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TSE  December 2008

TSE December 2008

Subject:

Re: The patterns in TSE's carpet

From:

Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Tue, 30 Dec 2008 01:11:53 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (146 lines)

Ah!!!! The ancient mariner rides again! cf the reference to Coleridge at the
end of UPUC. Could it be that the cheese skippers have decomposed the corpus
to a point of completion?

P.


Quoting Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]>:

> 
> CR wrote, quoting Craig Raine, 
>  
> -----------------------------------
> "The poet articulates the inexpressible -- and makes the culture more
> articulate and, therefore, more sensible to subtle feeling . . . Every artist
> starts with his emotions and his autobiography -- and addresses the task of
> transcending mere subjectivity.  Self-expression isn't the sole aim. The aim
> is to create an intelligible work of art."
> -----------------------------------
>  
> Sometimes the "aim of the poet", at least initially, may be much more
> personal than Raine is admitting. Consider this quote from TSE in his 1953
> essay, "The Three Voices of Poetry" - p98-99:
>  
> -----------------------------------
> "In a poem which is neither didactic nor narrative, and not animated by any
> other social purpose, the poet may be concerned solely with expressing in
> verse - using all his resources of words, with their history, their
> connotations, their music - this obscure impulse. He does not know what he
> has to say until he has said it; and in the effort to say it he is not
> concerned with making other people understand anything. He is not concerned,
> at this stage, with other people at all: only with finding the right words
> or, anyhow, the least wrong words. He is not concerned whether anybody else
> will ever listen to them or not, or whether anybody else will ever understand
> them if he does. He is oppressed by a burden which he must bring to birth in
> order to obtain relief. Or, to change the figure of speech, he is haunted by
> a demon, a demon against which he feels powerless, because in its first
> manifestation it has no face, no name, nothing; and the words, the poem he
> makes, are a kind of form of exorcism of this demon. In other words again, he
> is going to all that trouble, not in order to communicate with anyone, but to
> gain relief from acute discomfort; and when the words are finally arranged in
> the right way - or in what he comes to accept as the best arrangement he can
> find - he may experience a moment of exhaustion, of appeasement, of
> absolution, and of something very near annihilation, which is in itself
> indescribable. And then he can say to the poem: 'Go away! Find a place for
> your self in a book - and don't expect me to take any further interest in
> you.' "
> -----------------------------------
>  
> -- Tom --
>  
> 
> Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:00:58 -0800From: [log in to unmask]: Re: The
> patterns in TSE's carpetTo: [log in to unmask]
> 
> 
> 
> 
> "[T]he poet is occupied with frontiers of consciousness beyond which words
> fail,
>  though meanings still exist."
>  
> 'The Music of Poetry' (1942)
>  
> -----
>  
> In 'The Social Function of Poetry' (1945)... 
>  Eliot revisits the site of this second 'psychological' objective
> correlative.
>  Listing various functions of poetry, Eliot mentions 
> 'the expression of something we have experienced but have no words for, 
> which enlarges our consciousness or refines our sensibility'. 
> This is the core of his argument in this essay --
>  that, without expression, our emotions will atrophy. 
> The poet's role is to find objective expression for the purely subjective. 
> The poet articulates the inexpressible -- and makes the culture more
> articulate
>  and, therefore, more sensible to subtle feeling. 
> This is quite different from the idea of the objective correlative as
> restricted to drama.
>  
>      Put like this,
>  the objective correlative looks more intelligible 
> -- a refinement of the idea of impersonality in art.
>  Every artist starts with his emotions and his autobiography 
> -- and addresses the task of transcending mere subjectivity. 
> Self-expression isn't the sole aim. The aim is to create an intelligible work
> of art. 
> The two functions of the objective correlative 
> -- to make emotion manifest for a theatre audience;
>  to articulate one's inexplicable feelings -- 
> are conjoined a little uncomfortably, like unidentical Siamese twins.
>  
> Craig Raine, T.S. ELIOT, pp. 134-135
>  
> -----
>  
> quite a lucid exposition
>  
> CR
> --- On Mon, 12/29/08, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>Subject: Re: The patterns in TSE's
> carpetTo: [log in to unmask]: Monday, December 29, 2008, 3:26 PM
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> objective correlative
>  
> "But it is easy to see why this particular coinage is successful. 
> Its scientism -- with its misleading scientific connotation of
> "formula" -- is a rebuke to belle lettrism. Yet, the idea is obvious."
>  
> "The objective correlative...is an account of the artist straining
> to objectify and embody his subjective inner murk -- his buried life."
>  
> It's worthwhile perusing pp.133-136 of T.S. ELIOT by Craig Raine 
> (p.133 para beginning "As for repetition...") online at
>  
> http://books.google.com/books?id=CnnX6jlFUfEC&pg=PA133&lpg=PA133&dq
>  
> CR
> --- On Sun, 12/28/08, Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>Subject: Re: The patterns in TSE's
> carpetTo: [log in to unmask]: Sunday, December 28, 2008, 9:08 PMTom
> Colket quotes: "...apart from a few notorious phrases which have had
> a truly embarrassing success in the world"
> 
> Indeed Eliot had every reason to be embarassed about almost all of those
> phrses. I imagine the damage they did is slowly dying out (having for
> the most part been confined to my 'generation" and the preceding ones,
> with only a scattering of younger critics poisoned. Probably the worst
> (and perhaps most notorious) was the objective correlative, the bizarre
> idea that any delection of objects or events could mechanically evoke a
> specific emotion. At some point in his early life Eliot must have been
> tainted without being quite conscious of the fact with the vulgarities
> of late 19th-century positivism! Just the facts, Maam! Just the formula
> for the emotion.
> 
> Carrol
> 
> _________________________________________________________________
> Send e-mail anywhere. No map, no compass.
>

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