Although I am dubious about the whole notion of the binary of female
semiotic and law of the father, I think in this case that the utterances
you list are not in any of the examples "pre-verbal."
Those that are not human transcriptions of bird sounds or the voice of
the thunder (who knows how thunder speaks but Eliot took them over from
a fable in Brihadaranyaka-Upanishad he claims in the note, and gods are
probably not pre-verbal) those others are all verbal. Interjections are
one of eight parts of speech; they have meaning if not a necessary place
in syntax. We all say "O" even if we spell it "Oh." "Ta ta" is a
familiar way to say "good-bye," just as much as "bye-bye." "Drip drop.
. ." is a standard way to transcribe dripping water. I'm not sure about
the refrain from Wagner: I wonder if it starts from weh or woe. But it
is also a transcription of a sound in singing. In any case, refrains
are common in singing and also not pre-verbal.
I don't see these as other than common and recognizable sounds we all
hear and use even if we hear birds or thunder sounds differently.
Throughout the poem, pre-verbal utterances play a role. My thinking at
the moment leads me to believe that Eliot may, like Joyce, be tracing
speech to its origins. Da is the one of the first syllables English
speakers make, the other being Ma, or Mama. A French baby of course says
Papa. The naming objects and others accompanies the realization of
otherness. This is the point where Julia Kristeva says the semiotic
moves into the symbolic, egolessness in the world of the mother is lost
in the the father's world of things, laws, symbols.
A list of these utterances in the poem is as follows:
'Jug Jug', O O O O, Ta ta, O, O, Twit twit twit Jug jug jug jug jug jug,
O, Weialala leia Wallala leialala, Weialala leia Wallala leialala, la
la, O, Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop,Co co rico co co rico, D A, D
A, D A, O.
I would be very interested in your or anyone's thoughts on this. Diana
>>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 07/21/07 11:05 AM >>>