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Diana

Wouldn't see Eugenides as a rapist at all - just as another example of
dysfunctional / broken sexual relationships.

regards

David

On 10 May 2010 19:03, Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>  Whether Eugenides is a rapist or not would not alter his status as a
> nomad who travels from culture to culture, as a merchant required to learn
> each one's customs and language. His alleged rape would not remove him from
> the category of foreigner adopting personae to fit into cultures not his
> own.
>
> However, he certainly didn't jump the speaker at their first meeting, but
> at a location at which they would have agreed to meet. The speaker in TWL
> doesn't sound as if he were interested in seeing Eugenides again.
>
> If such a rape were a leitmotif or subtext of that part of the poem why
> would the allusion be heterosexual in nature? Surely some classical
> homosexual reference would have been more appropriate.
>
> Diana
> Sent from my iPod
>
> On May 9, 2010, at 10:53 PM, Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>   Nancy wrote:
> N> How can one assert absolutely who misjudges or if anyone does?
>
> Diana was the one who wrote of a misjudgment, so I cannot address that.
>
> As to the Eugenides lines themselves, I don't think, as Diana states,
> that they are there to show that "Eugenides has to adopt new personae as he
> travels around from culture to culture". As I discussed last year, in my
> reading, Eugenides is a homosexual rapist who sexually assaults the
> narrator.
>
> My evidence:
>
> 1) The Eugenides lines are sandwiched between a description of the rape of
> Philomela and the rape of the typist.
>
> 2) As Southam says, the Metropole is a "fashionable luxury hotel at
> Brighton, on the south coast of England, sixty miles from London. A
> 'week-end at Brighton' is understood colloquially as an invitation carrying
> sexual implications."
>
> 3) Madame Sosostris says, "And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this
> card,/Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,/Which I am
> forbidden to see." What he 'carries on his back' that she is 'forbidden to
> see' is his homosexuality (see item '2' above).
>
> 4) The one-eyed merchant is one of only a few characters explicitly
> mentioned by Madame Sosostris. Note that characters such as Marie, Stetson,
> the Thames daughters, etc., are _not_ mentioned, but Eugenides is. He has
> importance to the narrator on par with Phlebas and Belladonna. I believe
> this importance comes from the fact that he is the narrator's rapist.
>
> 5)A few lines in the facsimile edition, referring to the "ghastly hill of
> Cannon Street", make the Eugenides' assault much more explicit. These lines
> were not published in the final version, although the episode can still be
> inferred by a close reading with just the published lines. The facsimile
> edition has the lines:
>
> =====================
> (Philomela is raped)
>
> Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
> . . .
> Asked me . . .
> To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
> Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.
> . . .
> (Typist is raped)
> . . .
> (Narrator envisions himself as Tiresias, observing the typist rape. This is
> a poetic device to allow the narrator as 'Tiresias' to recall his own rape,
> saying:
>
> And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
> Enacted on this same divan or bed . . . )
> . . .
>
> (Typist is observed after the rape)
>
> She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
> And puts a record on the gramophone.
>
> "This music crept by me upon the waters"
> And along the Strand, and up the ghastly hill of Cannon Street,
> Fading at last, behind my flying feet
> ==========================
>
> Cannon Street is now 'ghastly' because something makes him recall his rape
> by Eugenides (perhaps some music heard along the Strand that was heard
> during the rape), as he runs away from the Cannon Street Hotel where the
> incident took place.
>
> -- Tom --
>
> P.S. For those who think The Waste Land is (at least partly)
> autobiographical, I quote these remarks from B.C. Southham, "A guide to the
> selected poems of T. S,. Eliot", sixth edition (p170):
>
> ==========================
> The events described here actually happened. John Peale Bishop reported:
> 'Mr Eugenides actually turned up at Lloyds with his pocket full of currants
> and asked Eliot to spend a weekend with him for no nice reasons . . .'
>
> Years later Eliot told an inquirer that while working in  the City he had
> in fact received such an invitation from an unshaven man from Smyrna with
> currants in his pockets.
> ==========================
>
>
> ------------------------------
> Date: Sun, 9 May 2010 13:51:47 -0400
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Mr. Eugenides
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
> I think you are not clear because the text is not definitive.  It could be
> any or all of these.  What is known is that he is a merchant with dried
> fruit and that the proposition--at that time--involved a place known for gay
> encounters.  Eliot claimed not to have been thinking of that, but then he
> said many things at many times, one being that he was only one reader of his
> own work.  The text still says what does regardless of whether he was
> somehow totally unaware of those connotations (probably pretty unlikely),
> and the text only reports the encounter, not the meaning.  How can one
> assert absolutely who misjudges or if anyone does?
> Nancy
>
> >>> Terry Traynor 05/09/10 12:52 PM >>>
> In the exchange below, I'm not clear about who is supposed to be doing the
> misjudgement. Is it that:
> a) Mr. Eugenides misjudges the narrator in thinking that a stranger would
> want to spend a weekend with him?
> b) The narrator misjudges Mr. Eugenides in thinking that Mr. Eugenides is
> propositioning him?
> c) The reader misjudges the text in not realizing that Mr. Eugenides is
> propositioning the narrator?
>
> > the change in languages, the misjudgement of a stranger's
> > interest on spending a weekend with him,
> > possibly as a failure of adaptation, everything about Eugenides
> > says he is displaced and trying to prevail in a foreign culture.
>
> > Why do you say there is a "misjudgement" of a stranger's interest
> > on spending a weekend with the narrator? What in the text says
> > that Mr. Eugenides is not propositioning the narrator when he asks
> > him to lunch at the Cannon Street Hotel followed by a weekend at
> > the Metropole?
>
> Terry
>
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