Thank You for the quotes. I think I have seen a
couple of them in this list itself on other threads.
I understand the point made from those quotes -- that
Eliot considered the portrayal of the sordid as an
essential element of great art. While it certainly
is, I am concened about it bordering over an element
of disgust that is anti-life itself. For instance, in
the disgust that is against life itself and which
emanates unconsciously in the works of Dostoyevsky
behind his Christian posture? While he is a great
critique of Christ, I see his sense of the sordid in
an unimaginable proportion that it could turn against
life itself. I am afraid I see traces of that in
Eliot’s own works. I raised that query in that
--- Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> You mean as in
> " The thousand sordid images
> Of which your soul was constituted; " ???
> Have you corncidered:
> Boredom, horror and glory:
> It is an advantage to mankind in general to
> live in a beautiful
> world;that no one can doubt. But for the poet
> is it so important?
> We mean all sorts of things, I know, by
> Beauty. But the essential
> advantage for a poet is not, to have a
> beautiful world with which
> to deal: it is to be able to see beneath both
> beauty and ugliness;
> to see the boredom, and the horror, and the
> glory. (126)
> Eliot,T.S. "Matthew Arnold." THE USE OF POETRY
> AND THE USE OF
> CRITICISM. London: Faber, 1933.
> Baudelaire and LaForgue:
> I think that from Baudelaire I learned first a
> precedent for the
> poetical possibilities, never developed by
> any poet writing in my
> own language, of the more sordid aspects of
> the modern metropolis,
> of the possibility of fusion between the
> sordidly realistic and the
> phangtasmagoric, the possibility of the
> juxtaposition of the matter
> of fact and the fantastic. From him, as from
> Laforgue, I learned
> that the sort of material that I had, the
> sort of experience that
> an adolescent had had, in an indus trial city
> in America, could be
> the material for poetry; and that the source
> of new poetry might be
> found in what had been regarded hitherto as
> the impossible, the
> sterile, the intractably unpoetic. That, in
> fact, the business of
> the poet was to make poetry out of the
> unexplored resources of the
> unpoetical; that the poet, in fact, was
> committed by his profession
> to turn the unpoetical into poetry. A great
> poet can give a younger
> poet everything that he has to give him, in a
> very few lines. It may
> be that I am indebted to Baudelaire chiefly
> for half a dozen lines
> out of the whole of Fleurs du Mal; and that
> his significance for me
> is summed up in the lines:
> Fourmillante Cite, cite pleine dereves,
> Ou le spectre en plein jour raccroche le
> I knew what that meant, because I had lived it
> before I knew that I
> wanted to turn it into verse on my own
> Eliot, T.S. "What Dante Means to Me." TO
> CRITICIZE THE CRITIC.
> London: Faber, 1965.
> I an old man
> A dull head among windy spaces.
> Signs are taken for wonders. "We would see a
> The word within a word, unable to speak a word.
> Swaddled with darkness. In the juvescence of the
> Came Christ the tiger.
> In depraved May, dogwood and chestnut, flowering
> To be eaten, to be divided, to be drunk
> Among whispers ....
> from "Gerontion" by T.S. Eliot
> from SWEENEY AGONISTES (from memory)
> I knew a man once, did a girl in
> Every man has to, needs to, wants to do a girl in.
> Well he kept her there in the bath,
> With a gallon of lysol in the bath
> What about them bones on Epsom Heath?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Vishvesh Obla" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 7:15 AM
> Subject: 'contemplation of the horrid or sordid or
> The contemplation of the horrid or sordid or
> by an artist, is the necessary and negative aspect
> impulse toward the pursuit of beauty....The negative
> the more importunate."
> I had been struck by 'Eliot's contemplation of the
> horrid or sordid or disgusting' and I am glad that
> this is being discussed here -- struck for the very
> reason that it has parallels with Flaubert, in the
> sense that Eliot preferred to stay away from life in
> the Lawrentian sense (A relative note : Lawrence was
> appalled by the disgust of life by a genius as Swift
> who couldn't bear the thought that his dear Julia
> Are there any indicators from Eliot's own works as
> what constituted 'the horrid or sordid or
> for him?
> --- cr mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Dear Marcin,
> > You make some very perceptive observations.
> > These, I believe, are crucial to our
> > of
> > Eliot's poetry, especially that he chose to
> > publish
> > in his lifetime.
> > # the speaker in Preludes seems to be
> > a resolution of apparent dichotomies.
> > # The subject - object dichotomy of the
> > approach is presented in the poem, I think, as
> > both
> > inalienable andalienating...
> > # The speaker's awareness of "multitude of
> > solipsisms", and of his/her own partaking in
> > an
> > epistemic situation, is a step towards the sense
> > of
> > alienation endemic in this very situation.
> > # While there is no way out of it, the speaker
> > to understanding that all the worlds constructed
> > by
> > solipsistic ego-subjects are merely "points of
> > view"
> > "revolving like ancient women / Gathering fuel
> > vacant lots."
> > # Those "worlds", with their pretensions to
> > exclusivity,
> > in the context of mystical experience of the ONE
> > ("infinitely gentle"), may seem, I imagine,
> > somewhat
> > amusing.
> > Marcin, I consider them precious statements --
> > there's no question of my disagreeing with any
> > them, except maybe in the working out of their
> > ramifications here and there vis-a-vis Eliot's
> > poetry.
> > Let me now compliment you for the following
> > remarks you make in your reply to my post:
> > # I do agree - there seems to be unity in the
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