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The image of water and the search there for,
is a symbol of the search for faith. Cf the Samaritan woman
at Abraham's well to whom Jesus suggests the possibility
of living waters.
P.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: cr mittal 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Saturday, July 07, 2007 6:56 PM
  Subject: Re: a Jeremiah sighting?


  P.S.

  Eliot's observation about the quest-for-water lines being the only
  good lines in TWL, the rest being ephemeral, should be viewed
  in the light of his epigraph to 'Burbank' :

  nil nisi divinum stabile est; caetera fumus
  [only the divine endures, the rest is all smoke]

  CR


  cr mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 
    It's not just a matter of "cisterns", Nancy.

    Let me add to Jeremiah ii, 13  Solomon's exhortation in
    Proverbs v, 15 :

    'Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters 
    out of thine own well'.  
                                                       
    Eliot could easily have these biblical sources in mind 
    vis-a-vis "empty cisterns and exhausted wells". 

    Mark also in this context the preceding 29-line quest for water 
    beginning "Here is no water..."

    And all this in the context of the opening lines

    "He who was living is now dead" etc.

    as well as the context of the journey to Emmaus and to Chapel
    Perilous.

    What more context do we need to establish that Eliot's quest for
    water here is a spiritual quest? Incidentally, Eliot thought that these
    quest-for-water lines to be the only 'good lines in The Waste Land', 
    the rest being ephemeral (Letter of 14 August 1923 to Ford Madox
    Ford, WL Drafts, p. 129). [Manju Jain, Notes, p. 184] 

    Regards,

    CR


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