am 24.9.03 5:47 Uhr schrieb [log in to unmask] unter [log in to unmask]:
> I have a question about some lines in TSE's "La Figlia che Piange":
> "So I would have had him leave,
> So I would have had her stand and grieve,
> So he would have left
> As the soul leaves the body torn and bruised,
> As the mind deserts the body it has used."
> In his book, "Words Alone", Denis Donoghue writes of these lines,
> "The violence of the abandonment, 'As the soul leaves the body torn and
> bruised' and 'As the mind deserts the body it has used' suggests the lover's
> commensurate with Dido's vow of vengeance in Book IV: 'when cold death has
> severed soul and body,' 'cum frigida mors anima seduxerit artus.' "
> and later Donoghue adds this additional commentary on the lines:
> "The violence of 'As the soul leaves the body torn and bruised'-whether we
> read 'torn and bruised' as qualifying body or soul-becomes compulsive with the
> near-repetition, 'As the mind deserts the body it has used.' Grammatically,
> the lines are nearly identical, but the change from 'soul' to 'mind' the
> intensification of 'leaves to 'deserts,' and the spilling-over of 'torn and
> bruised' on 'used' disturb the Gregorian movement of the poem."
> If I read Donoghue's essay correctly, he is saying that the lines, "As the
> soul leaves the body torn and bruised,/As the mind deserts the body it has
> are nearly identical not just grammatically, but also in meaning.
> I read these lines quite differently. I agree with Donoghue that the first
> line, "As the soul leaves the body torn and bruised" is an echo of Dido from
> Aeneid and that the "soul" and "body" come from the same person.
> But I see a shift in the second line, 'As the mind deserts the body it has
> used'. I read the "mind" as belonging to the male protagonist and the "body it
> has used" as belonging to the female who has been 'wronged' by the male. In
> other words, the lines appear to be nearly identical, but in fact evoke a much
> subtler meaning.
> I think the narrator of the poem ultimately sees himself as a 'user' of the
> woman's body (even if, as is evident in the poem, he has strong feelings for
> her). Limitations in the male narrator will inevitably lead to the
> of the woman by him, just as Aeneas abandoned Dido.
> So, my question is: Is Donoghue correct that the lines are essentially echoes
> of each other, or are they conveying vastly different ideas?
> -- Steve --
reading Donoghue's "Words Alone" I also objected to his comment on that
"As the mind deserts the body it has used" seems to me a powerful
intensification indeed. I'd venture that the two lines convey the same
meaning, but the second one is elevated onto a higher, spiritual level.
As to your speculation on this line (the user meaning the male (ab)using the
female body) I'm not so sure. Could it be that your interpretation might be
rooted in some kind of Freudian projection of guilt ;-)?
I found Donoghue's interpretation of 4Q quite remarkable. His derogatory
remarks on The Dry Salvages in general and specifically on such neologisms
as devotionless", "oceanless" or "erosionless" are perhaps too harsh, to the
point of being irreverant.