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                Dear Marcin,
   
  You make some very perceptive observations. 
  These, I believe, are crucial to our understanding of
  Eliot's poetry, especially that he chose to publish
  in his lifetime.
   
  # the  speaker in Preludes seems to be attempting
   a resolution of apparent dichotomies.
   
  # The subject - object dichotomy of the Cartesian 
  approach is presented in the poem, I think, as both
   inalienable andalienating... 
   
  # The speaker's awareness of "multitude of 
  solipsisms", and of his/her own partaking in such an
  epistemic situation, is a step towards the sense of 
  alienation endemic in this very situation.
  
# While there is no way out of it, the speaker comes
  to understanding that all the worlds constructed by
  solipsistic ego-subjects are merely "points of view" 
  "revolving like ancient women / Gathering fuel in 
  vacant lots."
   
  # Those "worlds", with their pretensions to exclusivity,
  in the context of mystical experience of the ONE
   ("infinitely gentle"), may seem, I imagine, somewhat
   amusing.
   
  Marcin, I consider them precious statements -- 
  there's no question of my disagreeing with any of 
  them, except maybe in the working out of their 
  ramifications here and there vis-a-vis Eliot's
  poetry. 
   
  Let me now compliment  you for the following
  remarks you make in your reply to my post:
   
  # I do agree - there seems to be unity in the speaker's
  response to his/her everyday ("in spite of the apparently 
  differing identities he/she puts on"). 
   
  # The speaker is deep within the sordid. He/she is 
  of the sordid "constituted"... 
   
  #  no matter how repulsive the street seems to him/her, 
he/she is there and within;  one among many "raising
  dingy shades"; "sitting along the bed's edge", yellow-soled, 
  dirty-handed;
   
  # I imagine that this is what Eliot has in mind writing in
   his essay on Dante: "The contemplation of the horrid or
   sordid or disgusting, by an artist, is the necessary and
   negative aspect of the impulse toward the pursuit of
   beauty....The negative is the more importunate."
   
  # There is no gainsaying that the dichotomy between 
  the ideal and the real is the central dichotomy which
   informed TSE's thought and sensitivity. 
   
  # I agree with Harriet Davidson, that TSE in both his 
  poetry and thought was  trying to resolve dichotomies
  of various kinds, by "hermeneutic [...] circular grounding 
  of seeming opposites in each other".
   
  Marcin,  thanks a lot for raising these points, all of them 
  exceedingly crucial to our understanding of the central
  dilemma in Eliot's poetry.  Dunja in one of her posts did
  draw our attention to this dilemma -- of the central 
  protagonist of Eliot's poetry (please take it to mean
  the poetry Eliot chose to get published) -- that of being
  at the same time a part of this world's corruption as well
  as a detached spectator contemplating the baseness, the
  futility and the meaninglessness of man's earthly
  engagements, as well as of his own life. Throughtout, 
  there is a growing urge to break loose from this 
  soul-killing ambience of sordidness and drudgery, 
  and reach out for a spiritually satisfying mode of life.
   
  It is in this context that TSE remarked that 
  "The contemplation of the horrid or sordid or disgusting,
  by an artist, is the necessary and negative aspect of the
  impulse toward the pursuit of beauty....The negative is
  the more importunate." 
   
  And this is what the poet, in my considered opinion, is
  doing in the 'Preludes'. 
   
  This, I hope, supports those statements of yours which
  elicit my admiration and praise. And this, I hope, will 
  take care of the areas where we tend to disagree.
   
  Many thanks again, Marcin, for your painstaking 
  elucidation of your perceptions. I wished I could dilate 
  upon the centrality of each one of these many points
  in Eliot's poetry. But, there will be time...
   
  I'll only be too glad to elaborate on any of "your"
  points :)
   
  Regards.
   
  ~ CR
      
  

 
 		
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