Print

Print


I do not understand where this comes from, as many members, including myself, have frequently and at length discussed the ways in which Eliot uses his own biography in his work and also the many times he affirmed the importance of biography, especially in late criticism when he seems to have moved past the notion of some absolute impersonality.  I also recall that being mocked, as if one could take totally seriously the early rejection of biography and ignore the change.
 
Moreover, you are, as I recall, one of the "commentators on Eliot on this list," and not an observer who can critique everyone else--why not take it up yourself before now?  Just how did this get to be about everyone else failing to do what, in fact, was done many, many times?
 
As it happens, I think Tom is right.  But the general issue is one I have commented on many times before, so I did not this time. 
 
I do not agree, though, with Carrol on the "objective correlative" because I don't think it is stated as "any. . . objects" or that it is "mechanical."  I think it is a way to challenge endless pronouncements of feeling.  I think of it in relation to Mark Twain's wonderful line about using external situations rather than stating how one feels:  "Don't say 'the old woman screamed'; bring her on and let her scream."
 
I am asking again if we could please talk about the issues without making personalized attacks--even in a general form.
Nancy
 

>>> Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> 01/08/09 2:54 AM >>>
The question of the compulsive demon in your last quote, raises the
image of the ancient mariner compelled to tell his tale. It is a tale
told by a Coleridge, full of mystery and intrigue.

At the end of UPUC Eliot says "The sad ghost of Coleridge
beckons to me from the shadows."

What Eliot meant by that quote is for discussion by the list.
In effect, it is follow up to your last quote.

The fact that no one seems interested in considering the very valid,
very on topic points you raise, suggests to me that the commentators
on Eliot on this list have lost interest, having squeezed the last bit
of vital juice out of E's body of works.

As to cheese skippers my favourite metaphor for those who live off the
creativity of others, you will have to consult forensic pathology.

Cheers,
Peter
----- Original Message -----=20
From: Tom Colket=20
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 7:26 PM
Subject: Re: The patterns in TSE's carpet


Peter:

=20

I mean no disrespect, but I cannot figure out what you are trying to =
say with this post (or, for that matter, with your previous post on =
Bertrand Russell). Can you clarify?

