Marcia Karp wrote:
> Carrol Cox wrote:
> > Jennifer Formichelli wrote:
> > >
> > > And to give an example of what I mean, I would be interested in talking
> > > about what Eliot might have meant when he said he wanted to write a drama
> > > about '(furnished flat sort of people'). This drama became Sweeney
> > > Agonistes.
> > >
> > I would gloss "sort of people" with "trailer trash"
> Dear Carrol,
> Earlier today Tom cited the "furnished rooms" passage from "Preludes." I
> can't think of another poem that has more compassionate for the ordinary lives
> most of us lead. In regard to that poem, I can't agree with you if what YOU
> mean is that Eliot means to denigrate. The passage you include from The Waste
> Land is much too complex in its accuracies for me to agree in that case, either.
A few points. Why should ordinary lives require compassion? I would see
that as (offensively) patronizing. Secondly, "sort of people" is a very
old cliche to describe those who in some way are lacking in full
humanity. (Compare "those people.") And in reference to the passage from
With the other masquerades
That time resumes,
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.
The lines turn, I think, on "time resumes," resumes being here (I think)
a transitive verb with masquerades as its object. How does time take up
masquerades again, and after what interruption? And we apparently have
two sets of masquerades, the present (unspecified?) masquerades and
those "other" ones. The lines are exceedingly difficult to parse with
If those raising the shades are seen as agents in their own right the
focus would be on the visible world revealed through the now unshaded
windows but "hands" deprives the residents of agency. "Hands," as a
synecdoche for persons, reduces those persons to instruments wielded by
another (their employer) -- that is, it is possible to speak of all the
hands pitching in to clean the house (i.e., all the members of the
family), but this usage would strain the history of the word. "Hands" no
longer work for themselves but for another.
Have to rush off. More later perhaps.
> I need some convincing that Sweeney A is a drama.