----- Original Message -----From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">cr mittalSent: Tuesday, June 05, 2007 11:29 AMSubject: Re: The Yoruba and TSE"the Dog" in TWLThere I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying 'Stetson!'You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!'That corpse you planted last year in your garden,'Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?'Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?'Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,'Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!I've always been struck by the mock-serious nature of this passage.At surface a jolly dig at Stetson's act of guilt/sin, its gravity resoundsas a leitmotif in TWL -- violation of the sanctity of sex -- the fires oflust raging at the heart of a human wasteland."That corpse you planted last year in your garden" has its sequel inWhite bodies naked on the low damp groundAnd bones cast in a little low dry garret,Rattled by the rat's foot only, year to year.One can imagine a mischievous smile on the face of the speakerwho has knowledge of Stetson's act of debauchery and crime.One is reminded of 'Burbank' where "The boatman smiles" even asPrincess Volupine alights the boat to entertain Sir Ferdinand Klein.As for'Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,'Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!"the Dog" (with a capital D) could easily be an allegorical representationof Conscience -- otherwise "friend to men", but not so in these matters ;)The graver aspect, however, of setting aside the voice of Conscience/Dogis metaphorically brought to the fore when, "Past the Isle of Dogs"-- divested of moral scruples -- humans are reduced tono better than drifting barges and logs of wood:The barges driftWith the turning tideRed sailsWideTo leeward, swing on the heavy spar.The barges washDrifting logsDown Greenwich reachPast the Isle of Dogs.Weialala leiaWallala leialalaWell, just a reading of sorts :)Cheers!CR
Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]> wrote:What is so chilling in Eliot's use of the lines is that there is menace, but no betrayal, in a wolf's, a foe's, digging up buried men, but that a dog, a friend,would is horrifying.
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