=20

-- Tom --



> Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 01:11:53 -0800
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: The patterns in TSE's carpet
> To: [log in to unmask]
>=20
> Ah!!!! The ancient mariner rides again! cf the reference to =
Coleridge at the
> end of UPUC. Could it be that the cheese skippers have decomposed =
the corpus
> to a point of completion?
>=20
> P.
>=20
>=20
> Quoting Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]>:
>=20
> >=20
> > CR wrote, quoting Craig Raine,=20
> >=20
> > -----------------------------------
> > "The poet articulates the inexpressible -- and makes the culture =
more
> > articulate and, therefore, more sensible to subtle feeling . . . =
Every artist
> > starts with his emotions and his autobiography -- and addresses =
the task of
> > transcending mere subjectivity. Self-expression isn't the sole =
aim. The aim
> > is to create an intelligible work of art."
> > -----------------------------------
> >=20
> > Sometimes the "aim of the poet", at least initially, may be much =
more
> > personal than Raine is admitting. Consider this quote from TSE in =
his 1953
> > essay, "The Three Voices of Poetry" - p98-99:
> >=20
> > -----------------------------------
> > "In a poem which is neither didactic nor narrative, and not =
animated by any
> > other social purpose, the poet may be concerned solely with =
expressing in
> > verse - using all his resources of words, with their history, =
their
> > connotations, their music - this obscure impulse. He does not know =
what he
> > has to say until he has said it; and in the effort to say it he is =
not
> > concerned with making other people understand anything. He is not =
concerned,
> > at this stage, with other people at all: only with finding the =
right words
> > or, anyhow, the least wrong words. He is not concerned whether =
anybody else
> > will ever listen to them or not, or whether anybody else will ever =
understand
> > them if he does. He is oppressed by a burden which he must bring =
to birth in
> > order to obtain relief. Or, to change the figure of speech, he is =
haunted by
> > a demon, a demon against which he feels powerless, because in its =
first
> > manifestation it has no face, no name, nothing; and the words, the =
poem he
> > makes, are a kind of form of exorcism of this demon. In other =
words again, he
> > is going to all that trouble, not in order to communicate with =
anyone, but to
> > gain relief from acute discomfort; and when the words are finally =
arranged in
> > the right way - or in what he comes to accept as the best =
arrangement he can
> > find - he may experience a moment of exhaustion, of appeasement, =
of
> > absolution, and of something very near annihilation, which is in =
itself
> > indescribable. And then he can say to the poem: 'Go away! Find a =
place for
> > your self in a book - and don't expect me to take any further =
interest in
> > you.' "
> > -----------------------------------
> >=20
> > -- Tom --
> >=20
> >=20
> > Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:00:58 -0800From: =
[log in to unmask]: Re: The
> > patterns in TSE's carpetTo: [log in to unmask]
> >=20
> >=20
> >=20
> >=20
> > "[T]he poet is occupied with frontiers of consciousness beyond =
which words
> > fail,
> > though meanings still exist."
> >=20
> > 'The Music of Poetry' (1942)
> >=20
> > -----
> >=20
> > In 'The Social Function of Poetry' (1945)...=20
> > Eliot revisits the site of this second 'psychological' objective
> > correlative.
> > Listing various functions of poetry, Eliot mentions=20
> > 'the expression of something we have experienced but have no words =
for,=20
> > which enlarges our consciousness or refines our sensibility'.=20
> > This is the core of his argument in this essay --
> > that, without expression, our emotions will atrophy.=20
> > The poet's role is to find objective expression for the purely =
subjective.=20
> > The poet articulates the inexpressible -- and makes the culture =
more
> > articulate
> > and, therefore, more sensible to subtle feeling.=20
> > This is quite different from the idea of the objective correlative =
as
> > restricted to drama.
> >=20
> > Put like this,
> > the objective correlative looks more intelligible=20
> > -- a refinement of the idea of impersonality in art.
> > Every artist starts with his emotions and his autobiography=20
> > -- and addresses the task of transcending mere subjectivity.=20
> > Self-expression isn't the sole aim. The aim is to create an =
intelligible work
> > of art.=20
> > The two functions of the objective correlative=20
> > -- to make emotion manifest for a theatre audience;
> > to articulate one's inexplicable feelings --=20
> > are conjoined a little uncomfortably, like unidentical Siamese =
twins.
> >=20
> > Craig Raine, T.S. ELIOT, pp. 134-135
> >=20
> > -----
> >=20
> > quite a lucid exposition
> >=20
> > CR
> > --- On Mon, 12/29/08, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>Subject: Re: The patterns in =
TSE's
> > carpetTo: [log in to unmask]: Monday, December 29, 2008, 3:26 =
PM
> >=20
> >=20
> >=20
> >=20
> >=20
> >=20
> > objective correlative
> >=20
> > "But it is easy to see why this particular coinage is successful.=20
> > Its scientism -- with its misleading scientific connotation of
> > "formula" -- is a rebuke to belle lettrism. Yet, the idea is =
obvious."
> >=20
> > "The objective correlative...is an account of the artist straining
> > to objectify and embody his subjective inner murk -- his buried =
life."
> >=20
> > It's worthwhile perusing pp.133-136 of T.S. ELIOT by Craig Raine=20
> > (p.133 para beginning "As for repetition...") online at
> >=20
> > =
http://books.google.com/books?id=3DCnnX6jlFUfEC&pg=3DPA133&lpg=3DPA133&dq=

> >=20
> > CR
> > --- On Sun, 12/28/08, Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > From: Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>Subject: Re: The patterns in =
TSE's
> > carpetTo: [log in to unmask]: Sunday, December 28, 2008, 9:08 =
PMTom
> > Colket quotes: "...apart from a few notorious phrases which have =
had
> > a truly embarrassing success in the world"
> >=20
> > Indeed Eliot had every reason to be embarassed about almost all of =
those
> > phrses. I imagine the damage they did is slowly dying out (having =
for
> > the most part been confined to my 'generation" and the preceding =
ones,
> > with only a scattering of younger critics poisoned. Probably the =
worst
> > (and perhaps most notorious) was the objective correlative, the =
bizarre
> > idea that any delection of objects or events could mechanically =
evoke a
> > specific emotion. At some point in his early life Eliot must have =
been
> > tainted without being quite conscious of the fact with the =
vulgarities
> > of late 19th-century positivism! Just the facts, Maam! Just the =
formula
> > for the emotion.
> >=20
> > Carrol
> >=20
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Send e-mail anywhere. No map, no compass.
> >





