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Peter, "sneaked," please!

lol

Diana

Sent from my iPod

On May 25, 2010, at 7:36 AM, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>  
wrote:

> Baudelaire snuck into CVhricyianity through the back door.
> The savage's life is not horrible tothe savage, but the
> civilised man becoming (reverting?) to savagery experiences
> a deep sense of depravity, not a savagery. I seriously doubt
> that Eliot would have seen 's state as savage. It was
> obviously and patently an obsession. Savages are not obsessed.
>
> In fact K had probably gone over the edge to possession, or hell.
> I wonder if he would have met Baudelaire along the way.
>
> P.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Nancy Gish
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Monday, May 24, 2010 12:51 PM
> Subject: Re: Mr. Eugenides
>
> Heart of Darkness is all about the ironic falseness of any notion of  
> "civilized."  In the name of civilization, Kurtz goes into Africa  
> ostensibly to bring light to darkness but--in fact and from the  
> outset--to bring out the white (light) ivory to the dark moving  
> Thames.  The "savages" are unclear because we never do and can never  
> can know how they acted before Kurtz came, but whatever it was,  
> however violent or cruel, we have no reason to think it was about  
> being "civilized" in any Western sense.  So the book is about  
> hypocrisy and brutality and self-deception on the part of white  
> Europe.  This is hardly even interpretation: Conrad's symbolism is  
> very overt and explicit, as when he shows a dying African with a  
> white thread around his neck or when Marlow realizes how he too  
> could be drawn into the emotion of the scene when he follows Kurtz  
> into a ritual or when he shows the heads on poles around Kurtz's  
> compound--and especially when he lies to Kurtz's Intended, thereby  
> upholding what he knows is not true while always recalling and  
> contemplating "The Horror! The Horror."
>
> But Eliot would have seen this as savage.  He was very interested in  
> and used imagery of what he considered "savage," and the dominant  
> psychology of the day assumed a "primitive" and a "civilized" human  
> development.  Vittoz, who treated Eliot, even claimed there were two  
> brains, the primitive and the civilized, and that neurasthenia  
> (Eliot's diagnosis) occured when the civilized brain lost control of  
> the primitive brain.  The solution was those exercises in regaining  
> control through concentration.  Compare, for example, the way Mr.  
> Hyde is called    ape-like, and the assumptions of criminal "types,"  
> as in Lombroso:
>
> HE [Lombroso] BEGAN WITH THE BASIC ASSUMPTION OF THE BIOLOGICAL  
> NATURE OF HUMAN CHARACTER AND BEHAVIOR:
> A. HE FIRST CONCEIVED OF THE CRIMINAL AS A THROWBACK TO A MORE  
> PRIMITIVE TYPE OF BRAIN STRUCTURE, AND
> These ideas permeated all kinds of disciplines, and Eliot not only  
> was familiar with them but chose a psychologist who wrote a book  
> defining them.
>
> Nancy
>
>
>
> >>> Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> 05/24/10 10:56 AM >>>
> I note that this post overlaps my post. Lots here to work out.
>
> Carrol
>
> Diana Manister wrote:
> >
> > Dear Peter,
> >
> > By de-civilized I meant less civilized than previously. Not
> > uncivilized. Europe's sense of itself as Enlightened could not be
> > maintained after the mutual butchery and unethical practices of  
> the war.
> >
> > But Kurtz is a paradigm or symbol for de-civilization. It's the
> > book's main theme to which all sub-themes and leitmotifs relate.
> >
> > Thanks for thinking of that.
> >
> > Diana
> >
> > Sent from my iPod
> >
> > On May 24, 2010, at 2:16 AM, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Eliot was a big fan of THE HEART OF DARKNESS.
> > >
> > > Is Kurtz de-civilised?
> > >
> > > Mr. Civilisation, he dead!
> > >
> > > P.
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
> > > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > > Sent: Sunday, May 23, 2010 7:19 AM
> > > Subject: Re: Mr. Eugenides
> > >
> > >
> > >> Diana Manister wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>> Peter,
> > >>>
> > >>> Yes dehumanized. De-civilized too, if you will,
> > >>
> > >> "decivilized" (which is also not Eliot's word) is an even more
> > >> inappropriate metaphor than dehumanized. The behavior of the  
> clerk is
> > >> only possible within civilization! For one thing, even in a
> > >> pre-capitalist class societies she would not have been living  
> alone
> > >> or
> > >> preparing her own meal. Those tins involved international  
> commerce.
> > >> Moreover, the entire episode presupposes the atomized social
> > >> relations
> > >> which appeared embryonically in the 175th-c (and Milton with  
> amazing
> > >> prescience grasped) and      only fully (and only in England &  
> the U.S.)
> > >> in
> > >> the 19th-c. They were only beginning to develop in France &  
> Germany
> > >> (and
> > >> this enters into the causes of WW1).
> > >>
> > >> So whatever the young man and woman are or are not, they are  
> highly
> > >> civilized -- and surely Eliot had enough of an historical sense  
> and
> > >> was
> > >> precise enough in his language (even the silent language of  
> thought
> > >> and
> > >> intention) that he would never have seen these characters as
> > >> de-ciivilized. These vague, sloppy categories introduced by  
> readers
> > >> rather than the poem trivialize the whole poem.
> > >>
> > >> Carrolk
> > >