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TSE  February 2013

TSE February 2013

Subject:

Re: The " abstract - isolated - human individual" was Can less be more?

From:

Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:46:55 +1100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (175 lines)

Does anyone else find they are disproportionately grabbed by the line " a
small house agents clerk on whom assurance sits like a silk hat on a
Bradford millionaire" . 

In the midst of such bigger things - the act that will be played out there -
this and the food in tins are chilling motifs for me. 

That people can be reduced so - both the clerk and the millionaire.  

The  food in tins was an historical reality that I may have misread here in
the land of plenty as I know Eliot gave Mary Trevelayn a tin of breakfast
sausage as a peace offering. 

Pete

One professional encounter I had in this regard was a woman speaking of her
son accused of rape that her family did not do such things "we're just
ordinary criminals we don't do sex crimes" 

-----Original Message-----
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, 27 February 2013 10:31 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: The " abstract - isolated - human individual" was Can less be
more?

Definition by occupation is fairly standard.  An easy reference, once past
the physical attributes that are first observed and also categorized, in a
world where there is little time or patience.  Later (sometimes randomly)
come the individual traits. I am thinking (randomly) of the
soldier/narrative voice in Locksley Hall although he was a misogynist and
racist.  I am not sure it is possible to escape "what you do."  Trolls too.

Eugene Schlanger 

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 26, 2013, at 5:12 PM, P <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I shudder at the idea of people defining themselves by what they do.
> One hears the statement "It's what I do." as if that accounts for
everything about him or her." Astounding. If pigs could talk & were asked
why they excrete so much, they would no doubt say, "It's what I do." No
wonder I am so sorely tempted to misbehave.
> "Trolls of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your class!!"
> P. M.
> 
> Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>> Hi Carrol,
>> 
>> I'm just idly wondering about personal agency in this as in Sartre's
waiter
>> who is diminished by defining himself by his waiterliness. Or in more
>> grandiose fashion some professions who state they are a <enter your
choice
>> here> eg musician or thespian or pilot ie that have some particular cache
>> for them. Not that I am suggesting personal fiat will extract one from
>> historical realities.
>> 
>> Cheers Pete
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf
>> Of Carrol Cox
>> Sent: Wednesday, 27 February 2013 7:23 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: The " abstract - isolated - human individual" was Can less
be
>> more?
>> 
>> Eliot's use of "abstract" (and it is one standard sense of the word) is
not
>> quite the same as in the term , "abstract individual." In (say) 1300
France,
>> a peasant was born a peasant; he was _concretely_, a peasant. But an RN
>> today is not concretely an RN: she is, abstractly, a female homo sapiens
who
>> (provisionally, for she may change her mind or get fired tomorrow)is  a
>> nurse.
>> 
>> Carrol
>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>>> Behalf Of Ken Armstrong
>>> Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 6:59 PM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Re: The " abstract - isolated - human individual" was Can less
be
>>> more?
>>> 
>>> On 2/25/2013 4:30 PM, Peter Dillane wrote:
>>> 
>>> 
>>>    Thanks Carrol will have a proper look later. In Paediatrics it is
>> often
>>> said
>>>    "there is no such thing as a baby" which suggests at least one
>>> industry
>>>    recognises this.
>>> 
>>> 
>>>    Pete,
>>> 
>>>    I'm not entirely unsure what "this" refers to (I'm tempted to say I'd
>> be
>>> more impressed if pediatrics said there was no such thing as a foetus),
>> but
>>> the exchange put me in mind of Eliot's intro to Nightwood. He says of
>> Puritan
>>> society past that, "Failure was due to some weakness or perversity
>> peculiar
>>> to the individual; but the decent man need have no nightmares. It is now
>>> rather more common to assume that all individual misery is the fault of
>>> 'society,' and is remediable by alterations from without. Fundamentally
>> the
>>> two philosophies, however different they may appear in operation, are
the
>>> same." I can't help wondering if in trying to sniff out what is abstract
>> and
>>> what is more real in terms of individuals and society, this isn't the
>> principle at
>>> work. For Eliot, at any rate, the proper tension between real and
abstract
>> is
>>> indicated in the observation that "so far as we attach ourselves to
>> created
>>> objects and surrender our wills to temporal ends, [we] are eaten by the
>> same
>>> worm."
>>> 
>>> Ken A
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>    Pete
>>> 
>>>    -----Original Message-----
>>>    From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>>> On Behalf
>>>    Of Carrol Cox
>>>    Sent: Tuesday, 26 February 2013 7:45 AM
>>>    To: [log in to unmask]
>>>    Subject: The " abstract - isolated - human individual" was Can less
>> be
>>> more?
>>> 
>>>    (Comment  at end)
>>> 
>>>    Peter Dillane wrote: in the Milton essay you say:
>>> 
>>>    'As Arthos notes Adam and Eve are separated from any historical
>>> context, any
>>>    web of social relations, [ he]  presumably sees this as reflecting a
>>> basic
>>>    reality, corresponding to the human condition or the permanent
>>> (ahistorical)
>>>    nature of man, rather than a powerful and necessary illusion
>>> grounded in
>>>    historically determinate social relations. This latter assumption,
>>> however,
>>>    would have the advantage of freeing the critic from either engaging
>>> in
>>>    ideological quarrels with Milton or from attempting to defend Milton
>>> or any
>>>    other poet for his moral or political profundity,'
>>> 

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