NOTE: 309. From St. Augustine's Confessions again. The collocation of these two representatives of eastern and western asceticism, as the culmination of this part of the poem, is not an accident.
I'm sure if anything in the poem were an accident, a Pound of flesh would have been had.
These apparently serious but truly satirical notes Eliot inserted, were E's way of putting more material in the folio to fill it up to justify the printing of the whole. Eliot said somewhere that it was his way of having his critics on, who said he should have supplied notes with LSOJAP so it could be understood. I believe there are other such underhanded satirical jibes in the Notes. I do believe that most have been taken seriously, which speaks to the state of illiteracy of the modern literati.
Hope things improve for you Carrol.
Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>O.K. I did locate the note. Hereit is:
>46. I am not familiar with the exact constitution of the Tarot pack of cards, from which I
>have obviously departed to suit my own convenience. The Hanged Man, a member of
>the traditional pack, fits my purpose in two ways: because he is associated in my mind
>with the Hanged God of Frazer, and because I associate him with the hooded figure in
>the passage of the disciples to Emmaus in Part V. The Phoenician Sailor and the
>Merchant appear later; also the 'crowds of people', and Death by Water is executed in
>P may be correct about this note. If it isn't intended as a joke then T.S.E. is just blowing it out his ass. And if that (or a joke for that matter) is the case, then I was probably correct in a speculation a few years ago that the first puzzled reader of TWL was Eliot himself, and the notes were a rather a <painful and tonally incoherent set of efforts to find some unity in his poem. That was probably behind his repeated suggestion, repeatedly rejected by Pound, to prefix Gerontion.
>The earlier note on Ovid and anthropology does not read as a joke however, and if so intended it's pretty flat.
>Did Eliot ever come to terms with his wonderful poem, or did he always continue to agonize over it or make (deliberately) misleading comments?
>P writes: " Surely Eliot's comment there is a joke, like the one at the end of the FIre Sermon."