>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 :)
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