Fascinatng. Thans Rickard. It is curious that no one wants to see the parallel between Eliot's "you and me" and Dante's Aenaid and Dante. What's the epigraph for, if not to set the scene. If the parallel of pairs doesn't work, then why should one consider a parallel with hell either. It is of course, possible that Eliot was having the reporters on, and pointed to the word "persona" in the original just as a red herring. Cheers, Peter ----- Original Message ----- From: "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]> To: <[log in to unmask]> Sent: Monday, February 01, 2010 5:42 PM Subject: Re: Prufrock question (Eliot interview citation) Diana Manister wrote: > Dear Nancy, > > I'll google these clues; maybe I can track down the 1962 interview; I > think I have Southam among my books on Eliot. If not, I can get a used > copy. Likewise with Lifton. Please don't spend any time locating the > xerox; the net is faster. Don't bother. I started myself when I read Nancy's email and found it before I read yours. At http://feltre.iulm.it/document_loader.aspx?idDocument=19650 is this note: But in 1962 Eliot said: “ Prufrock was partly a dramatic creation of a man of about forty … and partly an expression of feeling of my own […] I feel that dramatic characters who seem living creations have something of the author in them” (T.S.Eliot…An Interview” Granite Review, XXIV, 3 (1962) 17 (R. Bush: 241-42) See also http://www.englishteacher.com.au/downloads/mETAphor200702.pdf (search for 1962). The article looks like a decent one to read but I haven't gotten to that yet. See also "Words Alone" by Denis Donoghue pp. 7-8 There is a minor difficulty with "you." Eliot told Kristian Smidt that the "you" is "merely some friend or companion, presumably of the male sex, whom the speaker is at that moment addressing, and that it has no emotional content whatever." But in an interview in 1962 he said that Prufrock was a man of about forty and in part himself and that he was using the theory of the split personality. This is a better hint, especially as it allows us to take "you" as a second self removed from the first—as in Conrad's "The Secret Sharer"—and fulfilling another mode of being, admonitory though silent. It is typical of Eliot to exert critical pressure on the matter in hand by establishing another scale of reference, another perspective. But some of the invocations to "you" in "Prufrock" are perfunctory, they hardly mean more than "one." It is hard to believe that the "We" at the end, "We have lingered ...," includes more than Prufrock's sole if notional self. I take it as a last flourish of the plural of majesty before the drowning.