Rick Parker wrote:
>> Oh, yes. Steve, I don't think that the line was a pun. My French
>> isn't good enough to tell if it could be but the allusion seems to
>> strong and serious for Eliot to pun on it.
Ken Armstrong replied:
> You mean if there's a pun, there's not an allusion? How come?
This is what I thought I said:
The line is an allusion and a strong, serious one.
The allusion seems too serious for Eliot to pun on it.
I don't think that the line was a pun.
Is this what you think I'm saying?
If the line is a pun then it is not an allusion.
Because logically I can't see how you could get that. I can see how
you could picture me saying that Eliot would not pun on a serious
allusion but that is not quite right either because I left things out.
What I didn't write last time I'll put down now. I was talking about
this one particular line, clearly an allusion and clearly filled with
a serious thought in the poem's context. There does not appear to be
a pun in line but if it did have one (like the "childlike" one
speculated upon) it would be extremely subtle. In that case I would
say that the incidental pun would not be significant or meant. I can
easily see that others could have a different opinion. I was
> I can sympathize with McLuhan and with the desire to make TSE
> comprehendable, but it still has to be done on TSE's terms.
Did Eliot set out then to fill all lines in TWL with puns? Or was his
terms that all lines **could** have punning in them? In that latter
case I met his terms, I considered that there could be a pun and
discarded the idea after reflection.
I'll reconsider Eliot's use of punning on Verlaine's line if you make
a case for it.
Perhaps we should distinquish between puns and word play. Since
dictionary definitions differ a bit on this I suggest that to
distinquish between them punning is word play that is humorous or
ludicrous. I give as an example of word play that **isn't** punning
Eliot's line "By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept ..."