Diana Manister wrote:
> Dear Terry,
> In TWL's Burial section, the dead, who likely are those killed in the
> war, are spoken to, but do not respond to questions.
> Unreal City, 60
> Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
> A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
> I had not thought death had undone so many.
Dante's limbo of those not worth damning -- to put them in hell proper
would give the damn some relief by giving them someone to sneer at.
Related therefore for varius phrases such as the awful moment of an
instant' surrender. The vast majority of humanity, therefore, according
to Dante, perhaps according to Eliot, are those worthless ones who never
did anything good or bad -- and they outnumber the saved and damned
How much of Dante Eliot intends is an interpretive question. No one ever
intends the whole content of any passage or event alluded to. The
context of the allusion transforms to a greater or lesser degree the
original content of the text echoed. For example, it is not really clear
what relation if any there is between the First Punic War, Dante's
vestbule for the worhthless, and the context in TWL. Some selectionis
necessary or you don't have a poem, you have a mess.