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TSE  April 2003

TSE April 2003

Subject:

Re: Grammar (you and I)

From:

Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Mon, 7 Apr 2003 21:32:37 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (181 lines)

Nancy wrote:
why study the gorgeous complexities of writing
==============================================
Who says I do? Remeber, I claim this to be an oral medium.
But I gotta use words when I talk to you;
But if you understand or if you don't....

Cheers,
Peter.

Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
Camosun College
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
[log in to unmask]
www.camosun.bc.ca/~peterm


-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Gish [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2003 8:30 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Grammar (you and I)


Oh nonsense Peter. There are always oral traditions and written
traditions, and the former often enter the latter--as in the Scottish Border
Ballads and the writing down of performance poetry. Sweeney Agonistes
calls on oral rhythms, but 4Q is very complicated written speech. And it
is one of the major problems of much linguistics to imagine that speech
analysis explains writing. It does not.

Oral performance and writing are not the same, and it is not the case that
writing is simply displaced by speech. Nor did Eliot think so or act so.
If
you think that, why study the gorgeous complexities of writing--which are
not the same as the sounds of performance poetry.

So, Oh Nonsense.
Nancy



Date sent: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 18:56:10 -0700
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
<[log in to unmask]>
From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Grammar (you and I)
To: [log in to unmask]

Judging by the common usage which eventually determines
standard usage (assuming someone will still be setting
standards), I would say the grammar of literacy is going
down the toilet. Vital language dynamics, on the other hand are generating
new oral grammars. from whence come they? from where Eliot indicated,
common language usage -- that of the amateurs. "You ain't nothin' but a
houn' dog, an you ain't no friend o' mine." "Every man has to, needs to,
wants to, once in a life time, do a girl in."

Time to slip out of the literary envelope, Nancy.

Good references on the subject would be:
THE SOUND OF THE CITY by Charlie Gillett.
PSYCHOTIC REACTIONS AND CARBURATOR DUNG by Lester Bangs.

Cheers,
Peter.

Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
Camosun College
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
[log in to unmask]
www.camosun.bc.ca/~peterm


-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Gish [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2003 6:43 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Grammar (you and I)


Grammar is central to any genuine poetics because it is a constant cue to
relations of words and phrases. And in poetry it is fundamental to see
nuanced relations. Sorry, but I think only amateurs think otherwise.
Nancy


Date sent: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 17:16:21 -0700
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
<[log in to unmask]>
From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Grammar (you and I)
To: [log in to unmask]

I passed the question on to my colleagues
on our departmental list, and here's what I got:

"Ahh, yes, but remember, when it comes to poetics,
 grammar's for amateurs."

kp

Cheers,
Peter.

Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
Camosun College
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
[log in to unmask]
www.camosun.bc.ca/~peterm


-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Gish [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2003 9:48 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Grammar (you and I)


Dear Steve,

The letter from Verdenal says "you and I" because it is quite clearly
referring to "we," which in this case is stated and not implied.

I do not see any reason for "poetic license" when there is absolutely no
grammatical reason to assert that "us" is the referent. That is why I
call this a circular argument.

But more later after I research this.
Nancy



Date sent: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 23:33:43 EDT
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
<[log in to unmask]>
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Grammar (you and I)
To: [log in to unmask]

In a message dated 4/6/03 9:35:45 PM EST, [log in to unmask]
writes:

> The reasoning, I mean.
> And only the reasoning. Ditto to Steve and Rick.
> Do we assume that TSE made
> a mistake? Inquiring minds want to know...
>
> Ken

   I certainly don't think it's a "mistake", as TSE was a master of
   grammar.
I do think it's poetic license -- "Let us go then, you and I" sounds a lot
better than "Let us go then, you and me".

========================

   Actually, Ken, (and I think you'll want to kill me for this) as long as
the topic came up innocently, there is one other personal reason that I've
thought TSE may have had for phrasing the line like that. Here's a section
of a letter Jean Verdenal wrote to TSE (TSE Letters, page 32):

(translation) "My dear friend, we are not very far, you and I, from the
point beyond which people lose that indefinable influence and emotive
power over each other, which is reborn when they come together again. It
is not only time that causes forgetfulness -- distance (space) is an
important factor".

I'm not saying that TSE is alluding to this exact letter from Verdenal.
Only seven letters from Verdenal to TSE have survived (and none from TSE
to Verdenal). But if Verdenal used phrasing like "you and I", that phrase
may be a private allusion to the friend that I think could be the "you" in
'Prufrock'.

-- Steve --

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