Your points remind me of the women in windows in Amsterdam.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2011 2:30 PM
Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's poetry (anti-semitism and objective
> On 10/19/2011 11:13 AM, Ken Armstrong wrote:
>> On the other hand, if I had somehow to perch in one of my windows,
>> whether at home or in my office (in an old reasonably well appointed
>> post office), I'd have no choice but to squat. On the third hand, after
>> thirty plus years in my office and 22 in my house, not even once could
>> you have found me squatting in a window. Wasn't even tempted. So do you
>> think Gerontion's landlord was a flesh and blood person squatting in a
>> window? Is that a custom in Brussels or London?
> I see Perloff's argument as being a valid reading (but I haven't taken
> it as my reading.) The landlord would be a private symbol of Eliot's
> outsideness, an uncomfortable position.
> I can't remember seeing either a flesh and blood person or a symbol
> squatting in a window though I have seen cymbals squinting through a
> Off topic for Eliot but on topic for squatting is this exchange that I
> had many years ago in New Zealand. I was in a pub on the North Island
> having a conversation with a local when he pulled out a
> pre-decimalization shilling still circulating as a 10 cent piece.
> Perhaps it's best to take a look at the coin before reading further.
> He showed me the depiction on the reverse of the coin of a Maori warrior
> crouching with his weapon and asked "Do you know why he is crouched like
> that?" I had been in NZ for many months and I was quite familiar with the
> coin but I hadn't given any thought about the warrior so I had to give
> the answer sought for: "No, why?" I was expecting to learn some cultural
> fact or how the warrior would thrush upward to strike an enemy.
> I didn't expect the only answer proper to give to a foreigner:
> "There's no room for him to stand."
> Rick Parker
>> Rickard A. Parker wrote:
>>> On 10/15/2011 8:44 AM, Tom Colket wrote:
>>>> Nancy and Ken,
>>>> I do not have a full reading of Gerontion, but maybe I can contribute
>>>> a discussion.
>>>> I've been thinking more about these lines :
>>>> My house is a decayed house,
>>>> And the Jew squats on the window sill, the owner,
>>>> Spawned in some estaminet of Antwerp,
>>>> Blistered in Brussels, patched and peeled in London.
>>> I'm pretty far behind the conversation now with what I had intended to
>>> send earlier but with Ken's posting of
>>> > Just to highlight a couple of his points about Burbank:Bleistein, the
>>> > poem is a poem of masks, with Eliot playing the roles of the two main
>>> > characters who are if effect opposite sides of the same (banker's)
>>> this is not coming too late.
>>> One of the links I sent in my post about the Jew being a objective
>>> correlative was to a page in in book by Marjorie Perloff.
>>> Differentials: poetry, poetics, pedagogy
>>> In that section Perloff had spent about two pages discussing Eliot's
>>> being a foreigner in England and not feeling at home in America. She
>>> saw Eliot using the landlord as a symbol of himself. To quote a bit:
>>> We see the speaker threatened by a "Jew" who, far from being a
>>> successful grasping landlord, squeezing money out of poor old
>>> Gerontion, is himself a squatter, a victim of poverty, misery,
>>> and disease, a figure who in Julius's words, "becomes what he expels"
>>> Squatting on the window sill, he belongs neither inside the "decayed
>>> house," nor can he escape its precincts.
>>> As I think about this I can see why TSE didn't put the Jew in a
>>> doorway, too easy to pass through, and why the Jew is *squatting* in
>>> the window, it's an uncomfortable position.
>>> Rick Parker