Print

Print


Jennifer Formichelli wrote:

>Steve, I think there is a difference between calling up another (usually 
>secondary to the primary sense in context) meaning of a word, and calling 
>into play other's words and contexts.


Ken Armstrong replied:

> What else would be the purpose of an Eliotian pun other than to call up 
> "another...meaning of a word, and calling into play other's (others' ?) 
> words and contexts"?
> 
> That is, if Eliot is punning, it is the contexts specifically that he is 
> calling up; otherwise, why bother?



I'm butting in (and I may be all wet) but I think a couple examples
**might** show what is going on here.

An example of calling into play other's words and contexts might be:

    Eliot's "By the waters of [something] I sat down and wept" calls into
    play the Bible's "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we
    wept".

An example of calling up another meaning of a word might be:

    Leman is an archaic English word for lover or paramour but also Lac
    Leman is another name by which Lake Geneva is known.

So Eliot could have used a different word, "Thames" perhaps, and he
would have still called up a biblical context.  By using "Leman" he
still retains that context but adds the possiblities of mutiple
meanings on top of that.  Had he written "I sat down and cried on the
banks of the Leman" the change in wording might have led to a loss of
the allusion to the Bible but the play on Leman would have still been
in effect.

Regards,
   Rick Parker

P.S. - Doesn't anyone have any translations for "Un petit d'un Petit?"