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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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