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TSE  February 2007

TSE February 2007

Subject:

Re: Eliot and Affective Language

From:

Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Tue, 6 Feb 2007 23:51:49 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (277 lines)

I spent a fair amount of time with McLuhan. I never experienced his giving
off heat.

McLuhan wasn't much into cosmology.

McLuhan asserted many times that all of Eliot's poetry is cool, in the sense
that it is reader participation poetry. It leaves spaces (what M. called
resonant
intervals) through which the reader can participate in the creation of the
poem.

If you want hotter poetry look at Wordsworth's, which doesn't allow the
reader to
participate at all. It is W. wandering lonely as a cloud, and nobody else.
That is VERY hot poetry, and quite fine for its age.
(Ever seen a cloud wander? I wonder what the meteorologist Shelley
 had to say about that, with his wild west winds and hammerhead clouds.)

HOWL is full of resonant intervals for reader involvement.
That would make it, in McLuhan's use of the term, very cool poetry.
In fact that is also what jazz is all about. Syncopation. Leaving out the
expected phrase.
Throwing in the unexpected beat.
=============================================================
 Jazz Fantasia by Carl Sandberg

DRUM on your drums, batter on your banjoes,
 sob on the long cool winding saxophones. Go to it, O jazzmen.

Sling your knuckles on the bottoms of the happy tin pans,
 let your trombones ooze, and go hushahusha-hush with the slippery
sand-paper.

Moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome tree-tops,
 moan soft like you wanted somebody terrible,
 cry like a racing car slipping away from a motorcycle cop,
 bang-bang! you jazzmen, bang altogether drums, traps, banjoes, horns, tin
cans -
 make two people fight on the top of a stairway and scratch each other's
eyes in
 a clinch tumbling down the stairs.

Can the rough stuff .
 now a Mississippi steamboat pushes up the night river with a
hoo-hoo-hoo-oo .
 and the green lanterns calling to the high soft stars .
 a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills .
 go to it, O jazzmen.
==================================================================
That poem IS jazz.

Hot and cool as used by McLuhan have little to do with the
intensity or lack there of, of a particular feeling . McLuhan's hot and cool
have
everything to do with Ezra Pound's work to revitalise English poetry with
the
help of Ernst Fenellosa's transliterations of Japanese (originally Chinese)
poetry.
The resonant interval between the second and third lines of a successful
haiku
IS what the poem has to say. Not the lines, but what the reader experiences
between the lines, is what is cool.

It's the rip in the seat of one's pants that creates the coolness.

There's an old Japanese saying that a Japanese wife does not get angry with
her
husband. She just rearranges the flowers. Now that is cool.

Have you ever been hurt by butterflies?

"The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me."

 Pound. "The River Merchant's Wife: a Letter"

==========================================
If you want to find something hot in Eliot's creative work, look at the
last four plays. ALL hot which is why they have flopped  in popularity
unless VERY
creatively staged. They connect ALL the dots for the audience, so everything
is
VERY obvious and very preachy. No risks and so, not much achievement.
E. Martin Browne was a dodo. E. got seduced by the idea that what he wanted
to put on stage was realism. Realism is hot.

P.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Diana Manister
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:37 AM
Subject: Re: Eliot and Affective Language


Peter, would a poem that engages the reader's emotions not qualify as hot in
the McLuhan cosmology? A melodramatic poem like Howl would give off a
McLuhanesque type of heat because of the emotional response it elicits
rather than what the poet may or may not have felt while writing it.
Likewise  any of the Four Quartets are cooler, in McLuhan's sense, not
because of the condition of the writer but because they are conducive to a
quiet, contemplative mood on the part of readers. Diana
.


