What got called shell shock was defined medically at the time as hysteria.
Date sent: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 19:46:11 -0800
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Nerves, nerves, nerves (was "Do I dare disturb the universe")
To: [log in to unmask]
Do you mean, Steve, conceivably that therewas a resemblance
between Viv's condition that of shell shocked soldiers?
It's a truly fascinating question, that could open a
window of thought one might call culture shell shock
or some such. Today it manifests in anorexia, drug abuse,
Also, I'm wondering which game of chess is being played out,
Middleton's or Shakespeare's. Eliot got into some key
observations about Middleton's characters (different play to be sure) that
were key to what he was saying about Lawrence's and Pound's
was in effect on P.W. Lewis' side about issues relating to executive will
Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
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From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Saturday, February 22, 2003 11:28 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Nerves, nerves, nerves (was "Do I dare disturb the universe")
In a message dated 2/22/03 6:02:15 PM EST, [log in to unmask] writes:
> A German soldier: ...in the drumfire bravery
> no longer exists: only nerves, nerves, nerves.
> When anyone is exposed unto such trials and
> tribulations he is no longer of any use
> as an attacker or defender...
Carrol: These and the other fragments that you sent in are powerful
quotes that remind us all of the realities of war.
To bring this back to Eliot: Your last quote had the phrase "nerves,
nerves, nerves", which certainly reminds me of the nervous woman in "A
Game of Chess" ("My nerves are bad tonight"). Nancy has pointed out the
WW1 references in TWL, including the solders (Stetson and Lil's husband),
and we know Lil's husband appears in "A Game of Chess".
Carrol, Nancy, and all: Do you think that, in part, TSE was trying to
contrast a person made "nervous" while coping with everyday life compared
to a WW1 soldier made "nervous" by the insanities of war? I hadn't
considered such a comparison before, but maybe the reader is being invited
to compare the Cleopatra woman's "nerves" to a WW1 soldier's "nerves".
-- Steve --