Print

Print


Gerontion may be an old man, but he/it certainly is also something else, 
perhaps two or three something elses, a house of a certain sort with 
windy spaces for sure. So packing the whole emotional content into one 
Geron may not make a true, or at least a final, yield. In a way, a 
Gerontion is the diminutive of Geron, so Gerontion could be a knock-off 
of a little old man, a small something made by man.

Peter Montgomery wrote:
> Well he seems to be a frustrated old man who has literally
> lost his senses. I feel so much irony in what he says, but  that is
> just the effect it has for me.
>   
  But irony and frustration in Gerontion's words are not the same as TSE 
mocking, although he seems to be qualifying the thought of many poets 
and philosophers here. That he is doing it in an age of unbelief has to 
constitute some of the ground of the poem and therefore some of the 
effect. As McLuhan observed, just making an observation about something 
in the descendent comes off as criticism, while about the ascendent the 
effect is praise, even though in both cases it is neutral observation.
> Then there is the fact that he is not using a standard Christian image.
> Christ is
> usually associated with the lion as a king image.
>   
   Blake's Tiger broke that ground, though, so the effect of TSE using 
Tiger here is not in its innovation.
> The tiger has a vicious, emotional character, the kind of thing that
> is dead in Gerry.
   Yes, but again, what kind of person is it who sits and listens to a 
boy reading  --SANS ALL SENSES? The kind who is not a man, right?
>  There is a certain fatalistic quality.
> Us he devours once and for all, the whole sinful human race, down
> the gullet all at once present, past and future.
>
> The idea of a similar tiger doing a similar thing in our modern
> culture rather appeals, even though it's already been done, once for all.
>   
   OK, so I've gotta ask: isn't this somewhat like taking a sign for a 
wonder?

  I'm still grappling with that "changing human nature" thing.
   
 Yrs.
 Ken
> "Christ who had no sin, became sin for us."
>
> Cheers,
> Peter
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Ken Armstrong" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 4:22 PM
> Subject: Re: 'Gerontion' -- the dramatic arc
>
>
>   
>>   Peter,
>>
>>   Do you think he's mocking it? Yes or no make very different poems.
>>
>>   Is it that human nature is transformed?
>>
>>   My impression, just to be out front, is that it is an unmocking, or
>> rather unmocked, Christian vision at work in Gerontion.
>>
>>   Ken
>> //
>> Peter Montgomery wrote:
>>     
>>> Thanks Ken. It doesn't mean that Eliot believed that; he just understood
>>>       
> the
>   
>>> theology very clearly, and was perhaps mocking it.
>>>
>>> That he later came to believe it creates an interesting shadow effect.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>       
>>>> ...this is very nice
>>>> Peter, and makes sense in a number of ways. Christ the Tiger thus
>>>> assimilates us to the Body of Christ. In Eliot, the way up and the way
>>>> down are often the same, and what appears to be a negative has an
>>>> ostensibly positive import.
>>>>
>>>> Peter Montgomery wrote:
>>>>
>>>>         
>>>>> I suspect that the tiger's pouncing in spring is Jesus' resurrection.
>>>>> In overcoming death, he devours the old man and transforms
>>>>> human nature into something new which actually participates in
>>>>> the divine nature as adopted sons of God.
>>>>>
>>>>> Jesus did say at one point in one of the gospels, "You are as gods."
>>>>>
>>>>> Hope that adds some zest to your being munched.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>       
>
>