> Nancy Gish wrote:
> Or it could be an internal action if there were conflicting internal
> personae or attitudes to create the conflict central to drama. In
> "Gerontion" there is no such action.
As a thought experiment.
Suppose I were to claim that Gerontion were the story of the Civil War
as it was fuht out west of the Mississippi, dramatizing thereby the
importance of the Mississippi river in the history of Bolivia.
Assume that I quoted lines in evidence of my claim, and speculated that
at some time in his life Eliot must have had an affair with the daughter
of the Bolivian Ambassador to England.
How would you respond. I mean, if I were to say that, it is obvius that
nothing you could say would make any difference. That is, when an
interpretive claim clearly exists in a private domain of the critic,
independent of any shared assumptions with the rest of the world, then
no discussison is possible. Since your statements don't assume the
affair with the Ambassador's daughter, your statements are irrelevant --
only staements which assume that connection are germane to the
"Classical" and "Dramatic" here are simply unrelated to the world Eliot
himself or you or I lived or live in. They are the equivalent to my
Ambassador's daughter. Hence any reference to the usage of those terms
over the last couple centuries (including Eliot's own use of them) is
simply irrelvant here.
Let them dream.