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Dear JP,

You raise a number of questions deserving detailed discussion. We agree =
as to the overall meaning of the poem: an abstract reflection about the =
nature of time and eternity linked to very concrete reflections about =
true happiness and the meaning of human life.=20
My problem was that I couldn't understand the meaning of the =
introductory passage of East Coker II (b):
  That was a way of putting it - not very satisfactory:
  A periphrastic study... etc.
Marcia gave me a good hint. According to her (and I think she is right) =
the demonstrative "that" should be taken as referring to the whole =
initial passage:
  What is the late November doing
  With the disturbance of... etc.
Now, the verses
  What was to be the value of the long looked forward to,
  Long hoped for calm... etc.
should be taken as a new formulation of the same questions which had =
been raised in a "periphrastic" and "not very satisfactory way".=20

Excuse me, JP. I have to take my wife to the work. I will be back in a =
minute.

Jo=E3o

----- Original Message -----=20
  From: Earls, JP=20
  To: [log in to unmask]
  Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2002 2:13 PM
  Subject: RE: East Coker


  Dear Jo=E3o,
  Thank you for breaking the silence with an interesting question.  =
Speaking of the relation between section IIa and IIb in "East Coker," =
you ask, "Is the second a direct continuation of the first? Are we being =
invited to imagine the "periphrastic study" as (let us say) a poetic =
portrayal of old age?"  Yes, I think your intuition is on the mark.  The =
reversal of seasons here--manifestations of spring as the year moves =
into winter--is a way of speaking of the tendency of "old men" to try to =
hold on to the deceptive dreams of youth, to continue hoping that =
fulfilling desires will bring ultimate satisfaction.  In the overall =
sweep of FQ, it is this failure to move beyond personal desire and thus =
escape the inevitable consequent disappointments which will eventually =
distill into bitterness.  In other words, they (the old men) haven't =
learned the lessons of living without hope of accomplishing or achieving =
 anything *in* time/space/history.  Section II of "Burnt Norton" had =
begun these lessons with its comparison of the =
desire-satisfaction-disappointment-new desire cycle to riding around the =
London underground through a flickering experience of going from =
darkness to light back to darkness repeated over and over endlessly with =
no goal achieved.  The  "false sestina" section [IIa] of "The Dry =
Salvages" allows the reader to *feel* the pointlessness of this quest.   =
 Notice also that it is section II of "Little Gidding," with the =
monologue of the "familiar compound ghost" on the vanity of all human =
accomplishment, even the most loftily conceived, that will continue if =
not entirely conclude the lessons.  (Nothing is entirely concluded in =
FQ!) =20

  At the same time there recurs the complementary theme that if ultimate =
satisfaction cannot be had in time/space/history, it can be had =
*through* time/space/history.  Section III of EC is eloquent in pointing =
the way out of the "desire trap."=20

  FQ is remarkable in that no individual passage will yield its meaning =
without reference to parallel and antithetical passages throughout the =
work, to recurring juxtapositions and leaps of thought.  In this way, =
the medium is the message: no one can understand his/her life without =
reference to parallel and antithetical moments in the past and future.  =
The future, of course, is contained in the past, and begins to reveal =
itself as we make selfless decisions in the present.

  Best wishes for the New Year.
  JP

  J. P. Earls, OSB
  St. John's University
  Collegeville, MN 56321

   -----Original Message-----=20
  From: Jo=E3o Verg=EDlio Gallerani Cuter =
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]
  Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2002 2:32 AM
  To: [log in to unmask]
  Subject: East Coker


    In the second paragraph of East Coker II we find what seems to be a =
fragment of criticism, as if we were reading a torn newspaper:
      That was a way of putting it - not very satisfactory:
      A periphrastic study in a worn-out poetical fashion,
      Leaving one still with the intolerable wrestle
      With words and meanings. The poetry does not matter.
      It was not (to start again) what one had expected.
    And then, all of a sudden, Eliot begins to talk about the deceiving =
"wisdom of age". I have some difficulty in seeing the exact relationship =
between these two blocks. Is the second a direct continuation of the =
first? Are we being invited to imagine the "periphrastic study" as (let =
us say) a poetic portrayal of old age? My feeling is that this is not =
the right track. We would have to take the "continuation" as a kind of =
excursus, and it doesn't sound like that. (Try to read it with a "by the =
way" prefixed: "By the way, what was to be the value of...etc.". It =
doesn't fit.) But if it is not an excursus, what the hell is the first =
part doing there? What is the meaning of the juxtaposition?

