The phrase "mythical method" is Eliot's from his review of Joyce's _Ulysses-, and HE meant the structure or myth as a unified backdrop for all the disparate material in a modern text. That was used as a template for then reading Eliot as doing the same by using Jesse Weston as Joyce used Homer.
The problem then arose that Eliot actually did not follow Weston in the way Joyce followed Homer. So it has been a large topic. Weston is only incidental in TWL and then only in the final section except for a few lines or images that can be read through her or not.
The last chapter of my book on TWL is entirely on the "mythical method," and although it was aimed a students and is now dated, I would stand by my argument that the method evacuates meaning as much as fills it because it shifts attention from what is, in fact, the immediate scene.
In any case, the starting point needs to be Eliot's own definition--since he was quite precise about what he meant--and the way it was used by early scholars like Cleanth Brooks and Grover Smith--and how those readings have been reconsidered. [Perhaps the most detailed example of it is an article by Bud McGrath, who extended the early versions extensively. But I think he would not read it the same way now. Nonetheless, it is a concentrated example of the way it was applied.]
>>> [log in to unmask] 11/28/04 10:47 PM >>>
So then, Mr. Parker, that means that Eliot doesn't mean to allude to the
myth for the sake of an example or something...but he uses the mythical
character as a character in TWL. That makes sense and that might prove
useful when I write my paper.
>From: "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Eliot's Mythical Method
>Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2004 20:42:26 -0500
>Advait Praturi wrote:
> > 1. To what extent does Eliot implement myth into the Wasteland?
>I've grabbed what I think are some of the significant myths
>from TWL and listed them below. I've left out scripture, Dante
>and, for the most part, the English playwrights although I can
>see a point for classifying them as myths too.
>2) Tristan and Isolde
>3) Hyacinth girl (Hyacinthus)
>4) Aeneid (via Laquearia)
>7) Actaeon and Diana
>10) Voice of the Thunder
>11) Philomel (Quando fiam uti chelidon)
>What I see as odd here is the level of indirection employed. Eliot
>seems to allude to a work that brings up a myth about as much as to
>a myth itself. That is the case with 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 11 and 12. I
>bet something interesting could be made of that.
> Rick Parker
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