In a message dated 1/16/03 9:37:50 PM EST, [log in to unmask] writes:

>  It seems that you are trying to get to the meaning of
>  "awful" in "awful daring of a moment's surrender"
>  to be awe-full (or sublime) and dread-full at the
>  same time by using Saha's word
>  equivalents and the comparing them. Hell yet heaven.
>  (via the transforms "I was neither / Living nor
>  dead" -> Lucifer -> Hell and "Looking into the
>  heart of light" -> eternal light -> Heaven.)  But
>  Eliot's "--Yet" appears before any of those words.
>  It could be removed or replaced with an "--And" and
>  it wouldn't affect your argument at all.

   Hey, if I wrote clearly the first time, it wouldn't give me the chance to
see my name in print on the TSE list for a second time by sending in a
clarifying post. . .

   The lines in quote before the 'yet' sound like the two people have a close
romantic relationship: "You gave me flowers and everyone knew I got flowers
from you, you dear person". One would not be surprised to learn that this
kind of sentimental, romantic conversation led to a "late evening" (and not
just an evening of talking, at that!!).


  What happened?

  Since one would expect a romantic, late walk in a flower garden between two
lovers to lead to a physical encounter, it is reasonable to assume that this
is what happened "when we came back" from the garden. His hair was wet (maybe
from taking a shower in preparation for a physical evening) and his arms were
full (of the other person, in an embrace?). So far, nothing unusual.

  And yet, THAT evening was far from usual. How? Why?

  God and the devil appeared simultaneously, per Saha.

  The 'yet' alerts the reader that this physical evening was "charged" in a
way that **would not be expected**, in fact, charged in a way that was not
expected by the narrator himself. I think the 'emotional charge' came from
the narrator confronting his feeling of love and sexual attraction
('Paradiso-like' feelings) and feelings of disgust and self-loathing over his
homosexual guilt ('Inferno-like' feelings), enormously contradictory and
overwhelming feelings that appeared in an instant, in a 'moment of surrender'.

   Sorry, Rick, the word 'and' would just NOT do here. To alert the reader to
unusualness of the situation, it's got to be 'yet'.

   Am I making sense yet?

-- Steve --