    Jo=E3o


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<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Dear JP,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>You raise a number of questions =
deserving detailed=20
discussion. We agree as to the overall meaning of the poem: an abstract=20
reflection about the nature of time and eternity linked to very concrete =

reflections about true happiness and the meaning of human life. =
</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>My problem was that I couldn't =
understand the=20
meaning of the introductory passage of East Coker II (b):</FONT></DIV>
<BLOCKQUOTE dir=3Dltr style=3D"MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>That was a way of putting it - not =
very=20
  satisfactory:</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>A periphrastic study...=20
etc.</FONT></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Marcia gave me a good hint. According =
to her (and I=20
think she is right) the demonstrative "that" should be taken as =
referring to the=20
whole initial passage:</FONT></DIV>
<BLOCKQUOTE dir=3Dltr style=3D"MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>What is the late November =
doing</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>With the disturbance of...=20
etc.</FONT></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE>
<DIV dir=3Dltr><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Now, the verses</FONT></DIV>
<BLOCKQUOTE dir=3Dltr style=3D"MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">
  <DIV dir=3Dltr><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>What was to be the value of =
the long=20
  looked forward to,</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV dir=3Dltr><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Long hoped for calm...=20
etc.</FONT></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE>
<DIV dir=3Dltr><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>should be taken as a new =
formulation of the=20
same questions which had been raised in a "periphrastic" and "not very=20
satisfactory&nbsp;way". </FONT></DIV>
<DIV dir=3Dltr><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV dir=3Dltr><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Excuse me, JP. I have to take =
my wife to=20
the work. I will be back in a minute.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV dir=3Dltr><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV dir=3Dltr><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Jo=E3o</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>----- Original Message ----- </DIV>
<BLOCKQUOTE dir=3Dltr=20
style=3D"PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; =
BORDER-LEFT: #000000 2px solid; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">
  <DIV=20
  style=3D"BACKGROUND: #e4e4e4; FONT: 10pt arial; font-color: =
black"><B>From:</B>=20
  <A [log in to unmask] href=3D"mailto:[log in to unmask]">Earls, =
JP</A>=20
</DIV>
  <DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>To:</B> <A =
[log in to unmask]
  href=3D"mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]</A> </DIV>
  <DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>Sent:</B> Saturday, January 05, =
2002 2:13=20
  PM</DIV>
  <DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>Subject:</B> RE: East Coker</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT><BR></DIV>
  <DIV><SPAN class=3D888124614-05012002><FONT face=3DArial><FONT =
size=3D2><FONT=20
  color=3D#400040>Dear Jo<FONT=20
  face=3DTahoma>=E3o,</FONT></FONT></FONT></FONT></SPAN></DIV>
  <DIV><SPAN class=3D888124614-05012002><FONT face=3DArial><FONT =
color=3D#400040=20
  size=3D2>Thank you for breaking the silence with an interesting =
question.&nbsp;=20
  Speaking of the relation between section IIa and IIb in "East Coker," =
you ask,=20
  "Is the second a direct continuation of the first? Are we being =
invited to=20
  imagine the "periphrastic study" as (let us say) a poetic portrayal of =
old=20
  age?"&nbsp; Yes, I think your intuition is&nbsp;on the mark.&nbsp; The =

  reversal of seasons here--manifestations of spring as the year moves =
into=20
  winter--is a way of speaking of the tendency of "old men" to try to =
hold on to=20
  the&nbsp;deceptive dreams of youth, to continue hoping that fulfilling =
desires=20
  will bring ultimate satisfaction.&nbsp; In the overall sweep of FQ, it =
is this=20
  failure to&nbsp;move beyond&nbsp;personal desire and thus escape the=20
  inevitable consequent disappointments which will eventually distill =
into=20
  bitterness.&nbsp; In other words, they (the old men) haven't learned =
the=20
  lessons of living without hope of accomplishing or achieving&nbsp;=20
  anything&nbsp;*in*&nbsp;time/space/history.&nbsp; Section II of "Burnt =
Norton"=20
  had begun these lessons with its comparison of the=20
  desire-satisfaction-disappointment-new desire cycle to riding around =
the=20
  London underground through a flickering experience of going from =
darkness to=20
  light back to darkness repeated over and over endlessly with no goal=20
  achieved.&nbsp; The&nbsp; "false sestina" section [IIa]&nbsp;of "The =
Dry=20
  Salvages" allows the reader to *feel* the pointlessness of this=20
  quest.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Notice also that it is&nbsp;section II of =
"Little=20
  Gidding," with the monologue of the "familiar compound ghost" on the =
vanity of=20
  all human accomplishment, even the most loftily conceived, that will =
continue=20
  if not entirely conclude the lessons.&nbsp; (Nothing is entirely =
concluded in=20
  FQ!)&nbsp; </FONT></FONT></SPAN></DIV>
  <DIV><SPAN class=3D888124614-05012002><STRONG><FONT face=3DArial =
color=3D#0000ff=20
  size=3D2></FONT></STRONG></SPAN>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><SPAN class=3D888124614-05012002></SPAN><SPAN=20
  class=3D888124614-05012002><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>At the same =
time there=20
  recurs&nbsp;the&nbsp;complementary theme that if ultimate satisfaction =
cannot=20
  be had in time/space/history, it can be had *through*=20
  time/space/history.&nbsp; Section III of EC&nbsp;is eloquent in =
pointing the=20
  way out of the "desire trap."&nbsp;</FONT></SPAN></DIV>
  <DIV><SPAN class=3D888124614-05012002><FONT face=3DArial=20
  size=3D2></FONT></SPAN>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><SPAN class=3D888124614-05012002><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>FQ =
is remarkable=20
  in that no individual passage will yield its meaning without reference =
to=20
  parallel and antithetical passages throughout the work, to recurring=20
  juxtapositions and leaps of thought.&nbsp; In this way, the medium is =
the=20
  message: no one can understand his/her life without reference to =
parallel and=20
  antithetical moments in the past and future.&nbsp; The future, of =
course, is=20
  contained in the past, and begins to reveal itself as we make selfless =

