On the epigraph: Eliot made it the epigraph, and he made an issue with
Pound about the original Conrad epigraph to TWL that it was "somewhat
elucidative."  Is that not one key function of epigraphs and clearly one Eliot
had in mind when he used them?


Date sent:              Fri, 4 Apr 2003 08:28:27 -0500
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: Reply to Rick: Sin and secrets
To:                     [log in to unmask]

Jennifer Formichelli wrote:

> Well, not secrets exactly, but confession.

A confession that was expected never to reach anyone living.
It was to be a secret to us.

> This is not, I believe, Eliot's translation.

Probably not, but he could have left the quote in the Italian but
provided someone's translation.  I don't think he bothered to say what
translation(s) he was using.

>> In the draft of Prufrock Eliot used the Purgatorio quotation as the
>> epigraph (see "Inventions of the March Hare," 39, 41).

> Yes, he did. He also expunged it.

For something that he rather have had us read.  But yet the draft's
epigraph must have had some bearing on the poem.

> And I say again, it is not Eliot, but precisely what Eliot did not
> write, his epigraph, which leads you to these thoughts. Intriguing.

If it is intriguing that Eliot's epigraphs lead **me** to associate
the epigraphs with the feelings in the poem then what do you think
of all the literate, well-educated professionals writing countless
criticisms and interpretations that request/direct the readers to
do so?

    Rick Parker