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
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 furtherdeeper perception possible, which is, how Eliot was setting aboutto shape perception itself."Reminds me of Herman Hesse's SIDHARTHA where theprotagonist refuses to take for granted what has been toldto him by the Buddha, but instead choosesto "experience"the path (laid down by Terry Eagleton !!! ) himself -- it'sproceeding from perception to perception --the flashes dawning like the light on kingfisher's wings --oh, it seems like the blueprint of some mystical journeywhere one has to proceed from one revelation to another.Is that so ? Interesting !But my foolish question still haunts me ratherdoggedly -- has someone articulated this experienceof Eliot's poetry in terms of perceptions and deeperperceptions ? 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.Alwaysthe focus is on the work, and secondarily on Eliot's guidelines to maintaining thefocus. Eaglton has simply evaporated some of the impeding steam. If one simplycontinues 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 indifferent 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 effectsas experiences, rather than meanings is where the skill needs to develop.Stickingwith the senses, the perceptions, is the key. The discipline lies in resisting the temptionto attribute meanings to the perceptions. Maintaining the focus on the perceptionshelps to make a further deeper perception possible, which is, how Eliot was settingabout 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: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">cr mittalSent: Friday, May 04, 2007 6:27 AMSubject: Re: "Raine's sterile thunder"Here are, then, the theoretical parameters of a sensible approachto Eliot, eliciting a unanimous applause from us. It makes me curious,though, to learn if the List can guide the reader/student to somecriticism/analysis of Eliot's work that adheres to the norms laid downby Terry Eagleton. Or must the reader/student of Eliot sift and choosefor 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 mittalSent: Thursday, May 03, 2007 9:51 AMSubject: "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 tothe guard dog to keep him occupied. In true symbolist fashion, Eliotwas interested in what a poem did, not in what it said—in the resonanceof the signifier, the echoes of its archetypes, the ghostly associationshaunting its grains and textures, the stealthy, subliminal workings ofits unconscious. Meaning was for the birds, or perhaps for the petitbourgeoisie. Eliot was a primitivist as well as a sophisticate, a writerwho made guerrilla raids on the collective unconscious. For all hisintellectualism, he was averse to rationality. Meaning in his poetry islike the mysterious figure who walks beside you in The Waste Land,vanishing when you look at it straight. When Raine enquires of a coupleof lines in one of Eliot's poems whether we are supposed to be in abrothel, the only answer which would be true to Eliot's own aestheticis that we are in a poem. "~ Terry EagletonCR
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