From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Eliot and Affective Language
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2007 23:35:09 -0800


Ah poor Diana!!!!
In correcting two errors, you have left a third: the name is Marshall
""""McLuhan"""".
Given that he was a teacher, mentor  and friend of mine I have some
familiarity
with his ideas, although I make no claim to being an authority. The idea of
hot and
cold media has to do precisely with the media themselves and what THEY DO
to the message, rather than having to do with the messenger or message him
or itself.
A hot medium is one which directs LOTS of info at the receiver of the
message so that
there is little room for the receiver to participate in the assemblage of
the message.
Radio is such a medium. It blasts out with no possibility of listener
interpretation
at least at the perceptual level. TV is a cool medium because it requires a
huge involvement
of the receiver in assembling all those dots, somewhat similar to the way a
viewer
of an impressionist painting assembles the picture in his own brain. The
immense
amount of brainwork in connecting all the TV dots is a cause of TV's
soporificity.

The print medium is also a hot medium. There's no work for the viewer to do
in putting each letter into intelligible form. It comes that way.

Hot media tend to generate a lot of heat. Hitler was brilliant at it in
Germany.
He was a genius in the use of the loud speaker, and thence to the radio.

JFK on the other hand realised the cool qualities of TV, and so like a jazz
musician
he left a lot of room for the viewer to fill in the spaces. That's what made
him so
attractive to the masses.

Because the 19th C. was obssesed with spelling out in print every last
detail of
any idea going, most of its work comes across as hot. Poets like Keats
may be an exception.

The 20th Century intensified the heat, but through jazz and modern poetry
planted the
seeds of coolness which flowered in the 60s. The essay has gone the way of
the dodo.
The panel is the new dance with ideas.

For a vivd demonstration of the TV cool thing, and how it transformns the
eye into an ear,
see Tony Schwartz' THE RESPONSIVE CHORD.

The workings of the print medium are thoroughly reviewed in McL's THE
GUTENBERG GALAXY
for which he received a GG (Governor General's Award). A basic understanding
of the other
media can be gleaned for McL's UNDERSTANDING MEDIA : THE EXTENSIONS OF MAN.

Okay, Carroll. Hack away.

Peter
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Diana Manister
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 8:13 AM
Subject: Re: Eliot and Affective Language


CORRECTED COPY:
Caroll, in apologizing for one typo I created another. What I meant to write
was this:
"Carroll, sorry for the typo in Apollonian. Describing diverse artistic
currents or temperments is no easy matter. Perhaps Marshall MacLuhan got
close when he described media as "hot" or "cold." The Romantic poets and
American Action Painters would be "hot" I think, by his lights, as well as
Alan Ginsberg and Beat poetry, while the paintings of Bridget Riley and
geometric abstraction would be "cold." That's the polarity I was attempting
to describe. Eliot, if not cold in MacLuhan's sense of the word, is
certainly cooler than a poet like Rimbaud, who was Dionysiac if any poet
ever was."
Sorry, Diana




From: Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Eliot and Affective Language
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2007 15:31:49 +0000


Carroll, sorry for the typo in Apollonian. Describing diverse artistic
currents or temperments is no easy matter. Perhaps Marshall MacLuhan got
close when he described media as "hot" or "cold." The Romantic poets and
American Action Painters would be "hot" I think, by his lights, and Alan
Ginsberg and Beat poetry, the paintings of Bridget Riley and geometric
abstraction would be "cold." That's the polarity I was attempting to
describe. Eliot, if not cold in MacLuhan's sense of the word, is certainly
cooler than a poet like Rimbaud, who was Dionysiac if any poet ever was.
Diana





From:  Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:  "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To:  [log in to unmask]
Subject:  Re: Eliot and Affective Language
Date:  Sun, 4 Feb 2007 14:39:55 -0600
Diana Manister wrote:
>
>But it seems uncontestable that Eliot is often set
> out as a representative of the Apollian mode. Best, Diana

What do you mean by Apollian (Apollinian?) -- Nietzsche associates it
with dreams: in "our dreams we delight in the immediate" etc.

Nothing about Eliot is uncooontestable.

And why do you think the contrast dionysian/apollinian" is relevant to
his work?

And like Marcia I remain bewildered by what you mean (in respect to
Eliot) by cold, intellectual, etc. I've not read much Eliot criticism,
but nothing in what I have read suggests such a view. The passsive voice
("is often set") screams the questions: By whom? When? Where?

Carrol




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