This is interesting! Its content is interesting, but of even greater
interest is the discovery that when he chooses to Peter can engage in a
conversation rather han hurl spitballs from the margin. Why don't you
keep it up, Peter. It would immensely raise the tone of the list.
In at least one instance (the one in my memory just now) when Eliot
_does_ touch, at first positively, on a fully human tradition, he ends
by reducing it to the 'merely' natural: the passage in East Coker which
begins with early modern English to express the formality of marriage,
and ends with dung and coppulation and death.
Incidentally. Nancy mentions that Eliot had himself sailed off the coast
of New England. Were those rocks more dangereous in heading out to sea
or in returning? Probably irrelevant, but I'm looking for something to
support Peter's speculation on old vs new world culture. Do the rocks
represent more of a danger for one returning to the new or leaving the
Of course the absence of evidence is not evidence; that is, the absence
of "New World Culture" from Four Quartets is not itself evidence of
anything. It just may be that the only 'natural' (and frightenting)
forces he had encountered were all from his youth -- the River, these
rocks. He never tried to scale the Matterhorn or go skiing in Norway, or
even swim the channel.
> Another curiosity is that the other titlesin 4Q, while all place
> are also places with a constructed history, constructed by people.
> D.S. Is a natural place, on which nothing has been constructed but the
> It is, in fact, a natural elemental, quite in contrast to the other
> sugesting perhaps that he had nothing by way of human construction
> in the new world with which he could identify in terms of his
> rootedness. The culture of the new world is still too new.
> "ever, forever implacable"
> Can those rocks bear all that weight?