By de-civilized I meant less civilized than previously. Not
uncivilized. Europe's sense of itself as Enlightened could not be
maintained after the mutual butchery and unethical practices of the war.
But Kurtz is a paradigm or symbol for de-civilization. It's the
book's main theme to which all sub-themes and leitmotifs relate.
Thanks for thinking of that.
Sent from my iPod
On May 24, 2010, at 2:16 AM, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
> Eliot was a big fan of THE HEART OF DARKNESS.
> Is Kurtz de-civilised?
> Mr. Civilisation, he dead!
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, May 23, 2010 7:19 AM
> Subject: Re: Mr. Eugenides
>> Diana Manister wrote:
>>> Yes dehumanized. De-civilized too, if you will,
>> "decivilized" (which is also not Eliot's word) is an even more
>> inappropriate metaphor than dehumanized. The behavior of the clerk is
>> only possible within civilization! For one thing, even in a
>> pre-capitalist class societies she would not have been living alone
>> preparing her own meal. Those tins involved international commerce.
>> Moreover, the entire episode presupposes the atomized social
>> which appeared embryonically in the 175th-c (and Milton with amazing
>> prescience grasped) and only fully (and only in England & the U.S.)
>> the 19th-c. They were only beginning to develop in France & Germany
>> this enters into the causes of WW1).
>> So whatever the young man and woman are or are not, they are highly
>> civilized -- and surely Eliot had enough of an historical sense and
>> precise enough in his language (even the silent language of thought
>> intention) that he would never have seen these characters as
>> de-ciivilized. These vague, sloppy categories introduced by readers
>> rather than the poem trivialize the whole poem.