Jennifer Formichelli wrote:
> Peter: May I just point out that yes, Eliot reviewed , in a 1921 London
> Letter, a performance of Stravinski's Rite of Spring (Sacre du
> Printemps), and I do not recall any 'mythical interpretation'.
> [Incidentally, Stravinski's Sacre was music now played alone, but
> written for a two part ballet choreographed by Najinksi and danced by
> the Ballet Russe.] I recall that Eliot talked about how Stravinski had
> captured in music the scream of the steppes and the noises of modern
> life, which TSE himself also heard.
> Can you supply a quotation? Thank you.
The idea of myth as used in the Ullysses review ( "mythical method")
is presented in the Stravinsky review in the statement:
"a revelation of the vanished mind of which our mind is a continuation"
In effect the relation between the Odessey and Dublin is equivalent
to the relation between the steppes and modern traffic. Eliot's use
of the word "myth" in the Stravinsky quote is somewhat antithetical
to his use of the same word in the Ullysses phrse "mythical method".
The subtext, however, is that in reality myth has a vital meaning, and
merely a dead story from a dead past.
Here is the relevant quote:
In art there should be interpenetration and metamorphosis. Even The
Golden Bough can be read in two ways: as a collection of entertaining
myths, or as a revelation of the vanished mind of which our mind is a
continuation. In everything in the Sacre du Printemps, except in the
music, one missed the sense of the present. Whether Stravinsky's music
be permanent or ephemeral I do not know; but it did seem to transform
the rhythm of the steppes into the scream of the motor horn, the rattle
of machinery, the grind of wheels, the beating of iron and steel, the
roar of the underground railway, and the other barbaric cries of modern
life; and to transform these despairing noises into music.
"London Letter" DIAL 71.4 (October 1921):453
I think one could make a case that the mythical method was very seriously on
Eliot's mind at the time. It was not just a casual idea that he came up
with in the
Ullysses review. Obviously these statements are not a full justification
a case, but certainly indicate that more work would be justified. Even
"Journey of the Magi"
and "Ash Wednesday" can be seen to fit the description.