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Marcia and Nancy: I'm so bad at arithmetic I never should have suggesting summing up anything. I meant to question whether Eliot shifts the meaning of water in a deliberate attempt to draw attention to semantic indeterminacy or whether water stands for other things in consistently symbolic renderings. Diana

Is not the question about the very assumption of "sum up meaning"?

Marcia, you can't add apples and oranges. If water is a sign with
different referents how can you sum up its meaning? Diana

Diana Manister wrote:

Marcia, if Eliot cut the appearances of water free of each other in a
text designed not as a coherent narrative but as a collection of
independent referents for the same sign then there is no sum of meaning,
only a series of changing meanings for water in different contexts.

And if what you say is so?  Can't a sum be complicated?  You seem to
confuse sum with homogeneity.  The sum of 4 ducks and 3 pigs is 4 ducks
and 3 pigs.

I've asked twice what in the poem makes your standard valid.


Dear Diana,
     I have been reading your posts, but still am puzzled.

     1) What is "a sum of meaning"?  What in the poem indicates that this
is a legitimate standard/result/techinique to judge the poem by?

     2) Granting your analysis below, but still don't understand your
arithemtic or the reason for applying it.  Water does give life and take
it.  Drought, too, can kill.  How is water, then, "cancelled out"?

     Perhaps sum of meaning and elements that cancel themselves out and
Sosostis .. is stable in herself are part of a discourse I've not yet
encountered, but I wonder if your measurement is useful here.  I can't
tell, since I don't understand what you mean.
     Can't the acute representation of the ambiguity, the multi-valence
of the things of the world, stand without adding up to something outside
the poem -- a stable or a non-zero figure?


>>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 08/06/07 11:32 AM >>>

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