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I don't think it really matters whether he took it seriously or not -- it
only matters whether the characters in TWL take it seriously. Nor does it
particularly matter whether the cards in TWL are completely accurate - no
they aren't.

Only the allusion as metaphor matters, as you previously mentioned. And in
the novel, (at the very least since Joyce) there is a bounded, rule-based
universe set about with engines and devices for purposes of interaction
which will, given a set of events plus a voice or set of voices, reveal the
creator's intentions.

And whether you accept my definition of a novel is immaterial -- what you
seem to be saying is that The Novel as an art form since the onset of
Modernism is pretty much a mess compared to its late Nineteenth century
expression. What kind of value you weight said mess with is a subject unto
itself.

The point of my referring to Prufrock and TWL as novels is that they carry
all of the above elements minus the flesh. Their narrative flow, their
allusions, their conclusions have been cookbooks for modern fictive prose
since their inception.



on 10/26/04 7:35 AM, Jennifer Formichelli at [log in to unmask] wrote:

> By the way, I said 'reasonably sure'. Who can be? I can be. Eliot did
> not take fortune-telling seriously; everything he has written on the
> subject has so suggested. Can someone show otherwise? I believe someone
> wrote in to N & Q at some point to show that even the cards in TWL are
> incorrect.