Re: Eliots' 'style' was: dove descending
am 11.10.2002 21:56 Uhr schrieb [log in to unmask] unter [log in to unmask]:
> In a message dated Thu, 10 Oct 2002 23:46:36 +0200, [log in to unmask]
>> Edward Lobb wrote in his Essay "Limitation and Transcendence in East Coker":
>> The Irish poet Austin Clarke once defined his poetics by saying that he
>> loaded himself with chains, then tried to get out of them. Within the
>> strictures of a repeated form, Eliot creates or discovers freedom, largely
>> through his use of the two dominant and contrasting styles already mentioned
>> -- one characterized by figurative language and elevated ('poetic') style,
>> the second close (occasionally too close) to prose. These two styles are not
>> there primarily to create variety within the poems, not to facilitate ironic
>> cross-fire (That was a way of putting it -- not very satisfactory.). Each
>> represents a cluster of associated characteristics and values which we can
>> summarize roughly as follows:
>> high low
>> lyric prosaic
>> subjective objective
>> visionary quotidian
>> religious sceptical
>> -- or, to use terms we employed in discussing points of view, Ecclesiastes
>> and the ironist. The presence of the two styles, and the fact that neither
>> overcomes the other, suggest that the final aim is reconciliation of what
>> they represent -- a recognition that they are not alternative but
>> visions of reality.
> I'd be interested in reading the essay. Do you know if it's available
> Tom K
I doubt it,
but it is published in "Words in Time, New Essays on Eliot's Four Quartets" (ISBN 0-472-10488-8).
It's a book well worth buying, with gems like Lyndall Gordon's "The American Eliot and "The Dry Salvages" and the clever observations by Denis Donoghue "On Burnt Norton".
Here's a small observation by the latter, proving my previous point:
"The first lines of this second part of the poem sufficiently indicate Eliot's kinship, for the time being, with Mallarmé:
"Garlic and sapphires in the mud/Clot the bedded axle tree".
A manuscript draft of "Lines for an Old Man" has "Thunder and sapphires...", with the thunder scored out and replaced by "Garlic": the manuscriot version is even closer than the final one to Mallarmé's "M'introduire dans ton histoire" -- "Tonnerre et rubis aux moyeux". In both versions, there is afurther recollection of Mallarmé's "Le Tombeau de Charles Baudelaire": Sépulcrale d'égout après boue et rubis." How "Garlic" got into the line, I have no idea; except thet it causes among the words "the shock of their inequality" to an even greater degree than Mallarmé's thunder does. The axle tree stayed in Eliot's mind from his first reading of Chapman's Bussy d'Ambois: