It is worth examing subatomic structure as an analogy to the structure
(not really the right word, but one has to start somewhere) of TWL.
The particles do not touch, they resonate with each other.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 7:31 PM
Subject: Re: Water in TWL--why?
> Frank Kermode, in 1967, said, "Eliot ridiculed the critics who found in
> The Waste Land an image of the age's despair, but he might equally have
> rejected the more recent Christian interpretations." I think the notion
> that a trope "must serve the whole in some meaningful way," is quite
> different, at least, from my resistance to disparate commentaries
> because, if I understand you, it assumes some "whole" is there as a
> unity to be found. But why? It is not only water that is a puzzling
> muddle in TWL; it is pretty much all the images. Except I would not use
> "muddle" because they are not just that; they are complex and not
> constrained within a "scaffold." Who, for example, is Stetson? Is he
> an "everyman" as Brooks claimed or someone identifiable by the name who
> had been in London that year or an image of the American or a soldier
> and comrade? It can go in as many directions. And why is the
> accusation of the quotation at the end of I spoken to him, as it is?
> Nancy wrote: "Water, for example, can be linked to the Thames in
> "Epithalamion" or
> lusty nights or Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS or whatever. But these all
> lead in different directions. In any case, it does not fit Eliot's
> description of an objective correlative: when given, it does not evoke a
> specific emotion. "
> Still, a trope must serve the whole in some meaningful way. Water in TWL
> may be a multivalent sign or symbol, but if it were working with the
> synergy of Eliot's usual signifiers each of its possible meanings would
> inform all of the others. But water in TWL alternates its significance
> with no intratextual consistency, producing a hodge-podge of referents,
> a puzzling muddle. Diana
> >>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 08/01/07 11:02 AM >>>
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