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Rickard Parker wrote:

> > I think that there is another reason for Mr Eugenides being from
> > Smyrna, other than the London Conference.  Smyrna also happens to be
> > the name of Adonis' mother.  She had an "unholy love" for her father
> > and this incest produced Adonis.  This reinforces the unshaven/unclean
> > Mr. Eugenides making an "unholy" proposition.  It also causes me to
> > see this as the negative side to the resurrection of Phlebas (or the
> > Hyacinth girl.)  Eliot sees his friend reborn in poetry but it is not
> > all good, guilty thoughts arise with the dead too.  And before I'm
> > accused of gay bashing let me say that I'm using the words "unholy"
> > and "unclean" above in a way that the poet might use them (if he ever
> > discussed his work.)

Dear Rick,

Not Smyrna.  Myrrha (Ovid's _Metamorphosis_, X.298-502).  (Dryden retells the
story in his _Fables Ancient and Modern_.)  Your informant is incorrect.  She
is metamorphosed into the myrrh tree.  You'll find there is no proposition
between Cinyras and his daughter, just great sex.  He was duped, and enraged
and disgusted when he discovered who the girl was with whom he was cheating on
his wife.

With all due respect, your reading seems to be playing with words, your own
words, ignoring Ovid's story.  Orpheus tells it as a warning to fathers and
daughters, and it is related to the stories surrounding it.

Marcia