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TSE  May 2006

TSE May 2006

Subject:

Re: 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' was Re: OT: USk Castle

From:

Dunja Seselja <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Thu, 4 May 2006 14:43:07 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (74 lines)

I think the second aspect of Prufrock's Self CR has
pointed out, doesn't refer to the person who suffers
because he is searching for the fulfilling love; I
think the poem isn't about unfulfilled love at all,
but of the finiteness of our (human) being, that
something eternal and infinite like love has to fit
in.  
Maybe i'm completely wrong, but I see Prufrock
suffering from the time and the finiteness that is
streched over love so that in the end there appears
the question of sense of it: what's the sense of
anything if it is condemned to be finite? (-> an
overwhelming question) And then, what is the sense of
asking this in the unreflected world, completely drawn
in time, not aware of its finitness? (-> "this is not
it at all...")
When Prufrock speaks of an overwhelming question, it
is the time he asks about; when he speaks of squeezing
the universe into a ball, it is the problem of
understanding our finiteness he has in mind (how can a
finite being like ourselves, understand something
infinite like a universe?); the same goes for
"disturbing the universewhe"; when he speaks of daring
- it is the trial to make something infinite inspite
of this destiny, to love, simply to love; when he
speaks of Lazarus, it is the perspective of someone
from the other world, someone _out_of_time who can
judge, see and understand our finiteness; when he
ironically speaks of wearing his trousers rolled, he
brings in the idea of fighting with time, getting
younger; when he mentiones mermaids, he speaks of
forgeting, forgeting the time (-> Ulysses); when he
speaks of "human voices", he refers to the reflection
of finiteness that wakes us up from our unreflective
life "among the mermaids".

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

(Maybe I'm just too influenced by the "interpretation"
of the poem offered in the film "Till Human Voices
Wake Us", as it speaks of love captured within the
particular timeframe, which suddenly comes back again
in an almost super-natural way; but maybe, on the
other side, this is why this film is so great - since
in this seeing of the poem - time and finiteness - the
poem tuches such a strong and shaking topic)

Dunja

--- cr mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>   In this internal monologue, I find there're two
> selves of Prufrock, two voices of his self:
>    
>   a) one which is prophetic, which sees through the
> nature of "desire" (in terms of fog/cat image),
> which sees through the veneer of things, and which
> is constantly cautioning him of the futility of his
> enterprize etc.
>    
>   b) which is of a suffering self, timid, too
> self-conscious of his weaknesses
>   and failures, but yet seeking a fulfilling
> relationship of love -- I should have been a pair of
> ragged claws, I am no prophet, I'm not prince
> Hamlet, I have seen/heard the mermaids, they will
> not sing to me etc.

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