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Astonishing as it must be, there are sessions on Wittgenstein at MSA, and Marjorie Perloff's WITTGENSTEIN'S LADDER came out in 1996 from Chicago Press. And she comments on DAS SPIEL DES UNSAGBAREN: LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN UN DIE KUNST DES 20. JAHRHUNDERTS ( Vienna, 1989). There does seem to be a real interest in Wittgenstein and even other people who read Wittgenstein. I note only this particular instance of a great deal of bothering with Wittgenstein. Date sent: 0000,0000,8000Thu, 14 Nov 2002 20:21:15 -0800 Send reply to: 0000,0000,8000"T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <<[log in to unmask]> From: 0000,0000,8000John Ryskamp <<[log in to unmask]> Subject: 0000,0000,8000Two Profound Eliot Influences To: 0000,0000,8000[log in to unmask] Times New RomanIf a child grows up in a learned household, what is regarded as au courant in that household usually "imprints" itself on the child to a degree all out of proportion to the intrinsic value of the imprint. This difference is especially remarkable if the child turns out to be much more talented than the parents, and goes on, as an adult, to make a better selection from what is au courant. There are two such influences on Eliot with which no one who reads this will be familiar, and yet if you read the influences, you will instantly see their deep impact on all of Eliot's work. I mean Longfellow's The Golden Legend and Ruskin's Sesame and Lilies. No one reads these any more, and they are pretty dreadful, pretty much unreadable. But they were au courant for Eliot's parents, and made a lasting impression on him. Strictly regarding cadence, Ruskin is by far the most profound influence on Eliot--and I mean also the poetry, as well as ! the prose. Indeed, many of Eliot's transitions are incomprehensible without an understanding of the priorities of Longfellow and Ruskin. But when was the last time you read an in-depth analysis of the influence of either writer on Eliot? I don't think any such analyses exist. However, remember that this "modernist" is the same person who read "The Light of Asia" several times "with gusto"--his own words. And as modern a poet as Howard Nemerov (brother of Arbus) was moved to write a preface to a collection of Longfellow's work--and don't forget "Eliot's Oak." It is impossible today to appreciate the feelings of veneration for Longfellow and Ruskin in the late nineteenth century American literary world. These guys are among other reasons I never think of Eliot as a modernist--he isn't. He's a late Romantic poet, exactly as Webern is a late Romantic composer. Indeed, there is very little of the twentieth centu! ry in Eliot--it is simply that people have a fondness for reading, and experiencing, backwards; they prefer to think of Eliot as their contemporary who orders the past, rather than what he in fact is: a very loyal cabinet minister whose portfolio is the late nineteenth century, and whose whole work is ordering contemporary experience according to that past. Such an agenda isn't noticed, because it is everywhere apparent: it is seamless. It's also why Joyce is regarded as modernist but isn't. Critics are enchanted by what they think is his lyricism, but there is no lyricism in his work. There is only the style aesthetique of the late nineteenth century, by which he was early besotted and remained besotted all his life. Again, it was au courant among the learned adults of Joyce's youth (especially teachers). I note this because I lived with a very learned person who was almost an exact contemporary of Eliot! , and he would mention Ruskin, Walter Lippmann and Gene McCarthy in the same breath! Isn't it odd? But it made perfect sense to him. The equivalent today would be to have a fairly young poet burst on the world whose work bore a profound influence of Wittgenstein. No one would believe it, or even notice, because no one bothers with Wittgenstein anymore. He is another very late Romantic writer and thoroughly passe. But he would have been terribly au courant for this hypothetical poet's parents, when this hypothetical poet was young. Moral? Scholars ignore bores at their peril. I'm not sure I want to recommend that anyone slog through the godawful Ruskin and Longfellow simply because the works of these creeps go through Eliot's head forever--one should be able to enjoy a work for itself, not for its sources. But since I have never heard that anyone seriously traced the influence of these two excruciating! mediocrities on Eliot, there is the reference. To the happy few! >From: Carrol Cox >Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." >To: [log in to unmask] >Subject: Re: Two questions >Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 20:01:33 -0600 > >Peter Montgomery wrote: > > > > The figures I heard was that they killed about 10,000 soldiers a week. > > > > My father was in that war. > > > > :-( > > > >While most wars are pretty outrageous in one way or another, that war >was one of the stupidest ever fought. Almost the only "leaders" who kept >their honor even minimally were the Irish revolutionaries, the Debsian >socialists & the wobblies in the U.S., Rosa Luxemburg & Karl Liebknecht >in Germany, Bertrand Russell in England, & the Bolsheviks in >Russia.(I've undoubtedly missed some on the honor roll, but they were >few and far between.) There are no two poems so beautiful and so vile at >the same time as two Yeats wrote directly or indirectly linked to it >(Easter 1916 and An Irish Airman Forsees His Death). > >Carrol Add photos to your messages with 0000,000color> Get 2 months FREE*.