Carrol, the distinction between having a history and being your history in sense more than a personal sense is illuminating. I wonder if he or she means history in a strictly Darwinian sense. Any chance of getting the name of the anthropologist? Diana
"For example (from a French anthropologist): "Humanity does not have a history; humanity IS its
From: Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Water in TWL -- Heraclitus
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2007 19:09:37 -0500
> Barnwell Black wrote:
> As Bertrand Russell wrote in 1946, "The doctrine of
> perpetual flux, as taught by Heraclitus, is painful, and science can
> do nothing to refute it." -- but poetry can. :-)
That's odd. The doctrine of flux can lead (and often has led) to the
concept of "internal relations" (Spinoza, Hegel, Marx, Whitehead, Ollman
among others), yet Russell vigorously rejected Whitehead's arguments on
the issue. Russell held to a version of atomism, and while that can
allow for ceaseless change it does not lead to flux, for the atoms are
:-) atomic: i.e., unchanging particles. For example (from a French
anthropologist): "Humanity does not have a history; humanity IS its
> In a message dated 7/27/2007 6:21:49 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> [log in to unmask] writes:
> You're right, Eliot places great value upon "death by
> Madame Sosostris has the power to predict it but she cannot
> decipher its spiritual value -- hence her note of caution.
> Your second point. The dual aspect of "water" in Eliot's
> poetry has always fascinated me -- as water of passion(s),
> or as a purifying/redeeming/transforming agent.
> In Part I, Isolde is lingering over the seas of passion
> and the sailor's song sounds a note of caution.
> In Part V, the seas of passion are "calm", if one's hand is
> "expert with sail and oar", i.e. if one has control over
> As a purifying agent, it is part of the washing ceremony at
> Chapel Perilous. As a transmuter, "Those are pearls that
> his eyes. Look!" And as a redeemer in Part IV.
> In TWL, the yearning for water is both literal and
> figurative --
> (a) the need to quench one's physical thirst, as well as to
> dispel the
> dryness of the land, and (b) the need for emotional and
> It would be interesting to watch this duality in Eliot's use
> the "wind" too -- but for that one will have to look up some
> poems too in addition to TWL.
> I must thank you, Diana, for raising this issue.
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