Jim, after all the discussion of several years back, I never thought of
Sandburg's poem "Chicago" (apparently published in 1916). A lot of images
in it, from the first line ("Hog Butcher for the World") to "your painted
women" (= "...blue-nailed...hand"?) to "Under the smoke, dust all over his
mouth...Under the terrible burden of destiny, laughing..." (= "The smoky
candle end of time / Declines."?), seem surprisingly enough to be echoed in
the TSE poem.
> [Original Message]
> From: Loucks, James <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: 1/29/2006 7:53:56 AM
> Subject: Re: Rick's Bel Esprit campaign
> One reading might be: Bleistein ["leadstone" in German] is a (vulgar)
American ("money in furs" would suggest St. Louis rather than Chicago, by
the way) who is also a Semite (Jew) whose ancestors came from Vienna, which
happens to have been virulently anti-Semitic in its past; hence he is a Jew
of the diaspora, who has in effect "returned" to Europe as a rich
capitalist in a capitalist city, Venice. Browning, in "A Toccata of
Galuppi's" (set in Venice) mentions "Shylock's Bridge," and TSE alludes to
that poem in his epigraph ("Dear dead women, with such hair too").
Bleistein's cigar, obviously a phallic symbol, adds to the
rich-capitalist-semite caricature. TSE deserves Anthony Julius's criticism
for such blatant stereotyping (which one can see is equally raw form in
Gatsby). -- Jim Loucks
> James Loucks, Ph.D.
> Ohio State University-Newark
> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. on behalf of Tom Colket
> Sent: Sun 29-Jan-06 10:18 AM
> Subject: Rick's Bel Esprit campaign
> >>Maybe we listers ought to start a TSE subscription charge in the
> >>manner of Pound's Bel Esprit campaign to compensate Debra for
> >>a weekly posting on some Eliotic matter. ;-)
> >> Rick Parker
> >Nice idea, but I couldn't take the pressure.
> That's too bad. Perhaps you'll reconsider if we raise enough cash.
> By the way, if a weekly posting is too much, I'd greatly appreciate some
> coherent explanation of the one line in an Eliot poem that I find the most
> Chicago Semite Viennesse.
> Any thoughts?