The translation that Eliot was probably most familiar
How icy chill and hoarse I then became, ask not, O Reader!
for I write it not, because all speech would fail to tell.
I did not die, and did not remain alive: now think for thyself,
if thou hast any grain of ingenuity, what I became, deprived
of both death and life.
That is how he is indeed as he sees the infernal one,
but it is also his final state of spiritual devolution
before he exits hell to go on to purgation. That suits
the condition of the fisher king before the resolution
of the grail quest. [Also sounds an awful lot like the hollow men.]
Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
[log in to unmask]
From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 4:46 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Fisher King
In a message dated 2/11/2003 1:37:37 AM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
> Lines39/40 I was neither living nor dying obviously reflect
> the the sybil and the state of the fisher king.
> The wound comes from light. Tiresias is blinded.
> Yes? No?
Possibly, but I favor this analysis from P.K. Saha:
"I was neither / Living nor dead" is the exact equivalent of
"lo non mori,
e non rimasi vivo" (Inferno, XXXIV, 25).
The Italian line represents Dante's sense of fear and paralysis when he sees
-- Steve -