It is the secular world.
P.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Chokh Raj
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2011 7:01 AM
Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's Poetry

What a coincidence, then, that in The Waste Land's Burial of the Dead, the Tarot cards
point to "the one-eyed merchant", as well as "the drowned Phoenician Sailor", and sound
an ominous warning, "Fear death by water". Not without the backdrop, the larger context,
however, of "I do not find The Hanged Man" and "here the Wheel".  
 
Slowly, but surely, there is a sense of arrival, I guess.
 
CR


From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 10:42 PM
Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's Poetry

What a sad fate. Even this fragment moved me to tears. Thus it must have moved Eliot,
I imagine, when he'd have come upon this terrible account of Bleistein's death by water.
So much, indeed, that he wrote a dirge on it.
 
cf. Phlebas, the Phoenician's death by water as described in 'Dans le Restaurant'.
Here's a translation:
 
"Phlebas, the Phoenician, for fifteen days drowned,
 Forgot the cry of gulls and the swell off Cornwall,
 And the profit and the loss, and the cargo of tin:
 A current under sea carried him far back,
 He passed the stages of his past life.
 //Imagine then, it was a painful fate;//
 And yet, he was once a handsome and very tall man."
 
CR

From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 9:41 PM
Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's Poetry

I come upon, at Wikipedia on Eliot, the opening lines of "Dirge" that formed part of
the facsimile edition of TWL. I haven't read the whole piece. But this little excerpt
hints at Bleistein's possible history of death by water I was referring to. 
 
"Full fathom five your Bleistein lies[I]
 Under the flatfish and the squids.
 Graves' Disease in a dead Jew's eyes!
 Where the crabs have eat the lids" 
 
I'll get back on this after I've read 'Dirge' -- in a day or so, hopefully.
 
Regards,
CR

From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2011 8:36 AM
Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's Poetry

Eliot's poetry and the transmutation of facts into artifacts
 
There is ample evidence that shows the factual basis of Eliot's poetry --
that shows how certain 'facts' are carried alive into the poet's imagination
and composed into poetry.
 
Thus, 'Prufrock 1917' is the result of certain 'Observations'.
 
And, in TWL, the incidences of the poet's encounter with Marie, with the 'Hyacinth girl',
of Lil as narrated by the maid servant, the antarctic team's illusion of 'the third' etc. etc.
 
//I'm more and more convinced of the possibility of some such factual basis of "Bleistein".//
 
CR
 

From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2011 12:59 AM
Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's Poetry

But this or such was Bleistein’s way: 
  A saggy bending of the knees 
And elbows, with the palms turned out,  
  Chicago Semite Viennese. 
 
A lustreless protrusive eye 
  Stares from the protozoic slime 
At a perspective of Canaletto.
 
//A possible source of the poet's account of Bleistein could be, I visualize, some story
narrated by the boatman who "smiles" -- of one Bleistein, of his luxuriously voluptuous
lifestyle as a Venetian merchant, who was once at Rialto, and who made lots of money
in fur, and who died of drowning, his slimy body recovered from the river, his protruding
eye stuck with the magnificence of Venice. Some said he was Viennese, some Semite,
some said he was from Chicago -- "A saggy bending of the knees / And elbows, with the
palms turned out" is how the boatman described his dead body.//  Well, just a hunch.
 
CR
 
From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sunday, October 16, 2011 10:02 PM
Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's Poetry

    "A lustreless protrusive eye
     Stares from the protozoic slime
     At a perspective of Canaletto."
 
cf.  "Daffodil bulbs instead of balls   
      Stared from the sockets of the eyes! 
      He knew that thought clings round dead limbs  
      Tightening its lusts and luxuries."
  
      (Whispers of Immortality)
 
CR
 
From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2011 6:21 AM
Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's Poetry

 death by water
 
-----
 
"Defunctive music under sea" -- "Tra-la-la-la-la-la-laire"
"goats and monkeys, with such hair too!" --
a tale of sordid commerce mating with unbridled lust.
 
-----
 
"Her shuttered barge / Burned on the water all the day."
 
If "this or such" was Bleistein's way, then "this or such" was Eugenides' way too,
the Smyrna merchant, the "one-eyed" merchant (literally or metaphorically),
spreading the homosexual cult of sterility instead of the mystical cult of fertility:
 
"Mr Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
C. i. f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a week-end at the Metropole."
 
Hence the admonishment, addressed equally to both the Gentile and the Jew:
 
                       "Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you."
 
For the consequences to both shall be the same. To quote from 'Gerontion',
 
"Gull against the wind, in the windy straits
Of Belle Isle, or running on the Horn,
White feathers in the snow, the Gulf claims,
And an old man driven by the Trades
To a a sleepy corner."
 
-- the "sleepy corner", the grave -- death equals all.
 
//What is left, in each case, is a symbol -- "A symbol perfected in death":
"A lustreless protrusive eye" staring from the grave, "from the protozoic slime",
at "a perspective of Canaletto".// As the poet remarks in ''Little Gidding':
 
"These men, and those who opposed them
And those whom they opposed
Accept the constitution of silence
And are folded in a single party."
 
Hence the chorus-like refrain (cf. 'Dans le Restaurant') :
 
"Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell
And the profit and loss.
A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool."
 
CR
 
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From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 2:55 PM
Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's poetry (was Re: Eliot and literary culture)
 
//Certainly, Rick. They all meld into one.//