-------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-----
It=92s the same Hotmail=AE. If by =93same=94 you mean up to 70% =
faster. Get your account now.=20


-------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-----


No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG.=20
Version: 7.5.552 / Virus Database: 270.10.2 - Release Date: 1/1/2009 =
12:00 AM

------=_NextPart_000_00F9_01C970E2.8FEB4490
Content-Type: text/html;
    charset="Windows-1252"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML xmlns:o =3D "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"><HEAD>
<META http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D"text/html; =
charset=3Dwindows-1252">
<STYLE>.hmmessage P {
    PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; MARGIN: =
0px; PADDING-TOP: 0px
}
BODY.hmmessage {
    FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana
}
</STYLE>

<META content=3D"MSHTML 6.00.2800.1617" name=3DGENERATOR></HEAD>
<BODY class=3Dhmmessage bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>The question of the compulsive demon in your =
last quote,=20
raises the image of</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>the ancient mariner compelled to tell his tale. =
It is a=20
tale told </FONT><FONT face=3DArial>by a Coleridge.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>At the end of UPUC Eliot says "The sad ghost of=20
Coleridge</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>bekons to me from the shadows."</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial></FONT> </DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>What Eliot meant by that quote is for discussion =
by the=20
list.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>In effect, it is follow up to your last=20
quote.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial></FONT> </DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>The fact that no one seems interested in =
considering the=20
very valid, very on topic points</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>you raise, suggests to me that the commentators =
on Eliot=20
on this list have lost interest,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>having squeezed the last bit of vital juice out =
of E's=20
body of works.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial></FONT> </DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>As to cheese skippers my favourite metaphor for =
those who=20
live off the creativity of</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>others, you will have to consult forensic=20
pathology.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial></FONT> </DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>Cheers,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial>Peter</FONT></DIV>
<BLOCKQUOTE=20
style=3D"PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; =
BORDER-LEFT: #000000 2px solid; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">
<DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial">----- Original Message ----- </DIV>
<DIV=20
style=3D"BACKGROUND: #e4e4e4; FONT: 10pt arial; font-color: =
black"><B>From:</B>=20
<A [log in to unmask] href=3D"mailto:[log in to unmask]">Tom =
Colket</A>=20
</DIV>
<DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>To:</B> <A =
[log in to unmask]
href=3D"mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]</A> </DIV>
<DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>Sent:</B> Tuesday, December 30, =
2008 7:26=20
PM</DIV>
<DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>Subject:</B> Re: The patterns in =
TSE's=20
carpet</DIV>
<DIV><BR></DIV><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#000000=20
size=3D3>Peter:</FONT><BR>
<P class=3DMsoNormal style=3D"MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><FONT =
size=3D3><FONT=20
color=3D#000000><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman"> <o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></FONT></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal style=3D"MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><FONT face=3D"Times =
New Roman"=20
color=3D#000000 size=3D3>I mean no disrespect, but I cannot figure out =
what you=20
are trying to say with this post (or, for that matter, with your =
previous post=20
on Bertrand Russell). Can you clarify?</FONT></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal style=3D"MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><FONT =
size=3D3><FONT=20
color=3D#000000><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman"> <o:p></o:p></FONT></FONT></FONT></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal style=3D"MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><FONT face=3D"Times =
New Roman"=20
color=3D#000000 size=3D3>-- Tom --</FONT></P>
<P><BR><BR>> Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 01:11:53 -0800<BR>> From: <A =

=
href=3D"mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]</A><BR>>=
=20
Subject: Re: The patterns in TSE's carpet<BR>> To: <A=20
href=3D"mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]</A><BR>> =
<BR>>=20
Ah!!!! The ancient mariner rides again! cf the reference to Coleridge =
at=20
the<BR>> end of UPUC. Could it be that the cheese skippers have =
decomposed=20
the corpus<BR>> to a point of completion?<BR>> <BR>> =
P.<BR>>=20
<BR>> <BR>> Quoting Tom Colket =
<[log in to unmask]>:<BR>>=20
<BR>> > <BR>> > CR wrote, quoting Craig Raine, <BR>> =
>=20
<BR>> > -----------------------------------<BR>> > "The =
poet=20
articulates the inexpressible -- and makes the culture more<BR>> =
>=20
articulate and, therefore, more sensible to subtle feeling . . . Every =

