On 8/8/01, Nancy Gish writes:
> One poem will hardly tell us what "modernism" is and
> one poet hardly will either. But whether the
> contradictions so explicit in Yeats and no doubt key
> to modernism were or could be resolved in any
> synthesis is a major question about both
> modernism and Eliot.
It seems to me that some Modernists, like Joyce, were calling on humankind
to embrace an integrated view of humanity that (some Modernists claimed) was
commonplace in ancient Greece: namely, to accept all of what humanity is,
from the most heroic to the most unseemly, and then to affirm all of it.
Maybe that represents some sort of a synthesis.
For a religious poet like Eliot, the view of the universe as one of
perfection and the view of the universe as one of foulness didn't require a
synthesis. I think he believed that the foulness was the chief problem of
humankind while the perfection was the nature of God. It was entirely up to
each person to transcend their foul nature to achieve redemption /
purification. Eliot apparently welcomed the punishments he believed one faced
in the afterlife to purify oneself of sin. His statement of synthesis could
be taken as "The Fire and the Rose are one."
-- Steve --