Indeed. For can we ever "bracket our biased nature" (Shargel and Dwyer's phrasing)?

Thank you for the reference to Pound's poem. It is most illuminating.The closing lines left me... well, moved. Let me bring up the Hindu "tat vam asi" (Thou art that) again.  It is common knowledge that TSE did some reading in Upanishads, and so did Pound, I would imagine (I am not quite familiar with the miglior fabro's background). "Tat vam asi" definitely implies rejection of the everyday (Cartesian,  categorising, alienating) mode of perception.

Would you agree that the "dismembement"  of the "They" (synecdochic "feet", "hands"), and the atomised world, to which the speaker in Preludes is awaken,  is analogous to Cartesian "mutilation" of the One ("infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering thing")?

Just for the record:
"ontological shock" is an expression taken from Tillich's "Systematic Theology" (qtd. in "The literary Depiction of Ontological Shock" by E.P. Levy [quite an interesting analysis of the aforementioned condition in "East Cocker" and in Beckett's "Murphy"])

Once again, thank you for joining me and these issues.

Marcin



Peter Montgomery wrote:
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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