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It is not unknown for people to retain memories of being in the womb.
Peter
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Marcia Karp
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 6:46 AM
Subject: Re: Waste Land Sex

Not if the poet is revealing something that would never have occurred to others.  He forces you to consider the matters of responsibility and of human life in a new way.

I guess we just disagree.

Best,
Marcia

Diana Manister wrote:
[log in to unmask] type="cite"> Dear Marcia,
 
"My tall husband" is not redundant.
 
However, unless a foetus can be responsible, or imagined to be responsible, or could sanely be described as possessed of any tiny degree of responsibility for anything at all, "irresponsible foetus" is redundant.
 
Diana
 

Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 10:16:25 -0400
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Waste Land Sex
To: [log in to unmask]

They might be redundant, but not necessarily so.  If you don't know my husband, and I say "I love my tall husband," I'm not (necessarily) comparing him to my short one.  I'm being descriptive.  I don't know about you, but I don't see how "irresponsible fœtus" is at all redundant.  It is illuminating.

Best,
Marcia

Diana Manister wrote:
[log in to unmask]> "Irresponsible foetus" and "hot sun" should be sent to the Department of Redundancy Department.
 
Diana
 

Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 18:09:28 -0400
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Waste Land Sex
To: [log in to unmask]

Funny thing about modifiers in English.  Do they describe?  Do they invite comparisons?  Serve mixed functions?

It is true that a fœtus has no responsibilities, so, just as it is accurate to say "the hot sun" without the necessity that it is ever cool or that there are other suns that are, it is accurate to say "an irresponsible fœtus," as long as one grants that a-responsibility is irresponsibility.  (Not sure I do.)  And then there is the rather creepy matter of a laughing one.  But I don't there is an ambivalence in the phrase as to the function of the adjective, unlike in "free-thinking Jews," the phrase that was all the rage here recently, where there is one or more of Empson's ambivalences.

Best,
Marcia



Diana Manister wrote:
[log in to unmask]> Dear CR:
 
First of all, I'd like to know how any foetus could be responsible.
 



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