Thanks, Diana, for greatly clarifying things. 

I see those things differently than you do, but now I understand what you are saying, and am glad for that.


Diana Manister wrote:
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Peter and Marcia,

We'll never know exactly how Eliot pictured his audience, but my admittedly exaggerated assertion that he could anticipate their every association to his verbal figures was based on the likelihood that he was addressing a cultured and/or educated gentry, in short, an elite who shared similar experiences, privileges and prejudices in England at that time. Certainly when the work is read in a later historical period and in a different country with a less rigid class system, those associations will broaden beyond what Eliot could anticipate. Abstract art probably does not suffer the same contingency -- a Rothko painting will likely communicate the same contemplative feeling-tone in more circumstances than an artwork fashionned from words, whose meanings change more swiftly than the significations of colors do. (Pop art I think will change meaning in different contexts -- a Jaspar Johns American flag or a silk-screen of Marilyn Monroe say.)