Print

Print


Diana,

I'm keeping our earlier correspondence attached below because I think
you will on further reflection see a big difference in our responses.
Basically I was boiling down Eliot's images to see how he was
affecting our emotions such as fear, anxiety, safety and relief.  I
see that you were doing that too.  A number of our reactions are quite
similar but a good number of your responses were not describing the
**affects** Eliot was driving for but the **feelings** you had.  That
is to say you had a number of responses where you had intellectual
reactions.

An analogy of what I was attempting would be to describe how a
director of a film would show a sense of danger changing to relief.  I
could describe that the images were dark and obscured (London fog
maybe) and that there were strange sounds (hoof beats, rustling) and
even in back of that creepy music (maybe with a throbbing beat).  Then
the director could show a couple running and the actors looks of fear.
They finally burst open a door to an inn and there is a crowd there in
the light and the people have a look of concern.  The affects are very
visceral.

Here is one response of yours that I think is a feeling more than an
emotion because of an intellectual holding back.
> he assaults at once
>   Aggression must be controlled, repression is necessary if we are
>   not to run amok.
I do note that I have some of this also (differentiating between
Ionian and Ionic is one such intellectual pollution.)

There is no argument here. I think that we are showing an apple and
oranges approach to the topic of fruit.  After all the real topic is
emotion, affects and feelings.  Perhaps we're having a fruitful
discussion of this.

Regards,
   Rick Parker


==================================================================
Subject: Affective Language in TWL
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 16:11:15 +0000
>From: Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>

          "T. S. Eliot Discussion foru
Rick, thanks so much for analyzing what you see as the affects in that passage. Problem is,
someone else might have quite different responses. For example, these are mine:

At the violet hour
lyrical, nostalgic, lilacs, hyacinths

Like a taxi throbbing waiting
   a machine with a heartbeat and pulse, life seems mechanical

Old man with wrinkled female breasts
   Age, gender doubling, Tiresias has seen it all

the evening hour
   the blue hour, time for romance, threatens to awaken hidden desires

Out of the window perilously spread
   Outdoors is dangerous, threatens to awaken repressed feelings

he assaults at once
   Aggression must be controlled, repression is necessary if we are not to run amok.

And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
   Suffering never ends

I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
   I walked with the dead but am still alive; I have lived forever and seen it all 

stairs unlit
   must we feel our own way through darkness? 

Paces about her room again
   sexual frustration, anger, impatience

crept by me
   I missed the music like I miss most good things in life -- they escape my notice

where the walls
Of Magnus Martyr hold
Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.
   The Western tradition lends splendour and mystery to Christianity

I hope others will give their responses. It's no wonder that there is little consensus on what the
poem means! Diana

==================================================================
     From:  "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
     Reply-To:  "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
     To:  [log in to unmask]
     Subject:  Re: Eliot and Affective Language
     Date:  Sun, 11 Feb 2007 06:38:30 -0500

     Okay, Diana, I'm finally getting to Eliot's use of affective language
     (in concise if not clear language).  I thought that I would go back to
     "The Waste Land" passage I commented on earlier (about the use of
     indirect emotion).  I went up to the beginning of the passage where
     Magnus Martyr seems to give us refuge to see how Eliot did it. Here
     are the notes that I wrote to myself:

     At the violet hour
         Ominous

     Like a taxi throbbing waiting
         We're still indoors but it is like we are outdoors.
         Throbbing gives a sense of danger.

     Old man with wrinkled female breasts
         Age, death, decay

     the evening hour
         Again, impending darkness

     Out of the window perilously spread
         Outdoors is dangerous

     he assaults at once
         Danger

     And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
         Suffering, danger

     I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
     And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
         Outdoors, suffering, death

     stairs unlit
         Heading outdoors to the dark

     Paces about her room again
         Anxiety

     crept by me
         Even music can be creepy

     where the walls
     Of Magnus Martyr hold
     Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.
         Noon, indoors, God, protective saint (with emphasis accented by
         the unusual placement, not Saint Magnus but Magnus, Martyr), light
         and bright, even the use of "Ionian" brings up the sunlit seas
         where "Ionic" may not.

==================================================================