Print

Print


Dear Carrol,

To attempt an answer of what you write below:

On Wednesday, April 30, 2003, at 11:16  AM, Carrol Cox wrote:

>> Or what is the point of history's many winding passages?

First, they are 'cunning' passages, not winding ones (therefore making
'passage' ambiguous). Initially, in the drafts (Appendix C I believe of
the March Hare) they were not history's passage, but nature's. I think
the lines allude to the castle in which De Flores lures Alfonso (the
betrothed of Beatrice) to his death in The Changeling; Eliot directly
alludes to the passage (so to speak) in the beautiful verse paragraph
from 'Gerontion': 'I am that was near to your heart was removed
therefrom'. Beatrice's lines (quoted by TSE in his essay on Middleton,
1927) run: 'I am that [that am, variant texts] of your blood that was
taken from you/For your better health'. (I had better say now that I
quote from memory.)

Of course Gerontion's passages (if not 'Gerontion''s passages) are
cunning too; I am not sure how far one ought to trust one who considers
himself untrustworthy: 'I would meet you upon this honestly'.

Yours, Jennifer