This is just exploratory -- I wonder if it makes
In 'East Coker' Eliot talks of a person's two selves --
one that is imperfect but aspiring ("to get from where
you are not") toward a state of perfection ("to arrive
where you are"):
In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.
Earlier, in The Waste Land, Eliot hints at the
moment of disillusion when one becomes
conscious of one's imperfect state:
Only at nightfall, aethereal rumours
Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus
In Ash-Wednesday the protagonist is
conscious of his unworthiness and
visualizes his earthly self undergoing
Presumably, Eliot's Prufrock speaks of his two
selves -- the "you" and "I" -- one of whom seems
to be his "real" self, the enlightened one who
guides and admonishes him -- the other one is
painfully aware of his inadequacies.
Is it possible to study Eliot's poetry as an expression
of this dichotomy between his central character's
If it's viable, it might throw some light on the
subject/object dichotomy of the speaker in
Preludes -- the subject observing things
and passing comments -- the object
is part of the scene, clasping the yellow soles
of feet in the palms of both soiled hands.
Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:By "resolution of the subject/object dichotomy"I mean consciousness of the illusory nature of selfas a separate entity. Tat Tvam Asi. I see this as a possible theme in Eliot's poetry. Diana