Actually, I don't seem to have noticed any such promenade here in Northern
Italy. Contrariwise, here men sit down in bars sipping red wine and playing
cards (especially after retiring)... ;-)
I think what you noticed is typical of Southern Italy only.
I have always loved that Prufrock's passage, and I've always perceived it as
Prufrock's loneliness as opposed to hundreds of other 'lonelinesses' (if you
will allow me to turn that uncountable noun into a countable one). Those
'lonelinesses' seems to be something more compact than Prufrock's, since
they inhabitate a shared context without even realising it. Prufrock lives
in the same context, but he's been trying to meditate on it, to change, to
evolve and get away from any kind of formulation.
Actually, could anyone suggest any critical book on T.S.Eliot, where Eliot's
way/reasons for his borrowings and quotations are well analysed in general?
Thank you --
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Seddon" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2003 6:12 AM
Subject: Re: Prufrock's smoke and Inferno canto XV
> Your find a allusion to homosexuality in the men in the evening eyeing
> other. I do not.
> One of the enduring images I have of small towns in southern Italy was the
> evening promenades of crowds of men slowly walking together in small
> down the middle of some main shopping street talking together. Hundreds
> hundreds of men together in crowds but separated into small groups. These
> groups were constantly "eyeing" each other but seemed to have little other
> interaction. Groups did not interact with groups and individuals remained
> within their group. I think the "eyeing" was some sort of mutual
> recognition signal of acquaintances who were, for that evening at least,
> another group. Some complex social energies were at work that I as an
> outsider had no idea but I doubt that it was the same as homosexual groups
> of gay men eyeing/ogling each other in a gay bar.
> Having never been to northern Italy I have no idea whether this evening
> promenade is part of the small town life there.
> Perhaps one of the Italians can help out with this "promenade" custom. Is
> it a universal Italian custom of small towns? Was it prevalent in Dante's
> Rick Seddon
> McIntosh, NM