Yes, as I said the entire postwar population of Europe was suffering
'dissociation' due to lost national, professional and language
identities, and the necessity of acquiring new personae.
Sent from my iPod
On May 7, 2010, at 4:05 PM, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
> I think, however, that you can't really separate what he meant by
> dissociation of sensibility without some understanding of what he
> was doing with his philosophic studies and particularly the
> dissertation, a major theme of which was the relation of thought and
> feeling in F H Bradley. Any attempt to grasp Eliot's context for
> "dissociation" or "objective correlative" would have to incorporate
> his highly developed view of Bradley's metaphysics. I think Peter is
> right about E's concern with the sensibility of a culture and much
> of his criticism focused on the condition of the artist's audience's
> sensibility and what the artist must do to in his art to speak to
> it. It's been a long while since I read it, but this was the context
> for his criticism of Shakespeare (right or wrong) for in effect
> pandering to his audience's tastes.
> Ken A
> Nancy Gish wrote:
>> Dear Carrol,
>> The term got a bit lost under Freud's term "repression"--which is
>> not quite the same--but in the 1980s especially, "neo-dissociation"
>> became a serious focus. It remains in the psychological literature.
>> >>> Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> 05/07/10 8:26 AM >>>
>> > Peter Montgomery wrote:
>> > Seems to me that the context Eliot was using in his famous
>> > dissociation quote
>> > was of a whole culture, rather than an individual case. Surely on a
>> > cultural scale it
>> > is a different phenomenon.
>> I don't know the background Nancy does, but on the face of it Eliot
>> using a psychological term (with its meaning for him in psychologyP
>> describe one or both of two things:
>> a) whole cultures
>> b) the cultural _causes_ of a psychological trait
>> The term is a slippery one, which is perhaps one of the reasons it
>> disappeard from psychology.
>> Eliot, like James (H) and Wordsworth and Pope before him was prettty
>> clearly trying to "make room" for his own poetrty. In that he was
>> successful -- too successful in that he produced a number of oracular
>> saying about literature, history, and culture which are mostly
>> nonsense and kept too many critics & scholars too long preoccupied
>> makign sense of rather empty formulations. If I recall corrctly Eliot
>> himself commented a few times on his unfortunate ability to coin
>> that caught on too well. "Dissociation of sensibility" as a
>> analysis (in fact, "sensibility" however defined) was one such
>> wild-goose chase.