I'm sorry I failed to acknowledge the aptness of your enlightening
comment at the end of your post yesterday. You wrote:
"Note that Kearns' observations include drought, water, and purification,
as well as the physical power of sound, all themes in TWL and other of
Eliot's poems. Eliot's beliefs about the effects of sound would not conflict with Christian rites, which employ incantation in the same manner.
Certainly the Roman mass in Latin was almost entirely incantatory in
modern times, since the congregation did not understand the language.
(It lost much of this magic when Latin mass was discontinued.) Was the
High Anglican service in English in Eliot's day? Lancelot Andrewes' texts
operate powerfully on the level of pure sound. The more I think and learn
about Eliot the more I
am awed by his genius!"
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