I saw your posting after I posted my earlier reply to
I am neither a grammarian nor a native speaker of
English to break down a sentence and analyze its
syntax. My analysis was only based on my reading
habits and I found something glaring in that passage
as I find frequently in academic material.
>“In order to search for a way out of the moral and
spiritual chaos of
the modern world, Eliot traveled back to the original
spirit of the
Pre-Socratic philosophy, Heraclitus' logos, and
absorbed the primal spring of the Oriental
philosophies and thus succeeds in achieving a rich
fusion of Oriental and Occidental wisdom.”
I understand the above passage thus: Eliot wanted to
search for a way out of something and so traveled back
to something. In doing so he absorbed something. And
thus he succeeds in achieving something. Perfectly
fine if you break it down that way. But then what has
the achievement got to do with ‘succeeding’ in a ‘rich
fusion’? I think it is an assumption to make a
conclusion as that. For they are two different things
: the achievement and the fusion. Words as fusion are
very catchy since we do not attach any specific
meaning and can be interpreted any way we want them.
And when we are talking of poets like Eliot who have
displayed a scholarship of oriental and occidental
wisdom, we take it for granted that they ‘fused’
without giving any content to what we are talking
--- Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Vishvesh Obla wrote:
> >“In order to search for a way out of the moral and
> spiritual chaos of the modern world, Eliot traveled
> back to the original spirit of the Pre-Socratic
> philosophy, Heraclitus' logos, and absorbed the
> primal spring of the Oriental philosophies and thus
> succeeds in achieving a rich fusion of Oriental and
> Occidental wisdom.”
> >I was looking at the construction of the above
> >passage, and found it worth discussing. One of the
> >glaring deficiencies I find in modern writing,
> >particularly in most of the academic papers is that
> >most of the sentences and the phrases that follow
> >other are loosely constructed and hence lack in
> >coherence. I am not looking down my nose at the
> >passage but trying to articulate some of my
> thoughts I
> >often come across while I read academic material.
> > ...
> >There is
> >nothing of a qualifier for the word ‘succeeds’
> >the ‘thus’ that precedes it) and hence the sentence
> >hangs lifeless on its own without the strength of a
> >qualifying argument.
> Dear Vishvesh,
> The two sentences Rick quotes from Jesse Weston are
> each a coherent,
> albeit complicated, sentence. The difficulty with
> your passage is not
> loose construction, unless you mean ungrammatical
> construction. Loose
> construction is an acceptable and useful type of
> syntax. There are,
> though, three partial syntactical structures in the
> sentence you quote.
> > “In order to search for a way out ..., he did A
> and thus succeeds in
> > achieving ..."
> Actually, I'm not sure if this is partial or
> incoherent, but the change
> from the first claim of reason ( to search for ...)
> to the outcome
> (succeeds in ...) would work better for me if there
> were some
> acknowledgment of the relation between the two. Some
> sort of adverb or
> conjunction would be sufficient, but given the mess
> of the sentence, how
> best to do it?
> "Succeeds" is qualified by "in achieving ... ," so I
> wonder if you are
> having the same difficulty with it that I do.
> > "..., Eliot traveled back to the original spirit
> of the Pre-Socratic
> > philosophy, Heraclitus' logos, and absorbed the
> primal spring ..."
> The grammatical expectation is
> "... to A, B, and C ... "
> where each is something he travels back to and where
> "to" is understood
> to govern each item.
> "to A and B, and he absorbed ..."
> would remove that expectation and clarify the
> meaning. I added "he" so
> that the clause is independent and requires the
> comma before "and."
> There is an additional muddle in
> "to the original spirit of the Pre-Socratic
> philosophy, Heraclitus'
> logos, ..."
> Is it the original spirit of each item or only of
> the first?
> > "..., Eliot traveled back ... and absorbed ..."
> As I've just said, I think this is not grammatically
> Comma use is ever-changing in English. Rick's Weston
> sentences employ
> them where we might no longer, yet Weston's grammar
> is fine by today's
> standards, and her sentences are coherent. A small
> edit would fix the
> dissertation sentence, at least as far as minimal
> grammar and coherence.
> I'll leave you to figure out if anything of value is
> expressed. As you
> say, the language is stock and empty.
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail - Easier than ever with enhanced search. Learn more.