I very much doubt Eliot would have agreed with this idea that he turned to
religion 'in defiance of reason'. I think he saw it rather in defense of
----- Original Message -----
From: <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2001 4:24 PM
Subject: Re: memory (and dreams) in TWL
> 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:
> Anyway, very
> 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
> horn and ivory gates are the gates of true and false dreams. I think one
> to remember that Eliot isn't the only person who alludes to famous
> passages. Also, Freud gave so much attention to dreams, and
> 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."