From: Peter Montgomery

> My question is, how can streets FOLLOW?
> >From everything I've been able to determine
> from my dictionaries, FOLLOW is a transitive
> verb, but I see no object, unless there is the
> implication that one street follows another.

I think that implication may be there. On the other hand, since the streets
are immediately compared to the 'argument', they can indeed 'follow' in the
way an argument would 'follow' (intransitively). What the argument follows
from is not made explicit - something has been said before the poems starts
(cf. the 'then' in 'Let us go, then'), but it remains a mystery.

The intransitive use of 'follow' may be surprising at first, but the rest of
the poem entirely justifies it. The very idea of transitiveness is not
something one would associate with Prufrock, who is mostly inactive and
unproductive. He doesn't murder or create anything, he simply 'goes'
aimlessly through the streets. Prufrock's whole mode of existence is

>There EVIL is the overwhelming matter,
>apparently so overwhelming it caused Baudy to convert
>to Christianity, or some such thing.

Or some such fantasy that Eliot entertained about his model. Eliot's
recuperation of Baudelaire for Christianity still raises hackles among
Baudelaireans. It's one thing to argue that Baudelaire took damnation
seriously, it's another thing to consider that he converted or reverted to
the Church in the way Eliot did.

PS: thanks for the 'idioms explained' - I've no idea whether all the
theories are true, but they certainly make a lot of sense.


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