artist<BR>> > starts with his emotions and his autobiography -- =
and=20
addresses the task of<BR>> > transcending mere subjectivity.=20
Self-expression isn't the sole aim. The aim<BR>> > is to create =
an=20
intelligible work of art."<BR>> >=20
-----------------------------------<BR>> > <BR>> > =
Sometimes the=20
"aim of the poet", at least initially, may be much more<BR>> > =
personal=20
than Raine is admitting. Consider this quote from TSE in his =
1953<BR>> >=20
essay, "The Three Voices of Poetry" - p98-99:<BR>> > <BR>> =
>=20
-----------------------------------<BR>> > "In a poem which is =
neither=20
didactic nor narrative, and not animated by any<BR>> > other =
social=20
purpose, the poet may be concerned solely with expressing in<BR>> =
>=20
verse - using all his resources of words, with their history, =
their<BR>>=20
> connotations, their music - this obscure impulse. He does not =
know what=20
he<BR>> > has to say until he has said it; and in the effort to =
say it=20
he is not<BR>> > concerned with making other people understand =
anything.=20
He is not concerned,<BR>> > at this stage, with other people at =
all:=20
only with finding the right words<BR>> > or, anyhow, the least =
wrong=20
words. He is not concerned whether anybody else<BR>> > will ever =
listen=20
to them or not, or whether anybody else will ever understand<BR>> =
> them=20
if he does. He is oppressed by a burden which he must bring to birth=20
in<BR>> > order to obtain relief. Or, to change the figure of =
speech, he=20
is haunted by<BR>> > a demon, a demon against which he feels =
powerless,=20
because in its first<BR>> > manifestation it has no face, no =
name,=20
nothing; and the words, the poem he<BR>> > makes, are a kind of =
form of=20
exorcism of this demon. In other words again, he<BR>> > is going =
to all=20
that trouble, not in order to communicate with anyone, but to<BR>> =
>=20
gain relief from acute discomfort; and when the words are finally =
arranged=20
in<BR>> > the right way - or in what he comes to accept as the =
best=20
arrangement he can<BR>> > find - he may experience a moment of=20
exhaustion, of appeasement, of<BR>> > absolution, and of =
something very=20
near annihilation, which is in itself<BR>> > indescribable. And =
then he=20
can say to the poem: 'Go away! Find a place for<BR>> > your self =
in a=20
book - and don't expect me to take any further interest in<BR>> =
> you.'=20
"<BR>> > -----------------------------------<BR>> > =
<BR>> >=20
-- Tom --<BR>> > <BR>> > <BR>> > Date: Mon, 29 Dec =
2008=20
18:00:58 -0800From: [log in to unmask]: Re: The<BR>> > =
patterns=20
in TSE's carpetTo: [log in to unmask]<BR>> > <BR>> > =
<BR>>=20
> <BR>> > <BR>> > "[T]he poet is occupied with =
frontiers of=20
consciousness beyond which words<BR>> > fail,<BR>> > =
though=20
meanings still exist."<BR>> > <BR>> > 'The Music of =
Poetry'=20
(1942)<BR>> > <BR>> > -----<BR>> > <BR>> > In =
'The=20
Social Function of Poetry' (1945)... <BR>> > Eliot revisits the =
site of=20
this second 'psychological' objective<BR>> > =
correlative.<BR>> >=20
Listing various functions of poetry, Eliot mentions <BR>> > 'the =

