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Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
   
  >Perhaps Eliot sympathized with the dismantling of the old European
  >aristocracy after the war. ("Down we went," Marie says.) He was a 
  >Royalist, after all. 
   
  To be frank, I must show my ignorance here. 
   
  >But displaced aristos who spoke about the good old days as if they 
  >were present reality were delivering illusions.
   
  Agreed. As for the "good old days", I'm quite skeptic -- for virtue, a scarce commodity, has always been overwhelmed by evil, during all periods of human history. A wasteland has been a recurring phenomenon, isn't it ?
   
  >Whatever his sympathies were, TWL illustrates throughout the ambiguous
  >meanings of human speech. That is more the point I think than trying to 
  >discover any fixed meaning for the 'spoken' words in the poem.
   
  And yet Eliot remarked that even if a poem meant different things to different readers, it was still necessary to assert its 'absolute' meaning (to Philip Mairet, 31 Oct. 1956; the collection of Violet Welton).  I choose to agree with both of you :)
   
  CR


       
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