  decisions in the present.</FONT></SPAN></DIV>
  <DIV><SPAN class=3D888124614-05012002><FONT face=3DArial=20
  size=3D2></FONT></SPAN>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><SPAN class=3D888124614-05012002><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Best =
wishes for=20
  the New Year.</FONT></SPAN></DIV>
  <DIV><SPAN class=3D888124614-05012002></SPAN><FONT face=3DArial><FONT=20
  size=3D2>J<SPAN =
class=3D888124614-05012002>P</SPAN></FONT></FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial><FONT size=3D2><SPAN=20
  class=3D888124614-05012002></SPAN></FONT></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial><FONT size=3D2><SPAN=20
  class=3D888124614-05012002></SPAN></FONT></FONT><SPAN=20
  class=3D888124614-05012002><FONT face=3DArial color=3D#000000 =
size=3D2>J. P. Earls,=20
  OSB</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial color=3D#000000 size=3D2>St. John's =
University</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Collegeville, MN=20
  56321</FONT></DIV></SPAN></DIV>
  <DIV><SPAN class=3D888124614-05012002><FONT face=3DArial =
color=3D#0000ff=20
  size=3D2><FONT color=3D#000080></FONT></FONT></SPAN>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><SPAN class=3D888124614-05012002>&nbsp;</SPAN><FONT face=3DTahoma =

  size=3D2>-----Original Message-----<SPAN =
class=3D888124614-05012002><STRONG><FONT=20
  face=3DArial =
color=3D#0000ff>&nbsp;</FONT></STRONG></SPAN><BR><B>From:</B> Jo=E3o=20
  Verg=EDlio Gallerani Cuter =
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]<BR><B>Sent:</B>=20
  Saturday, January 05, 2002 2:32 AM<BR><B>To:</B>=20
  [log in to unmask]<BR><B>Subject:</B> East Coker<BR><BR></DIV></FONT>
  <BLOCKQUOTE dir=3Dltr style=3D"MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">
    <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>In the second paragraph of East =
Coker II we=20
    find what seems to be a fragment of criticism, as if we were reading =
a torn=20
    newspaper:</FONT></DIV>
    <BLOCKQUOTE dir=3Dltr style=3D"MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">
      <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>That was a way of putting it - =
not very=20
      satisfactory:</FONT></DIV>
      <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>A periphrastic study in a =
worn-out poetical=20
      fashion,</FONT></DIV>
      <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Leaving one still with the =
intolerable=20
      wrestle</FONT></DIV>
      <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>With words and meanings. The =
poetry does not=20
      matter.</FONT></DIV>
      <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>It was not (to start again) what =
one had=20
      expected.</FONT></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE>
    <DIV dir=3Dltr><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>And then, all of a =
sudden, Eliot begins=20
    to talk about the deceiving "wisdom of age". I have some difficulty =
in=20
    seeing the exact relationship between these two blocks. Is the =
second a=20
    direct continuation of the first? Are we being invited to imagine =
the=20
    "periphrastic study" as (let us say) a poetic portrayal of old age? =
My=20
    feeling is that this is not the right track. We would have to take =
the=20
    "continuation" as a kind of&nbsp;excursus, and it doesn't&nbsp;sound =
like=20
    that. (Try to read it with a "by the way" prefixed: "<EM>By the =
way</EM>,=20
    what was to be the value of...etc.". It doesn't fit.) But if it is =
not an=20
    excursus, what the hell is the first part doing there? What is the =
meaning=20
    of the juxtaposition?</FONT></DIV>
    <DIV dir=3Dltr><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
    <DIV dir=3Dltr><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Jo=E3o</FONT></DIV>
    <BLOCKQUOTE dir=3Dltr style=3D"MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">
      <DIV><FONT face=3DArial=20
size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BLOCKQUOTE></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY=
></HTML>

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