Print

Print


One of the important threads of the Eliotonian mystery.
Indeed, it is VERY odd.

Cheers,
Peter
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2007 4:09 PM
Subject: Re: Water in TWL -- Heraclitus


> > 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
> history."
>
> Carrol
>
> > Regards,
> > Barnwell
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In a message dated 7/27/2007 6:21:49 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> > [log in to unmask] writes:
> >
> >      Diana,
> >
> >      You're right, Eliot places great value upon "death by
> >      water".
> >      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
> >      one's
> >      passions.
> >
> >      As a purifying agent, it is part of the washing ceremony at
> >      Chapel Perilous.  As a transmuter, "Those are pearls that
> >      were
> >      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
> >      spiritual
> >      sustenance.
> >
> >      It would be interesting to watch this duality in Eliot's use
> >      of
> >      the "wind" too -- but for that one will have to look up some
> >      other
> >      poems too in addition to TWL.
> >
> >      I must thank you, Diana, for raising this issue.
> >
> >      Regards,
> >
> >      CR
> >
> >
> >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL.com.
>
>
> -- 
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.10.22/923 - Release Date: 7/27/2007
6:01 PM
>
>