Jennifer Formichelli wrote:
> You write that the 'Tiresias idea is b.s.'. Does no one think it funny
> that Eliot wrote in his 'Notes', (I paraphrase) that what Tiresias sees is
> in fact the substance of the poem?
Keeping in mind that there is a difference between sight and foresight
this is a way of reading Eliot's Tiresias note:
Since Eliot's note said "What Tiresias sees, in fact, is the substance
of the poem" and since Tiresias sees nothing then the substance of the
poem is then nothing.
So, Jennifer, when you wrote "Does no one think it funny ..." do you
mean that Eliot may be playing another one of his jokes by really
indicating that there is nothing of substance in the meaning of TWL?
(Perhaps this might be something that TSE might write instead of
indicating that the poem was a piece of personal grumbling; that is,
there was no substance beyond grumbling.)
Or do you consider what Tiresias foresaw as part of what he sees and then
that there is a substance after all?
Eliot's note to line 218 of TWL:
Tiresias, although a mere spectator and not indeed a 'character', is
yet the most important personage in the poem, uniting all the
rest. Just as the one-eyed merchant, seller of currants, melts into
the Phoenician Sailor, and the latter is not wholly distinct from
Ferdinand Prince of Naples, so all the women are one woman, and the
two sexes meet in Tiresias. What Tiresias sees, in fact, is the
substance of the poem. The whole passage from Ovid is of great
anthropological interest: [Latin omitted due to lack of interest]