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C.R.,

As I noted, your query below is not about the line itself, but about the
meaning of "cynical," and the answer is that one can not be "'cynical'
and yet be 'innocent.' "  One can be either but not both.
Nancy


>>> cr mittal <[log in to unmask]> 06/29/07 4:54 PM >>>
BTW, Diana, how does anything in your argument repudiate "innocence" ?
  Can one not be "cynical" and yet be "innocent"?  Nor does the
"emptiness"
  in their relationship rule out innocence. 
   
  To me, the innocence of the first two lines  stands out in contrast
with 
  the sense of guilt that riddles the next two lines. Let me quote the
lines
  again :
   
   * We should play a game of chess
 * The ivory men make company between us
 * We should play a game of chess
 * Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.
   
  Regards,
   
  CR


cr mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:     Agreed. Still, the
juxtaposition is striking. Eliot wouldn't
  otherwise be repeating the first line -- the scenario has
  undergone a sea change in the second segment. The
  repetition of the line could as well be just a refrain to
  convey a recurrent activity, BUT something terrible 
  seems to have transpired in the interval to impart a
  scary aspect to the scene.
   
  CR
  

Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
        CR: The first two lines seem anything but innocent, but rather
reeking with cynicism. The couple playing the game do not provide
company for each other, so the speaker is grateful at least for the
company of the ivory men. The awareness expressed by the poet as to the
emptiness of the relationship between the players would be enough I
should think for Vivien to request the removal of the lines. This
insight is not original with me, but I forget where I read it. Diana
   
  CR wrote;
  Let's reconsider the lines Rick quoted from 'The Death of the
Duchess":   

     * We should play a game of chess
 * The ivory men make company between us
 * We should play a game of chess
 * Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.
      
     One may now see what a desert sighs between the innocence 
     of the first two lines and the weirdness of the last two  --
     a purposive juxtaposition.
      
     CR

    
  
  
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