Meanwhile, back in the jungle:
Conrad is a subtext for TWL right?
So what's at the Heart of Darkness???
Ah, er, well, gee Kurtz's ability to get outrageous
amounts of ivory. Yes? no?
So there is the great Belgian company/empire
at the heart of drakness. The Queen figure is,
maybe, the Intended and the ghostly figure of rats' alley
is himself -- the short one, the great ivory man,
or maybe Marlowe, or maybe both?
So Viv. wanted the line out because it is too revealing,
to Conradesue, not weighty enough, like the original
Eliot wanted the revelation.
He wanted Conrad more in the poem.
I'm supprised he didn't revert to the
cf Marlowe's opening reverie on the Thames.
The parallels of the Conrad Thames, Congo River, and TWL
Thames, all going to the heart of darkness, create a
multiply layered resonant interval.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2007 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: The ivory men
> Dear Diana,
> I think this very unkind and inappropriate. First, Carrol has been on
> the list for many, many years and is very interesting as well as
> knowledgeable. I don't think those who enjoy what "We" do own it. The
> very use of "we" suggests there is an inner circle who have some kind of
> ownership, and there is not.
> Second, Carrol addresses the method of reading; he does not make nasty
> remarks about persons. It would be almost impossible to find any
> critic--especially those who study Eliot--who does not critique and even
> dismiss other methods, and for reasons that, as here, are laid out.
> George Williamson, for example, in 1953, said that in Eliot critics, "we
> find judgment disconcerted," and he sets out to set everyone right.
> Hugh Kenner, in 1959, announced in his introduction that opinion [of
> Eliot] "has not freed itself from a cloud of unknowing," and he sets out
> to set everyone right. Northrup Frye, in 1963, began his book, he
> claimed, by beginning with the "cliches of hostility to Eliot" in order
> to define "as quickly as possible, what must be considered but can also
> be clearly separated from Eliot's permanent achievement, leaving that
> achievement intact" and he sets out to set everyone right. And Coleen
> Lamos opens her book in 1998 by "confront[ing]. . . the lingering
> authority of T. S. Eliot's poetry and prose and wonder[ing] where he
> went wrong. . . ." She sets out to address wholly distinct ways of
> thinking about Eliot in relation to sexuality.
> Carrol, by contrast, directly addresses what he sees as a critical
> problem raised by cutting out a few lines from a whole work, and given
> the tendency of many on this list to make claims for unified or holistic
> meanings to poems, this is, in fact, a very odd way of reading.
> What you and a few others "like" is not the list and has no priority or
> special status. I happen to agree with Carrol, and I would imagine many
> I would be delighted to see more challenge to isolated and disconnected
> close readings of lines that--frankly--often veer off into wild
> speculation (it could be this; it could be that; it could be the other).
> But I don't own the list and don't expect what I might like most.
> I do hope you will rethink this "love us ("we") or leave the list" post.
> Carrol, I thought the idea was to interpret Eliot's choice of "the ivory
> men" in its wholistic context. TWL has exhausted many minds and I think
> we who are struggling to incorporate more elements into our
> understanding of the poem are commendable. If you don't like what we're
> doing, don't get involved. We like it. Diana
> Probably only in a formal essay can one wholly honor the hermeneutic
> circle, and an e-list with its sort of random landing on this or that
> line or passage is particularly unsuited for that. Nevertheless it seems
> to me that discussions on this list are really extravagant in a
> disabling way for their failure even to give a distant nod to that
> circle. This discussion of the ivory line vividly dramatizes this
> failure. It can become really absurd to obsess over one or a few lines
> in utter abstraction from any sense of the whole.
> >>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 06/30/07 2:35 PM >>>
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