David Boyd wrote:
> HELL [and a goodly number of earthly manifestations thereof ] comes at
> once to mind...........
You asked for more Flemish influences upon Eliot. This note for line
380 of TWL is taken from http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/790.html
According to Eliot (Poems, 1910-1930, p. 155), these details were
inspired by a painting from the school of Hieronymus Bosch (a
fifteenth-century Dutch artist), one called "Hell" or "The Sinful
World" and forming a diptych with Bosch's "Deluge." In a part of the
painting one can see a bat-like creature with dull human features
crawling headfirst down a rock wall. See Charles de Tolnay, Hieronymus
Bosch (Basel: Holbein, 1937), plate 25. Bosch's horrific late Gothic
style shows, with extraordinary vividness, allegories of Hell, the
fallen world of vice, and wasting self-slaughter.
This is really a lifting of what Grover Smith wrote first in his
"T.S. Eliot's Poetry and Plays: A Study in Sources and Meanings",
pp. 94-5. Smith noted "Poèmes 1910-1930", p. 155 and also noted the
same place to go to see the painting.
I've tried to find a copy of the painting on the web but gave up. It
is an altarpiece in Rotterdam and is actually likely a triptych with a
missing center panel.