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Incidentally, 
  
'Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life'
By PAUL MARIANI
Reviewed by BLAKE BAILEY 
A biography of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Victorian poet and Jesuit.   
 
the case of one Digby Mackworth Dolben,
 a 16-year-old cousin of Bridges who visited Hopkins at Oxford in February 1865 --
Hopkins sensed the young man was a “kindred spirit.”
 
Finally, a sense of his own sinful nature became so oppressive that Hopkins sought consolation — or so a number of scholars would have it — in the solitary, ascetic life of a Jesuit. “My sap is sealed,” he wrote toward the end of 1865. “My root is dry.” 
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/books/review/Bailey-t.html?8bu&emc=bua2
 
an insidious parallel there, tom ? 
 
CR


--- On Sun, 12/14/08, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: A TSE reference to Inferno XV before 'Little Gidding'?
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Sunday, December 14, 2008, 10:47 PM







I can only say, Tom, there is strong point in your observations here, 
as elsewhere in your earlier posts on 'Dans', and on The Fire Sermon 
much earlier. Material enough up your sleeves, I guess, for a paper
if not a book.
 
IMHO, "homosexuality" must have formed part of Eliot's experience(?)/
perception of man's fallen state.
 
Best,
CR
  

--- On Sat, 12/13/08, Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
From: Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: A TSE reference to Inferno XV before 'Little Gidding'?
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Saturday, December 13, 2008, 10:20 PM




#yiv1331729867 #yiv1535043457 .hmmessage P
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 12/13/08
  
A few weeks ago, the list was discussing an allusion in Little Gidding to Dante's Inferno Canto XV, where Dante meets Ser Brunetto Latini in the circle of the sodomites. In that Canto there is an image of smoke and dusk that is echoed in Little Gidding: 
  
===================================== 
  
Inferno XV, 16-19 (image of men looking at each other at dusk, with sexual implications) 
quando incontrammo d'anime una schiera 
   che vevian lungo l'argine, e ciascuna 
   ci riguardava come suol da sera 
guardare uno altro sotto nuova luna; 
[we met a troop of souls that were coming alongside the bank, and each looked at us as men look at one another under a new moon at dusk; (translation - Charles S. Singleton)] 
  
Inferno XV, 115-118 (image of rising smoke in the circle of Hell punishing the sodomites) 
Di più direi; ma 'l venire e 'l sermone 
  più lungo esser non può, però ch'i'veggio 
  là surger nuovo fummo del sabbione. 
Gente vien con la quale esser non deggio. 
[I see yonder a new smoke rising from the sand; people are coming with whom I must not be (translation - Charles S. Singleton)]. 
  
Little Gidding: 
Between three districts where the smoke arose . . . 
 . .  I fixed upon the down-turned face 
That pointed scrutiny with which we challenge 
The first-met stranger in the waning dusk. 
  
============================= 
  
I had some off-list correspondence about this topic with Rick Parker, who generously supplied me with a web link to a Dante paper that discussed Brunetto (among other topics). I highly recommend the essay that Rick found. The link is: 
  
http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Italian_Studies/LD/numbers/02/harris.html 
  
After I read that essay, I began to think more about Canto XV. The image of rising smoke and dusk from Little Giddling rattled around in my head and it occurred to me that Eliot had used those same images before. I don't have time to write out my reading of Prufrock (nor would anyone care to read it), but I believe that some of the same conflicts about homosexuality that I detect in "Dans le Restaurant" and "Little Giddling" are also in Prufrock. After reflecting on Eliot's use of  Canto XV, I have come to believe that Canto XV is the controlling image in this passage from Prufrock: 
  
========================== 
…. 
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets 
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes 
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? . . . 
  
================== 
  
Here the "lonely men in shirt-sleeves" are images of homosexuals that the narrator sees during his journey through "certain half-deserted streets". Because (according to certain religious beliefs) homosexuality is a sin, the "lonely men in shirt-sleeves" are condemned to Hell, whether they realize it or not. They are getting an early "Dantesque" warning: the smoke that rises from their pipes echoes the smoke that rises from the circle of Hell in which the sodomites will spend eternity. The narrator contemplates a trip at dusk to echo both the specific language of Canto XV as well as to echo the dusk-like, smoky image in this canto, in which Dante encounters Brunetto, the sodomite. 
  
As always, comments, criticisms, and corrections are welcome. 
  
-- Tom -- 
 


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