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On Feb 10, 2010, at 2:33 AM, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>  
wrote:

> The following rather reminded me of Prufrock:
>
> >>           I may be schizophrenic,
> >>           but at least I have each other.
> :)
> P.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Diana Manister
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2010 5:51 AM
> Subject: Re: Prufrock question (Eliot interview citation)
>
> Dear Tom,
>
> I'm sorry my exasperation with readings that attribute a single  
> meaning to Eliot's poems reached critical mass when I read your post.
>
> Prufrock is multi-layered to the extent that any reading must accept  
> its indeterminacy. That is what makes it great poetry. To assert  
> that it is "a poem about sexuality" reduces its implications.
>
> The libido in Freud is the life-force, not simply lust. The life- 
> force comprises sensuality in all its connectedness to nature and  
> intimacy with others.
>
> As we know, Eliot rarely found happy love with men or women. He  
> didn't know how to be casually close to others. (When he married  
> Valerie, he didn't bother to tell his longtime roomate for instance,  
> he just left their apartment and told the maid he was leaving.)
>
> Best,
>
> Diana
>
> Sent from my iPod
>
> On Feb 8, 2010, at 11:47 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> There is plenty of evidence for readings of Eliot's work as about  
>> homosexual desire: that is why so many critics have done it.  (On  
>> Prufrock, see, for example, pp. 152-59 in James Miller's T. S.  
>> Eliot: The Making of an American Poet, Penn State, 2005.) I don't  
>> think, Tom, that there is ever any reason for feeling a chilling  
>> effect when so many others on the list are simply overtly sneering  
>> or rude on a regular basis; it means nothing about you.  And your  
>> views have the great value of being based on reading the text.
>>
>> But I don't think Diana meant it as it may have sounded to you.  I  
>> don't know the magazine, and it may be crude, but the question of  
>> whether it is sexuality or some more idealized notion of love in  
>> the poem is also valid.  The use of "To His Coy Mistress" evokes  
>> overt sexuality in any case.
>>
>> One suggestion for it, by the way, Diana, is that the original  
>> epigraph      is the lines from Arnaut Daniel, who is in Purgatory  
>> for the sin of hermaphrodites.   Or see the following:
>>
>>
>> Burgwinkle, William E., 1951-
>> "The Form of Our Desire": Arnaut Daniel and the Homoerotic Subject  
>> in Dante's Commedia
>> GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies - Volume 10, Number 4,  
>> 2004, pp. 565-597
>>
>> Duke University Press
>>
>> William E. Burgwinkle - "The Form of Our Desire": Arnaut Daniel and  
>> the Homoerotic Subject in Dante's Commedia - GLQ: A Journal of  
>> Lesbian and Gay Studies 10:4 GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay  
>> Studies 10.4 (2004) 565-597 "The Form of Our Desire" Arnaut Daniel  
>> and the Homoerotic Subject in Dante's Commedia William Burgwinkle  
>> Fame . . . without it man wastes Burgwinkle, William E., 1951-
>> "The Form of Our Desire": Arnaut Daniel and the Homoerotic Subject  
>> in Dante's Commedia
>> GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies - Volume 10, Number 4,  
>> 2004, pp. 565-597
>>
>> Duke University Press
>>
>> William E. Burgwinkle - "The Form of Our Desire": Arnaut Daniel and  
>> the Homoerotic Subject in Dante's Commedia - GLQ: A Journal of  
>> Lesbian and Gay Studies 10:4 GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay  
>> Studies 10.4 (2004) 565-597 "The Form of Our Desire" Arnaut Daniel  
>> and the Homoerotic Subject in Dante's Commedia William Burgwinkle  
>> Fame . . . without it man wastes his life away, leaving such traces  
>> of what he was on earth as smoke in the wind and foam upon the  
>> water" (Inferno 24.49-51). With these words, echoing both Brunetto  
>> Latini's appeal to eternal fame in Inferno 15 ("You [Brunetto]  
>> taught me [Dante the pilgrim] how man makes himself eternal" [85])  
>> and Arnaut Daniel's poetic identification with lost labor and the  
>> ineffable ("I am Arnaut, who gathers the wind, and chases the hare  
>> with an ox, and swims against the rising tide" [29, 10, ll.  
>> 43-45]), Virgil urges Dante, the weary pilgrim, into action in  
>> Inferno 24. This filiation, from the Occitan troubadour Arnaut  
>> Daniel to Dante's teacher, Brunetto Latini, and ultimately to Dante  
>> himself and his fictional pilgrim, traces a literary and emotional  
>> genealogy in Dante's Commedia that is either explicitly linked with  
>> the sin of sodomy or marked by a dense field of homoerotic imagery.  
>> As Bruce W. Holsinger argues so convincingly in a groundbreaking  
>> study of the topic, it is about time we take seriously "Dante's own  
>> entanglement in this sodomitical web," a web in which pedagogy and  
>> desire are inextricably linked....his life away, leaving such  
>> traces of what he was on earth as      smoke in the wind and foam  
>> upon the water" (Inferno 24.49-51). With these words, echoing both  
>> Brunetto Latini's appeal to eternal fame in Inferno 15 ("You  
>> [Brunetto] taught me [Dante the pilgrim] how man makes himself  
>> eternal" [85]) and Arnaut Daniel's poetic identification with lost  
>> labor and the ineffable ("I am Arnaut, who gathers the wind, and  
>> chases the hare with an ox, and swims against the rising tide" [29,  
>> 10, ll. 43-45]), Virgil urges Dante, the weary pilgrim, into action  
>> in Inferno 24. This filiation, from the Occitan troubadour Arnaut  
>> Daniel to Dante's teacher, Brunetto Latini, and ultimately to Dante  
>> himself and his fictional pilgrim, traces a literary and emotional  
>> genealogy in Dante's Commedia that is either explicitly linked with  
>> the sin of sodomy or marked by a dense field of homoerotic imagery.  
