Diana Manister wrote:
> Dear Ken,
> All your convoluted reasoning cannot change the past to the future.
True, but I am trying to cling loosely to the text in order to
tease something out of it (hopefully something that's in it).
> A speaker musing about what might have been is not dreaming of the future.
True, sort of. He is musing about the future that wasn't. Truth is,
I don't care so much what its tense is (though tense in Eliot can be
extremely important); I care what it does where it is in the poem. Which
was the point I was trying to make to Tom, which has not been taken up.
> Your suggestion that interpretations should cling "truly" to the text
> signals your belief in a single, definitive meaning on which all
> reasonable people will agree.
Speaking loosely, you might have been right, but the truth is by
using "truly" I am only trying to indicate that one can be wrong as well
as right. And it would never occur to me that there would be a meaning
on which all reasonable people could agree, or I would have to conclude
that this list is made up of 99% unreasonable people.
> Loose attachment to an interpretation signals a willingness to
> consider additional meanings that the text itself suggests.
Additional to what?