Hey Peter/ Carrol/Rick et al,
I don't find it plunges me too good much really. Those of us with Latin can handle 'Nam sibyllam' just fine but if you missed out on Greek the 'Eibulla etc' remains a non aural event except in the most artificial of ways.
And what about the silences between. In this all language has common texture.
I don't have the scholarly knowledge to be on solid ground here (but wouldn't mind help/opinion/abuse). Silence is to language in the way space is to architecture I suppose but it is a shared trait where other aural attributes do not span the seas.
The rhythmic patina is obviously as diverse as the sound attributes of the various continents but the bit in between is shared - the silence or the anticipation or the trailing into silence.
I find it hard to be sure what to make of that in Eliot when I notice for example that the 1927 Sweeney Agonistes does not lay out the printed line with the clear syncopation and downbeat silences of the 1963 collected poems. Reading the latter I thought something was being presented but wonder if the 1927 has authority.
Anyway if I had to choose sides I am more persuaded by Carrol's narrow niche proposition. But I am tolerant of it when there is just me and the text present and I only have pause when non English is displayed in a work and then glossed by the author which strikes me as a bit rich (e.g. Shantih in the notes).
Perhaps I am too vulgar and unread however and for others it is a seamless creation. But then I come from a notoriously vulgar country and one of our local rock groups did have a bit of a hit with a song called "Mistah Eliot he a wanker".
On 17/11/2012, at 12:31 AM, P wrote:
> It may well be that it's something that can't be scientifically proven, not that we're in the business of science, but if we lend any credence to Eliot's concept of auditory imagination, and I think a few of us do, then what could better facilitate our plunge into the deepest dimensions of the unconscious than a range of languages, esp. the ancient ones like Sanskrit which radiate all kinds of sounds for us, with and without meaning even if we don't know the exact sounds that were originally used. Our attempts at providing sounds are creative acts in them selves.
> P. M.
> "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I've been thinking but I haven't come up with any way the Eliot's facility
>> with foreign languages actually helped his writing poetry in English.
>> As for his use of the foreign phrases though he often combined several
>> languages rather close together. Mostly epigraphs but then there is the
>> closing of TWL. The quickest switch must be in the later dedication to
>> Verdenal where he has English and French in the first line and then goes on
>> to a quotation from Dante in the Italian.
>> It seems to me to the by using the languages so close together E. was
>> striving to show a universality in life.
>> Rick Parker