----- Original Message -----
From: Carrol Cox
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, November 11, 2002 1:03 AM
Subject: Re: Eliot and Duchamp Lovers: Who Knew?
Peter Montgomery wrote:
>> Popular culture was anything the lower classes could
>> afford. The alternative was what the alternative
>> classes could afford.
>I don't think this will work. After all, in public places the rich as
>well as the poor pissed in urinals. They were "low" (in social terms) --
>but after all scatology (for this and other contrasts) is an old
>tradition in all literatures (high and low)
Be that, as it may, still it was, to my opinion, a distinction that Duchamps
was well aware of and he was playing with it. His famous "readymade" sugar
cubes, were, e.g.- as far as I remember- made of marble. There one finds the
clash of the "high", i.e. elegant, stylish, noble material with something as
profane as sugar cubes .... And also the urinal was termed fountain, which
has, in traditional poetry, a fixed connotation.
It is this _playing_ with conventions in which I would see the basic
parallel to Eliot, for example to his use of the Sonnet in TWL -playing with
and dismantling traditional, here erotic writing in a quite similar manner.
(only much stronger as in Duchamps' work.) Such a sophisticated use of
conventions needs to be deliberate and quite planned. (On both Eliot's and