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I don't think knowing all these things  anchors our
experience of the poem, I think they add more of a
irridescent sheen to the deep waters....

Just using ones own experience is surely as limiting
as JUST using TSE's...the more
experiences/interpretations the merrier!

Tabitha


--- Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> So TWL can help with Eliot's biography, fine.
> No argument.
> 
> If a person wants to limit the experience of TWL
> to Eliot's personal experience, that is such a
> person's choice.
> If one wants one's imagination to be anchored in
> such a
> limited water okay.
> 
> But one need not do that, nor need one pay any
> attention to
> Eliot's biography, any more than one need pay
> attention to
> Fraser or Weston.
> 
> Obviously the poem had a major effect on the
> literary world,
> and it would seem, inexplicably so, before that
> biographical
> information was available.
> 
> The poem as a perceptual device of one's own world,
> and one's
> own experience is much more relevant.
> 
> P.
>   ----- Original Message ----- 
>   From: Diana Manister 
>   To: [log in to unmask] 
>   Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2006 1:21 PM
>   Subject: Re: Eliot and Biography
> 
> 
>   My plain text is still not working. Hope this font
> is not too large! 
> 
>   T.S. Eliot's Personal Waste Land by James E.
> Miller, Jr. explores many of the explicit and
> implicit references in the poem, such as the strong
> possibility that the dead Phoenician sailor
> represents Eliot's grief for his friend Jean
> Verdenal, to whom he dedicated his first volume of
> poems, Prufrock and Other Observations in 1917. (The
> 1925 edition included with the dedication the words
> "mort aux Dardanelles.")
> 
>   The view that TWL express the the voice of a
> generation is not contradicted by its having been
> written by an author personally impacted by the
> events of WWI. An exploration of the evidence of
> those effects as found in Eliot's letters and other
> reliable sources would seem to be a legitimate
> scholarly pursuit. Diana
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
>
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> 
>     From:  Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
>     Reply-To:  "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
> <[log in to unmask]>
>     To:  [log in to unmask]
>     Subject:  Re: Eliot and Biography
>     Date:  Thu, 31 Aug 2006 15:11:01 -0400
>     I do not think anyone was likely to know that
> before the publication of
>     the Facsimile edition except perhaps some of
> Eliot's friends or perhaps
>     scholars who worked on biography or history.  I
> learned it from the
>     facsimile, and I had been reading scholarship
> for a long time before.
> 
>     I think every generation of readers will have
> their experience changed
>     by new knowledge.  In fact it was Eliot who said
> that providing such
>     facts was one of the most useful things
> scholarship could do.  (I'm
>     paraphrasing from memory).  Knowing the history
> of Eliot's marriage and
>     the effects of WWI on both of them, reading his
> letters and his
>     previously unpublished poems reframes the whole
> canon of his work.  It
>     is simply not possible, for example, to read TWL
> as strictly a symbolic
>     representation of the modern world based on
> Jesse Weston--though that
>     had some influence late in the composition. 
> Interestingly, Paul Fussell
>     seemed to recognize the importance of all this
> very early, and Grover
>     Smith also.
>     Nancy
> 
>     >>> "Brian O'Sullivan" <[log in to unmask]>
> 8/31/2006 2:31 PM >>>
>     Thanks, Diana and Nancy, for some very
> interesting information (and, by
>     the
>     way, I think "interesting" is, in itself, an
> excellent reason to bring
>     up a
>     point in a conversation about literature).
> 
>     I'm curious how well Eliot's original audience
> would have known
>     Larisch's
>     books or would have known her as a notable
> figure. Is it likely that
>     Marie's
>     real-world identity changed the meaning of
> Eliot's poem for
>     contemporaneous
>     readers? (I'm not asking because I think this is
> the only important
>     question
>     when using biography in criticism, but because I
> think it is one
>     interesting
>     question.)
> 
>     Brian
> 
>     On 8/31/06 1:30 PM, "Nancy Gish"
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>     > Diana's point is very important, and it takes
> on added significance
>     that
>     > according to Valerie Eliot, "in fact he had
> met the author (when and
>     > where is not known), and his description of
> the sledding, for
>     example,
>     > was taken verbatim from a conversation he had
> with this neice and
>     > confidante of the Austrian Empress Elizabeth."
>     >
>     > When verbatim conversations of actual people
> and events are placed in
>     a
>     > poem, clearly biography is significant. 
> Moreover, Eliot was in
>     Germany
>     > when WWI started, listened to tales of trench
> warfare from his
>     > brother-in-law Maurice, and wrote many many
> letters about the deeply
>     > disturbing impact of that War and the
> difficulties of the Home
>     Front.
>     > All of that plays into the world he sees in
> TWL.  It also connects
>     his
>     > use of Hesse and his admiration for Hesse to
> his own experience.
>     > Nancy
>     >
>     >>>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>
> 08/31/06 11:48 AM >>>
>     > Peter wrote:
>     > "It is interesting to know that Marie of TWL
> perhaps reflects an
>     actual
>     > person, but what relevance is that to the poem
> as a whole, other
>     than,
>     > perhaps, that other parts of the poem reflect
> related actual elements
>     of
>     > life. Interesting, but so what?"
>     >
>     > Peter, it is more than interesting that Marie
> is certainly Marie,
>     > Countess Larisch, and that her story
> illustrates not only the state
>     of
>     > the aristocracy in Europe during the war years
> but the migrations of
>     > refugees it caused, both themes in TWL In
> addition, Eliot quotes her
>     > speaking in her native language, not in
> translation. The sampling of
>     > untranslated languages in the poem is a
> somewhat separate issue, but
>     in
>     > this instance it brings home the Countess's
> refugee status in a
>     concrete
>     > manner.
>     >
> 
=== message truncated ===



		
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