>> As Bruce W. Holsinger argues so convincingly in a groundbreaking  
>> study of the topic, it is about time we take seriously "Dante's own  
>> entanglement in this sodomitical web," a web in which pedagogy and  
>> desire are inextricably linked....
>>
>> [I have not looked up the whole article; it is just easy to find  
>> the topic.]
>> Cheers,
>> Nancy
>> >>> Tom Colket 02/08/10 10:53 PM >>>
>> Diana wrote:
>> D> Tom,
>> D> Why do you characterize "a love song" as "a poem about sexuality?"
>> D> You make it sound like Screw magazine.
>> D>
>> D> And what in the text leads you to the conclusion that the  
>> speaker is
>> D> conscious of his homosexual impulses? I'm not saying it's not a  
>> valid interpretation,
>> D> I would just like to see what it's based on.
>> D>
>> D> Lonely men in shirtsleeves leaning out of windows could be widows,
>> D> drunks who's wives and girlfriends turned them out, or men many  
>> other
>> D> situations including homosexuality. Likewise, happy men  
>> surrounded by friends
>> D> could also be homosexuals!
>>
>> Diana:
>>
>> I need to make two totally unrelated points here.
>>
>> Firstly, as I mentioned to Nancy, I'm recovering from a fairly  
>> serious illness right now. I will be happy to briefly put together  
>> my arguments about a homosexual      reading of Prufrock and why I  
>> think the text supports this throughout the poem. You've already  
>> seen bits and pieces of my reading, but it might be more useful to  
>> see it all in one place. I'll try to get this done before the end  
>> of February, but I am not up to it just now.
>>
>> Unrelated to that, I'd like to make another point. I find it very  
>> odd that list members use (what is to my ears) language that  
>> exposes other listers to unnecessary embarrassment for a choice of  
>> words or a particular expression of an idea. When I said that  
>> Eliot's "love song" is a poem about sexuality, is it really fair to  
>> reply that "You make it sound like Screw magazine"? Maybe it's a  
>> generational thing, as I am in my mid-50s and I think from your  
>> past posts about what you are working on that you are decades  
>> younger. I just can't imagine saying something that like to someone  
>> in the middle of a poetry discussion. I was embarrassed by the  
>> remark, and I imagine it has a chilling effect on others thinking  
>> of sharing their ideas on the list.
>>
>> Anyway, as I said, I will try to write up a brief Prufrock post as  
>> soon as I'm able.
>>
>> -- Tom --
>>
>>
>> Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 15:26:01 +0000
>> From: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: Prufrock question (Eliot interview citation)
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>
>> Tom,
>>
>> Why do you characterize "a love song" as "a poem about sexuality?"  
>> You make it sound like Screw magazine.
>>
>> And what in the text leads you to the conclusion that the speaker  
>> is conscious of his homosexual impulses? I'm not saying it's not a  
>> valid interpretation, I would just like to see what it's based on.
>>
>> Lonely men in shirtsleeves leaning out of windows could be widows,  
>> drunks who's wives and girlfriends turned them out, or men many  
>> other situations including homosexuality. Likewise, happy men  
>> surrounded by friends could also be homosexuals!
>>
>> Diana
>>
>>
>> > The Listers, I hope, would have no such misgivings about "old men  
>> in shirt sleeves" if they perused my reading of the poem at
>> >
>> > http://books.google.com/books?id=GPZHywxqWoAC&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq#v=onepage&q=&f=false
>> >
>> > It might dispel many another misgiving, hopefully.
>> >
>> > Regards,
>> > CR
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > --- On Mon, 2/8/10, Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > > Nancy wrote:
>> > > N> I am now wondering about the function of the
>> > > epigraph. . .
>> > >
>> > > N> Does the choice of the circle of fraud reveal or
>> > > evoke something about Prufrock?
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > I know my Prufrock readings have not gotten much traction
>> > > on this list, but let me give you a reply for your
>> > > consideration. //In a poem about sexuality (a "love
>> > > song"), the epigraph may hint that Prufrock considers
>> > > himself to be a "sexual fraud", in that he has
>> > > homoerotic desires even as he      journeys "among the
>> > > women". Remember those "lonely men in shirt
>> > > sleeves, leaning out of windows".//
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > -- Tom --
>> >
>> > >
>> > > Date: Sun, 7 Feb 2010 23:06:57 -0500
>> > > From: [log in to unmask]
>> > > Subject: Re: Prufrock question (Eliot interview citation)
>> > > To: [log in to unmask]
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > I am now wondering about the function of the
>> > > epigraph.  I have long assumed I had figured out a
>> > > reason for it in the need to somehow articulate the meaning
>> > > of being in Hell (note also the two Lazarus stories, making
>> > > three characters who died and could have revealed the
>> > > afterworld but could not or did not).  Eliot's
>> > > epigraphs do not simply chunk another story down in a poem
>> > > whole: they may evoke mood or topic or emotion rather
>> > > than story.  But I am wondering now if the issue of
>> > > treachery or fraud is relevant also.  I had not
>> > > before focussed on the fact that Guido is in that
>> > > circle or that he wants both to conceal and reveal his
>> > > own sin--and cleverness.
>> > >
>> > > Does the choice of the circle of fraud reveal or evoke
>> > > something about Prufrock?
>> > > N
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
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