The consistent presumption, Ken, that there is a single truth in Eliot and that you alone know it beyond question makes discussion pointless. Diana describes very accurately the tone of the narrator, and the claim that the Jew is Jesus could, I would think, be thought even blasphemous (if one accepts this category, as I do not): to call Jesus one who is "spawned" and who "squats" is astonishingly antithetical to his entire meaning. I think it would be well to look up the connotations--not that I care how you view Jesus.
But the real issue is this pronouncement that Diana simply knows nothing; it is very different from a rational or useful discussion. And Eliot, after all, made very clear that he was only one reader of his work, not the only one to understand. He never pretended to be the sole arbiter of his own meanings. He even denied understanding his own dissertation, and he repudiated the notes when he was older.
>>> Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]
> 02/27/10 8:53 PM >>>
DIana Manister wrote:
> Dear Ken,
> Multiform ambiguity occurs as the writer's unintended meanings distort
> his ostensible intent.
> The narrator of Gerontion is unreliable in a conventional way, in that
> his self-characterizations are undermined by implications of which the
> author is unaware.
Not a chance, Diana. What you take to be his deficient attitude is
more in your eye. Eliot's prediction of how these poems would be taken
is as accurate today as it was 90 years ago.