expression of something we have experienced but have no words for, =
<BR>>=20
> which enlarges our consciousness or refines our sensibility'. =
<BR>>=20
> This is the core of his argument in this essay --<BR>> > =
that,=20
without expression, our emotions will atrophy. <BR>> > The =
poet's role=20
is to find objective expression for the purely subjective. <BR>> =
> The=20
poet articulates the inexpressible -- and makes the culture =
more<BR>> >=20
articulate<BR>> > and, therefore, more sensible to subtle =
feeling.=20
<BR>> > This is quite different from the idea of the objective=20
correlative as<BR>> > restricted to drama.<BR>> > <BR>> =
>=20
Put like this,<BR>> > the objective correlative looks more =
intelligible=20
<BR>> > -- a refinement of the idea of impersonality in =
art.<BR>>=20
> Every artist starts with his emotions and his autobiography =
<BR>> >=20
-- and addresses the task of transcending mere subjectivity. <BR>> =
>=20
Self-expression isn't the sole aim. The aim is to create an =
intelligible=20
work<BR>> > of art. <BR>> > The two functions of the =
objective=20
correlative <BR>> > -- to make emotion manifest for a theatre=20
audience;<BR>> > to articulate one's inexplicable feelings -- =
<BR>>=20
> are conjoined a little uncomfortably, like unidentical Siamese=20
twins.<BR>> > <BR>> > Craig Raine, T.S. ELIOT, pp. =
134-135<BR>>=20
> <BR>> > -----<BR>> > <BR>> > quite a lucid=20
exposition<BR>> > <BR>> > CR<BR>> > --- On Mon, =
12/29/08,=20
Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:<BR>> > From: Chokh =
Raj=20
<[log in to unmask]>Subject: Re: The patterns in TSE's<BR>> =
>=20
carpetTo: [log in to unmask]: Monday, December 29, 2008, 3:26 =
PM<BR>>=20
> <BR>> > <BR>> > <BR>> > <BR>> > <BR>> =
>=20
<BR>> > objective correlative<BR>> > <BR>> > "But it =
is easy=20
to see why this particular coinage is successful. <BR>> > Its =
scientism=20
-- with its misleading scientific connotation of<BR>> > =
"formula" -- is=20
a rebuke to belle lettrism. Yet, the idea is obvious."<BR>> > =
<BR>>=20
> "The objective correlative...is an account of the artist=20
straining<BR>> > to objectify and embody his subjective inner =
murk --=20
his buried life."<BR>> > <BR>> > It's worthwhile perusing=20
pp.133-136 of T.S. ELIOT by Craig Raine <BR>> > (p.133 para =
beginning=20
"As for repetition...") online at<BR>> > <BR>> >=20
=
http://books.google.com/books?id=3DCnnX6jlFUfEC&pg=3DPA133&lpg=3D=
PA133&dq<BR>>=20
> <BR>> > CR<BR>> > --- On Sun, 12/28/08, Carrol Cox=20
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:<BR>> > From: Carrol Cox=20
<[log in to unmask]>Subject: Re: The patterns in TSE's<BR>> > =

carpetTo: [log in to unmask]: Sunday, December 28, 2008, 9:08=20
PMTom<BR>> > Colket quotes: "...apart from a few notorious =
phrases which=20
have had<BR>> > a truly embarrassing success in the =
world"<BR>> >=20
<BR>> > Indeed Eliot had every reason to be embarassed about =
almost all=20
of those<BR>> > phrses. I imagine the damage they did is slowly =
dying=20
out (having for<BR>> > the most part been confined to my =
'generation"=20
and the preceding ones,<BR>> > with only a scattering of younger =
critics=20
poisoned. Probably the worst<BR>> > (and perhaps most notorious) =
was the=20
objective correlative, the bizarre<BR>> > idea that any =
delection of=20
objects or events could mechanically evoke a<BR>> > specific =
emotion. At=20
some point in his early life Eliot must have been<BR>> > tainted =
without=20
being quite conscious of the fact with the vulgarities<BR>> > of =
late=20
19th-century positivism! Just the facts, Maam! Just the =
formula<BR>> >=20
for the emotion.<BR>> > <BR>> > Carrol<BR>> > =
<BR>> >=20
=
_________________________________________________________________<BR>>=
>=20
Send e-mail anywhere. No map, no compass.<BR>> ><BR><BR></P><BR>
<HR>
It=92s the same Hotmail=AE. If by =93same=94 you mean up to 70% =
faster. <A=20
=
href=3D"http://windowslive.com/online/hotmail?ocid=3DTXT_TAGLM_WL_hotmail=
_acq_broad1_122008"=20
target=3D_new>Get your account now.</A>=20
<P>
<HR>

<P></P>No virus found in this incoming message.<BR>Checked by AVG.=20
<BR>Version: 7.5.552 / Virus Database: 270.10.2 - Release Date: =
1/1/2009 12:00=20
AM<BR></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>

------=_NextPart_000_00F9_01C970E2.8FEB4490--


----- End forwarded message -----