to dreams, and Freud-on-dreams
was so much an issue of the day, that one doesn't have to assume Eliot's
interest in dreams came from Nerval. It's more or less a ubiquitous theme
that even comes up in, say, the story of Joseph in the Bible. Occultists
were also interested in dreams, and published books on what they "meant."