It's not personal shame, but shame in the eyes of others as in:
"And I have known the eyes already, known them alló
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? 60
And how should I presume?"
If Prufrock were playing Virgil AND Montefeltro, with the reader as an
it certainly wouldn't be the last time Eliot used that trope:
"So I assumed a double part, and cried
And heard another's voice cry: 'What! are you here?"
Although we were not. I was still the same,
Knowing myself yet being someone otheró
And he a face still forming; yet the words sufficed
To compel the recognition they preceded."
If the trip is into Prufrock's unconscious then Prufrock would HAVE to be
both Virgil and Montefeltro.
It makes sense for the reader to be Dante:
"Among the smoke and fog of a December afternoon
You have the scene arrange itself -- as it will seem to do--."
Curious that the translation calls it "the fire that refines".
Folks committed to hell are unrefineable,
no matter what their finery.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 8:50 AM
Subject: Re: Prufrock question (Eliot interview citation)
> Peter Montgomery wrote:
> > It is curious that no one wants to see the parallel between Eliot's "you
> > and me" and Dante's Aenaid and Dante. What's the epigraph for, if not
> > to set the scene. If the parallel of pairs doesn't work, then why should
> > one consider a parallel with hell either.
> Well, I tried it in my mind and it just doesn't seem to work for me.
> The epigraph doesn't have Virgil and Dante. It is Montefelltro speaking
> to Dante and this causes me to see Montefelltro as Prufrock with Dante's
> reporting job being Eliot's (or in another way as Prufrock playing a
> double role.)
> The element that seems to be in the draft epigraph and in the final
> epigraph is shame.
> be mindful in due time of my pain'. Then dived he back into that fire
> which refines them.
> "If I thought that my reply would be to someone who would ever return to
> earth, this flame would remain without further movement; but as no one
> has ever returned alive from this gulf, if what I hear is true, I can
> answer you with no fear of infamy."