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TSE  May 2010

TSE May 2010

Subject:

Re: TS Eliot: The Metaphysical Poets

From:

Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Wed, 5 May 2010 02:23:48 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (132 lines)

Dissociation of SENSIBILITY.
Sensibility may be a dimension (even an important one)
of personality but it is NOT the entirety of personality.
I think E.'s idea has more to do with cultural perceptual habits
than anything else. There was a shift away from a balance of the senses in
perception,
to a dominance of the eye esp. from the effects of the massive infusion of
literacy.
The subdued senses in effect were dissociated from sight, and so translated
into visual terms.

P.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "DIana Manister" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 4:38 PM
Subject: Re: TS Eliot: The Metaphysical Poets


> Yes Nancy, I recall an important objection you posted to the word
> "dissociation," because of its implication of previous unity of
> personality. Just as personality comprises many shifting, conflicting,
> more-or-less temporary personae, the "organic" form of a poem would be
> no more static or unified.
>
> This is a Romantic idea of art as expressive of the artist's
> subjectivity, which Modernism valorized to the extent that traditional
> structures such as plot were often anathematized as programmatic
> devices that obscured or prevented the emergence of organic form
> during the artmaking process.
>
> Breton and the Surrealists were the most radically subjective, using
> automatic writing as an expressive means. But all of Modernism is
> subjectively oriented, largely dispensing with premeditated plans for
> a work's formal or thematic unity.
>
> Pound for example did not edit TWL to give it a plot or a dramatic
> arc, but took it on its own terms as an expression of a 'dissociated'
> personality.
>
> Diana
>
>
> Sent from my iPod
>
> On May 3, 2010, at 10:29 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Unity of what? Eliot was talking about sensibility--not simply a
> > notion of the form of a poem.  "Dissociation" is drawn from the
> > psychological condition discussed by Pierre Janet and William James,
> > and a common clinical term than and now.  It influenced Vittoz, who
> > treated Eliot.  Eliot was so drawn to Dante in large part because he
> > thought Dante was the last poet to be able to write when there was
> > what he considered a world in which there was unity of thought and
> > feeling.  So the idea that TWL must have what came to be called
> > "organic form" does not follow from any narrowly defined or limited
> > aesthetic ideal.
> >
> > So "unity" does mean "unity"; it just is not simply a notion of
> > poetic form: it's a complex term applicable to many things and
> > concepts.  I suggest, if you want a discussion, you read my article,
> > since to explain it would be to rewrite all that here.  Simply
> > announcing that your notion of it stands because it has been said
> > does not follow either.
> > N
> >
> > >>> Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> 05/03/10 10:17 PM >>>
> > Well, of course unity is not new with the new critics or with their
> > immediate predecessors, and you haven't said anything to indicate what
> > you do think it is, so for now that "unity" does mean "unity" seems
> > very
> > safe.
> >
> > Ken A
> >
> > Nancy Gish wrote:
> > > Actually, it's not safe to say. It is not just the notion of an
> > > aesthetic unity in the sense of New Critics--who came slightly later
> > > and were influenced by Eliot but not these sources.
> > > N
> > >
> > > >>> Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> 05/03/10 5:37 PM >>>
> > > Nancy Gish wrote:
> > > > What he means by this is extremely complicated, and it draws on
> > many
> > > > sources. I traced the terminology through his texts over several
> > > > years, and the origins of his terms can be demonstrated.
> > > >
> > > > If anyone is interested, it is in the book with Cassandra.
> > > Nancy,
> > >
> > > I'll have to take a look. But for now, when he says "unity," it must
> > > be safe to say that he means "unity," telescoping and Diana's
> > statement
> > > notwithstanding. And esotericisms be as they may, one cannot form
> > a new
> > > whole without a unity. The "trick" is to find the unifying element.
> > >
> > > Ken A
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > >>> Chokh Raj 05/03/10 11:54 AM >>>
> > > > Apropos the Metaphysical poets, of their poetic virtues, Eliot
> > takes
> > > > note of, in particular, a certain "telescoping of images and
> > > > multiplied associations", and a "heterogeneity of material
> > compelled
> > > > into unity by the operation of the poet's mind" -- a "put[ting]
> > the
> > > > material together again in a new unity".
> > > >
> > > > In fine,
> > > >
> > > > "When a poet's mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is
> > > > constantly amalgamating disparate experience; the ordinary man's
> > > > experience is chaotic, irregular, fragmentary. The latter falls in
> > > > love, or reads Spinoza, and these two experiences have nothing
> > to do
> > > > with each other, or with the noise of the typewriter or the
> > smell of
> > > > cooking; in the mind of the poet these experiences are always
> > forming
> > > > new wholes. " -- T.S. Eliot, 'The Metaphysical Poets'
> > > >
> > > > http://personal.centenary.edu/~dhavird/TSEMetaPoets.html
> > > > <http://personal.centenary.edu/%7Edhavird/TSEMetaPoets.html>
> > > >
> > > > refreshing the memory --
> > > >
> > > > CR
> > > >
> > > >

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