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I too find it incredibly wonderful, Diana, that a Marxist critic focuses
  on what truly matters in Eliot's poetry, cautioning scholars to steer 
  clear of the artificial barriers that stand in the way of our appreciating
  Eliot's true greatness as a poet. As Peter Montgomery rightly points
  out, Eagleton's focus is always on the work: he has "simply evaporated 
  some of the impeding steam". 
   
  But there's a moot point that maybe solves the mystery --
  Eliot may be a Royalist but it's not part of the poet's raids
  on the unconscious, or his archetypal symbols, or his concern
  with time and eternity. Yes, there are hints of Royalism in Little
  Gidding -- but it's a broken king in a state of disillusionment with
  the world -- or, as in Murder in the Cathedral -- it's the Church
  that triumphs over temporal Monarchy -- there are streaks in
  Eliot where Eagleton would find common grounds of compassion
  (mark the Chorus of Canterbury women lamenting the plight of
  the underdog).
   
  Regards,
   
  CR
   
  
Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
        Peter and CR: What do you make of the fact that Eagleton is a Marxist critic interpreting the poetry of a self-avowed Royalist? Diana



  
    
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From:  cr mittal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:  "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To:  [log in to unmask]
Subject:  Re: "Raine's sterile thunder"
Date:  Sat, 5 May 2007 07:35:31 -0700
  

  Thanks a lot, Peter, for your lucid comments. 
     You're right in remarking :
      
     "Maintaining the focus on the perceptions helps to make a further 
     deeper perception possible, which  is, how Eliot was setting about 
     to shape perception itself."
      
     Reminds me of Herman Hesse's SIDHARTHA where the
     protagonist refuses to take for granted what has been told
     to him by the Buddha, but instead chooses 
to "experience"   
     the path (laid down by Terry Eagleton !!! ) himself -- it's
     proceeding from perception to perception --
     the flashes dawning like the light on kingfisher's wings --
     oh, it seems like the blueprint of some mystical journey
     where one has to proceed from one revelation to another.
     Is that so ?  Interesting !
      
     But my foolish question still haunts me rather
     doggedly -- has someone articulated this experience
     of Eliot's poetry in terms of perceptions and deeper
     perceptions ?  Any "footprints on the sands of time"
     so that one may read them and take heart ???
      
     Regardful thanks,
      
     CR

Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
            Let us not forget that Eagleton has simply extrapolated from Eliot's own thinking,
     in order to satisfy Eliot's own understanding of his approach to his work. 
Always   
     the focus is on the work, and secondarily on Eliot's guidelines to maintaining the
     focus. Eaglton has simply evaporated some of the impeding steam. If one simply
     continues to look for the effects generated by the work, rather than any given meaning,
     one will get there. However, different effects will be generated by the same lines in
     different people. So there is the paradox. By registering the effects one experiences,
     the reader does have his or her own say in the discussion. Registering the effects
     as experiences, rather than meanings is where the skill needs to develop. 
Sticking   
     with the senses, the perceptions, is the key. The discipline lies in resisting the temption
     to attribute meanings to the perceptions. Maintaining the focus on the perceptions
     helps to make a further deeper perception possible, which  is, how Eliot was setting
     about to shape perception itself. A serious service is registered in laying that work bare.
      
     What was it Pound said to Eliot about going in front doors and backdoors?
      
     Cheers,
     P.
          ----- Original Message ----- 
     From: cr mittal 
     To: [log in to unmask] 
     Sent: Friday, May 04, 2007 6:27 AM
     Subject: Re: "Raine's sterile thunder"
     

     Here are, then, the theoretical parameters of a sensible approach
     to Eliot, eliciting a unanimous applause from us. It makes me curious,
     though, to learn if the List can guide the reader/student to some 
     criticism/analysis of Eliot's work that adheres to the norms laid down
     by Terry Eagleton.  Or must the reader/student of Eliot sift and choose
     for himself/herself from a wide array of criticism -- as always ?
      
     CR     

Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
              
         Hence the contempt for certain strains of criticism and/or analysis.
     Love it.
     P.
          ----- Original Message ----- 
     From: cr mittal 
     To: [log in to unmask] 
     Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2007 9:51 AM
     Subject: "Raine's sterile thunder"
     

     "Eliot's poetry is not a question of meaning in the first place. 
     The meaning of a poem for Eliot was a fairly trifling matter. It was,
     he once remarked, like the piece of meat which the burglar throws to
     the guard dog to keep him occupied. In true symbolist fashion, Eliot
     was interested in what a poem did, not in what it said—in the resonance 
     of the signifier, the echoes of its archetypes, the ghostly associations
     haunting its grains and textures, the stealthy, subliminal workings of
     its unconscious. Meaning was for the birds, or perhaps for the petit 
     bourgeoisie. Eliot was a primitivist as well as a sophisticate, a writer
     who made guerrilla raids on the collective unconscious. For all his 

     intellectualism, he was averse to rationality. Meaning in his poetry is 
     like the mysterious figure who walks beside you in The Waste Land, 
     vanishing when you look at it straight. When Raine enquires of a couple
     of lines in one of Eliot's poems whether we are supposed to be in a 
     brothel, the only answer which would be true to Eliot's own aesthetic 
     is that we are in a poem. "
     &#13;&#10;
 ms">                                                      ~ Terry Eagleton
      
     http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=8312
      
     CR
     

          
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