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Perhaps someone can.
P.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Diana Manister 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 7:36 AM
  Subject: Re: Identity of the speaker in 'Preludes'



  Peter, perhaps someone can correct or confirm my understanding of "tat vam asi" as meaning thusness, givenness, uninterpretable suchness, the opposite of "fancies that are curled /Around these images, and cling...." Diana








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  From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
  Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
  To: [log in to unmask]
  Subject: Re: Identity of the speaker in 'Preludes'
  Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2006 21:06:04 -0700



    You're welcome. I agree that the Cartesian/Newtonian world is toast in this poem.
    My preference is for the medieval understanding of multiple causality. Post Locke,
    Hobbes, Hume there has been preoccupation with efficient causality, the billiard ball
    approach, which identifies only the physical influence of one phenom. on another.
    There has been no acceptance of formal, or final causality (or material causality
    for that matter -- though Einstein has made a difference there). In effect, all the focus
    has been on how, not on what or why.  The temporalisation of perception
    has rejected the other dimensions as supersititions, and hence the mystery has been
    suppressed.

    I am moved by fancies that are curled 
    Around these images, and cling: 
    The notion of some infinitely gentle 
    Infinitely suffering thing. 

    We've just been through a very thorough review and discussion of Eliot's involvement in
    the world of sanskrit. It is no minor influence on him. I'm sure the archives would tell
    you all we've done. Perhaps our grand master, Rickard, can point you in that dimension.
    Your phrase, "tat vam asi" did not, however, come up in that discussion as far
    as I remember.

    While the Cartesian influence is endemic to our culture, I prefer, rather than trying to sus it out or experience ontological shock, to see that one needs to reject the actual, experiential conditioning of one's early childhood
    and early education (some are, of course, spared that tragedy),  to reach one's natural perceptual modes
    which have been supprssed by personal, social and political influences. Hence I can be somewhat of a
    nuisance when people start to pedal those cliché modes.

    Regards,
    Peter

      ----- Original Message ----- 
      From: marcin ostrouch 
      To: [log in to unmask] 
      Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 12:08 AM
      Subject: Re: Identity of the speaker in 'Preludes'


      Indeed. For can we ever "bracket our biased nature" (Shargel and Dwyer's phrasing)? 

      Thank you for the reference to Pound's poem. It is most illuminating.The closing lines left me... well, moved. Let me bring up the Hindu "tat vam asi" (Thou art that) again.  It is common knowledge that TSE did some reading in Upanishads, and so did Pound, I would imagine (I am not quite familiar with the miglior fabro's background). "Tat vam asi" definitely implies rejection of the everyday (Cartesian,  categorising, alienating) mode of perception. 

      Would you agree that the "dismembement"  of the "They" (synecdochic "feet", "hands"), and the atomised world, to which the speaker in Preludes is awaken,  is analogous to Cartesian "mutilation" of the One ("infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering thing")?

      Just for the record: 
      "ontological shock" is an expression taken from Tillich's "Systematic Theology" (qtd. in "The literary Depiction of Ontological Shock" by E.P. Levy [quite an interesting analysis of the aforementioned condition in "East Cocker" and in Beckett's "Murphy"])

      Once again, thank you for joining me and these issues.

      Marcin



      Peter Montgomery wrote: 
It is amazing how much of one's own perceptual conditioning
can be found in the poem. It isalso useful to reference
Pound's Portrait d'un Femme, which makes a fascinating companion piece.
"Your mind and you are our sargasso sea."

The poem is a spectral stone indeed.

P.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dunja Seselja" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, September 04, 2006 2:18 PM
Subject: Re: Identity of the speaker in 'Preludes'


  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]> wwrote:

    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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