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It is amazing how much of one's own perceptual conditioning
can be found in the poem. It isalso useful to reference
Pound's Portrait d'un Femme, which makes a fascinating companion piece.
"Your mind and you are our sargasso sea."

The poem is a spectral stone indeed.

P.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dunja Seselja" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, September 04, 2006 2:18 PM
Subject: Re: Identity of the speaker in 'Preludes'


> Very interesting idea, Peter. There are, in general, a
> lot similarities between Preludes, Portrait of a Lady
> and Love Song of A.J. Prufrock. 
> Could it be that the Preludes mentioned in Portrait of
> a Lady are a cross-reference to Eliot's own Preludes? 
> It is also interesting that in all three poems the
> subject is confronted with what Marcian called
> "ontological shock" - he is overwhelmed with time and
> his finite existence in it. Heideggerian
> being-to-death maybe? It is fascinating how much of
> Heidegger can be found in early Eliot... written at
> least 10 years before Heidegger's main work was
> published.
> 
> Dunja
> 
> 
> --- Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> > It might be worth considering "Portarait of a
> > Lady"'s 
> > "You have the scene arrange itself,as it will seem
> > to do."
> > P.
> > ----- Original Message ----- 
> > From: "Dunja Seselja" <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Sunday, September 03, 2006 3:34 PM
> > Subject: Re: Identity of the speaker in 'Preludes'
> > 
> > 
> > > Dear Marcin,
> > > 
> > > I've been thinking of the questions you rose at
> > the
> > > List and here are some ideas (and further
> > questions)
> > > I've come up to.
> > > The subject appearing in Eliot's Preludes seems to
> > be
> > > undetermined, and in so far, I guess it could be
> > even
> > > see as the generic one. In any case, the main
> > > characteristic of the subject (when I say the
> > subject,
> > > I don't mean the subject of the speaker, but the
> > > subject the poem speaks of, but in how far they
> > should
> > > be distinguished at all, I'll say something a bit
> > > later) is his/her passivity. While in the part I
> > the
> > > subject is set against the world (being subjected
> > to
> > > its course), in the part II (s)he is set against
> > the
> > > time (being "condemned" to it) . (I think the
> > second
> > > verse of the part II shares some of the ideas
> > > appearing in Prufrock, and I'd be glad to discuss
> > that
> > > issue as well). 
> > > In the part III, we finally see the subject
> > *doing*
> > > something, but even that ("you tossed a blanket")
> > is
> > > the action of removing = replying to what has
> > already
> > > been there. But what this part seems to bring is
> > the
> > > (only?) action left to the subject - to have a
> > vision
> > > (in solitude). Now, in the part IV, the subject of
> > the
> > > speaker finally appears, but almost equivalent to
> > the
> > > subject (s)he is  talking about - it is again a
> > > passive subject (i am moved... I cling...). The
> > final
> > > verse reveals a sort of "catharsic" discovery of
> > the
> > > subject (both the speaker and the one (s)he is
> > > speaking of), similar to the relation of the
> > ancient
> > > Greeks towards the destiny: as the destiny is
> > > uncontrollable even by gods themselves, why making
> > so
> > > much fuss about it? 
> > > It seems to me that the status of the subject in
> > the
> > > poem could be compared with Heidegger's notion of
> > > "being thrown into the world" (excuse my
> > formulation,
> > > I'm not sure how this expression is to be
> > translated
> > > in English), as well as with the "eigentlich" and
> > > "uneigentlich" modes of "Dasein".
> > > However, I don't see why the poem would stand in
> > the
> > > opposition to the classical subject-object
> > relation,
> > > and how would that be related to the "ontological
> > > shock" you mentioned. If by "ontological shock"
> > you
> > > consider the realization of the finiteness of
> > human
> > > being, then this idea is definitely present in
> > both
> > > Preludes and the Love Song of A.J. Prufrock, but I
> > > don't see how that could be connected with an
> > > anti-Cartesian approach. Could you develop a bit
> > more
> > > on that?
> > > 
> > > Cheers,
> > > 
> > > Dunja
> > > 
> > > 
> > > --- marcin ostrouch <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > > 
> > > > I would like to raise the issue of identity of
> > the
> > > > speaker in /Preludes.
> > > > /
> > > > Please forgive me if you find it an open secret,
> > but
> > > > being a non-native 
> > > > speaker of English, and rather a novice at
> > > > systematic criticism, I find 
> > > > the question problematic.
> > > > 
> > > > At present I am attempting a reading of a couple
> > of
> > > > poems by TSE in the 
> > > > light of Heideggerian concept of authentic
> > > > existence. Therefore, I tend 
> > > > to shun the structuralist approach which
> > pervades
> > > > the grey volumes of my 
> > > > institute's library...
> > > > 
> > > > It does seem that throughout the poem the
> > identity
> > > > of the speaker 
> > > > remains indeterminate.
> > > > 
> > > > Would you agree that the inflected pronoun "you"
> > in
> > > > the first stanza, 
> > > > and the same pronoun in the third, are generic
> > ones?
> > > > [as I am not quite 
> > > > informed in the use of those]
> > > > 
> > > > What is more, the generic character of the
> > speaker
> > > > seems to be 
> > > > deliberately strengthened by  references to both
> > > > sexes.
> > > > 
> > > > The governing consciousness, or if you like, the
> > > > voice speaking in the 
> > > > poem, (if there is ONE), seems to comply with
> > the
> > > > notion of Hindu /tat 
> > > > vam asi /("Thou art That"), or at any rate, as
> > D.
> > > > Moody observes 
> > > > "[speaker's] ordinary, egoistical self is
> > > > suspended".
> > > > 
> > > > Therefore the epistemic situation of the speaker
> > > > seems to differ from 
> > > > the traditonal Cartisian (subject-object) model.
> > > > 
> > > > The poem read in this way would come up to one
> > of
> > > > the modernist 
> > > > expressions of the epistemic trauma, or of what
> > > > Tillich calls 
> > > > "ontological shock".
> > > > 
> > > > Could you please comment on those intuitions of
> > > > mine?
> > > > 
> > > > Is any one of you interested in hermeneutic
> > readings
> > > > of TSE?  Could you 
> > > > possibly recommend some articles or sources?
> > > > 
> > > > 
> > > > 
> > > > 
> > > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > __________________________________________________
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> > 
> 
> 
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