D> Why do you characterize "a love song" as "a poem about sexuality?"
D> You make it sound like Screw magazine.
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> 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!
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]
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!
> The Listers, I hope, would have no such misgivings about "old men in shirt sleeves" if they perused my reading of the poem at
> It might dispel many another misgiving, hopefully.
> --- 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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