He may be defrauding himself of his virtues/strengths.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Chokh Raj 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2010 8:44 PM
  Subject: Re: Prufrock question (Eliot interview citation)

        It struck me as well -- the relevance of the circle of fraud in hell -- but only in respect of the women in 'Prufrock'.  Prufrock, like Lazarus or John the Baptist, would like to (though he finds himself lacking in courage) tell them about their state of sinfulness (in a life of lust rather than love), afraid that they will deny the truth saying, this is not it at all etc. He does not know if they are in a state of ignorance (sleep) or they affect ignorance. Fraud (concealment & cleverness) is thus evident in the women who surround him.

        I find no evidence that the fraud (concealment/cleverness) obtains in respect of Prufrock
        -- of course, he is too keenly aware of his frailties and his alienation from the state of beatitude he envisions in the mermaids.


        --- On Sun, 2/7/10, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

          From: Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
          Subject: Re: Prufrock question (Eliot interview citation)
          To: [log in to unmask]
          Date: Sunday, February 7, 2010, 11:06 PM

          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?

          >>> Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> 02/07/10 10:40 PM >>> 
          This seems about right, but also consider it in the light of the title 
          of Auerbach's book, _Dante, Poet of the Secular World_. Fraud, in this 
          world, aims at concealing itself -- but the really expert fraud often 
          longs to be known for his/her clevergness. And Dante (the poet) ofcourse 
          is not committing the rather ominous sin of claiming to know the future 
          (i.e. his personal salvation) or aiming to read God's mind by predicting 
          who God will damn, who save. So the whole poem is not blasphemous only 
          on the grunds of its _really_ being about _this_ world, where Dante (the 
          poet or the character) like anyone else is free to make whategver 
          political or moral or historical judgments seem true to him. Here of 
          course the _brunt_ of the tale falls on the Pope, and we remember that 
          Dante was a lifetime enemy of the Pope exercising political power. This 
          back-and-forth between Montefeltro & the Pope, Dante & Montefeltro, 
          DAnte and the Papacy, creates the typical tangle in Dante of various 
          elements scaping against each other and thereby necessitating recourse 
          to the allegorical or higher level to reconcile everything. Fraud (the 
          abstraction) becomes _visible_ in this Canto (and the whole poem, and 
          the epistemology it was grounded in, assume that the abstract must be 
          grasped in the visible. We are in the presence of an Aristotelian 
          substantial form, Fraud, which exists only as it is embodied in the 
          concrete -- and that involves the reader (You in the little dinghy 
          astern there in Pound's translation) in that move with Dante towards the 
          final vixion (the divine embodied in the visible) that he cannot hold on 
          to as he sinks back into the realm of the stars. 


          > Nancy Gish wrote: 
          > da Montefeltro is in the circle of fraud; he is defined by treachery. 
          > But in his own story he claims he was talked into it by Pope Boniface 
          > in the belief that he was cleansed of guilt in advance and found out 
          > his own damnation in horror. Sayers notes that those in the circle of 
          > fraud generally do not want their stories told. 
          > I'm not a Dante scholar, but I think the entire Canto is significant 
          > for why he does not want his story told. He does not realize that 
          > Dante is alive of course, and he imagines his shame safe from the 
          > world. But he tells it as a story of shame and treachery that he 
          > believed he was absolved of when he did it. That he is still guilty 
          > does not change his own sense of what he did and why. He wants to 
          > justify himself in this story, but he does not want to be known for 
          > the way he sinned. 
          > Nancy 
          > >>> "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]> 02/07/10 6:13 PM >>> 
          > Peter Montgomery wrote: 
          > > From: "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]> 
          > > 
          > > As for Montefeltro I find it interesting that Dante (the poet,) 
          > > who had God place him in Hell for eternal suffering, still had him 
          > > worrying what others thought of him. 
          > > ====================================== 
          > > That is his suffering. 
          > > P. 
          > > 
          > Maybe it is his hope. If the living knew his deeds then 
          > they may cease to pray for his soul. Would it make a 
          > difference for Montefeltro. Probably not in Dante's Hell 
          > but it may make a difference in the petitioners' fates. 
          > Regards, 
          > Rick Parker