It occurs to me that silence on the Eliot list on his birthday might be
At 10:11 AM 9/25/2003 -0600, Rick Seddon wrote:
>I do not think that the narrator meant that he had "used" her body as a
>feminist might construe the word. I may be wrong again but I do not think
>that range of meaning was generally available to TSE. Assuming your
>position to be correct would also indicate a degree of sensitivity to women
>that many would not assign to the early TSE.
I'm not sure about Steve's position, but the early poetry would dictate
exactly that TSE was "sensitive" to women, or at any rate sensitive to the
meaning of a relationship in which one party is trying to take advantage of
another or ill-conceived purposes, i.e. he is explicitly contra romanticism
and nihilism. And beyond that, "used" is "used," then as now, and the
meaning of the word in relation to how one in a relationship may use
another was totally available to TSE. It is clearly a theme in his poetry
>I totally agree with the way you are extending Aeneas into the poem. TSE
>wants the reader to do this. Remember, although, he does feel like a worm,
>Aeneas does not spend much time romantically worrying about Dido.
Yes, and it's important to remember that the Eliot is manipulating the
male protagonist in his poem, not reporting an incident. I know that that
may be seen as problematic, but it seems an important distinction to make.