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Recall discussing offlist with Pat begore she left us the connotations of
the name Bleistein - literally 'lead ore' or similar in German ?



On 4 October 2011 07:03, Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi Carrol,
>
> ok leaving aside that equitone is closer to pig latin than a challenging
> anagram and I wonder if Eliot talked that parle ( Americans on the list will
> have to enlighten me whether that seems likely ) more to the point. If we
> say hidden meanings are irrelevant  to the readingness what do you think
> about Ricks' extended analysis of the name Mrs Equitone in terms of tone as
> it reflects national identity, foreignness and so on. Is that similarly not
> helpful? and for the same reasons?
>
> Cheers Pete
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 4:09 PM
>
> Subject: Re: Patricia Sloane's Bleistein book (was Re: Patricia Sloane's
> Key to 'The Waste Land')
>
>
> Finding anagrams sounds as off the wall as numerological studies of Milton.
>> I was never much of an admirer of Douglas Bush, but he had a great title for
>> a review of one of those books: "Calculus Wracked Him." Since for three
>> years a was a cryptanalyst for NSA, I picked up some rigorous criteria for
>> accepting any decipherment. The main one is tht there must be a c  control .
>> You demonstrate in just a few sentences that there is no possible control
>> for any finding of "hidden meanings" in anarams in Eliot. The problem with
>> all dicoveries of "hidden meanings in any work is  their irrelevancy to
>> reading the work. There's a person on the Austen list who has,
>> apparently,written a book showing that each of Austen's novels  is really a
>> private code telling a completely different story from the "visible" story.
>> Dull. Dull. Dull. In the same category are those conspiracy theories that
>> see 9/11 as being a secret plot by Bush or the CIA or Little  Orphan Annie.
>> And the plot always grows bigger and bigger. Now it has to include Obama &
>> Clinton, since they must have foundout about it but are keeping the secret
>> for dark and hidden reasons. Wonderful!
>>
>> Carrol
>>
>> On 10/3/2011 1:38 PM, Tom Colket wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> I got Pat's book and read it when it first came out in 2001.
>>>
>>> I am very reluctant to say much about the book for three main reasons:
>>>
>>>    a) She is no longer here to defend her work.
>>>
>>>    b) Because Pat passed away after publishing only one of three volumes,
>>> it seems unfair to criticize arguments that may have been more fully
>>> developed in the two volumes she did not live long enough to produce.
>>>
>>>    c) Pat had a loyal following on the List, and I have no interest in
>>> starting a flame war.
>>>
>>>
>>> That said, I will mention that, while I saw merit in individual items she
>>> talked about, I found her overall thesis unconvincing and not helpful in my
>>> Eliot studies. Her main thesis is that five of Eliot's early poems (and a
>>> later one) "form an organic sequence, and provide a comic or absurdist
>>> improvisation on Dante's Commedia". The poems that Pat identifies in this
>>> highly unexpected claim are 'Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a
>>> Cigar', 'Dirge', 'Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service', 'The Hippopotamus',
>>> 'The Hollow Men', and 'The Waste Land'. For more details, see "Table 1"
>>> below, taken from the preface to her book.
>>>
>>> Her second thesis that I found unconvincing was her assertion the Eliot
>>> used anagrams to put hidden messages in the poems. For example, in her
>>> essay, "Notes and Observations on T. S. Eliot's Early Poems", she writes,
>>> concerning Mrs. Equitone from The Waste Land, that "The letters in her name,
>>> rearranged, spell 'quiet one' ". While that is factually true, I see no
>>> reason to assume that Eliot chose the name 'Equitone' to produce this
>>> anagram. You could also note that the name "Equitone" can be anagrammed into
>>> "Queen to I": Is that Eliot saying Mrs. Equitone is actually his wife
>>> Vivienne (his queen)?? And once you start looking at text as anagrams, there
>>> is no end to it. Listers back then noted that the letters in "The Waste
>>> Land" could be anagrammed into "The Lewd Satan", but this doesn't mean that
>>> the poem is actually about the devil.
>>>
>>> Anyway, if there is any interest in discussion of her Burbank book, I
>>> will try to contribute.
>>>
>>> -- Tom --
>>>
>>> ==============================**==============================**
>>> ================
>>> (From the preface to the first book)
>>>
>>> This book is the first of three volumes that deal with T. S. Eliot's use
>>> of literary sources in the five early poems listed in Table 1 (page 3). My
>>> thesis is that the poems form an organic sequence, and provide a comic or
>>> absurdist improvisation on Dante's Commedia. A protagonist, who may finally
>>> prove to be the reader, makes two consecutive journeys through hell,
>>> purgatory, and heaven, Dante's three kingdoms of death.
>>>
>>> Eliot's poems have long been characterized as formless but compelling
>>> collages made largely or entirely of quotations, adapted quotations, and
>>> paraphrases borrowed from the works of other authors. The absurdist or
>>> Dadaist "narrative" that we shall review in this and the following volumes
>>> has been overlooked primarily because Eliot constructs it largely from puns
>>> and witticisms that turn on details in his "source" works. Contrary to
>>> received wisdom, we may need to read the poems and their literary sources
>>> with equal care, not merely the sources cited in the notes to The Waste Land
>>> but the many more that over the years were either recognized by readers or
>>> pointed out by Eliot himself.
>>> The net result of Eliot's idiosyncratic methodology is that each of the
>>> five poems is actually a double poem, a form we had not expected to find and
>>> which may never be imitated. We can continue to read the poems as we have
>>> always read them, feeling no particular compulsion to dip into the little
>>> library of great books that we know lies behind each of them. These
>>> fragment-poems charm, they suggest. They enchanted generations of readers,
>>> and brought to T.S. Eliot almost every literary honor any committee had the
>>> power to bestow. Here, we shall see the other side of the picture, the side
>>> that emerges if we give the necessary and sufficient weight to the source
>>> works, reading many or most in their entirety. Thus properly framed, the
>>> picture shifts and changes. Fragmented passages that previously seemed
>>> vaguely meaningful, suggestive, tragic, reform in an instant as something
>>> else entirely: a coherent, comic narrative that tells a familiar story.
>>>
>>> This turn-around may not be as surprising as it seems. For a poet to
>>> consciously or unconsciously borrow a few words from another because the
>>> words "sound nice" is a fairly common occurrence. To make so slight a
>>> criterion the backbone of a style, however, might be witless, and
>>> Christopher Ricks wisely distinguishes between an allusion and a source ("An
>>> allusion predicates a source, but not vice versa"). An allusion "calls" (to
>>> mind) some aspect of the source work, which in turn becomes an integral part
>>> of the work from which it is being called. It need hardly be added that we
>>> are in no position to understand what, if anything, is being "called" from a
>>> source work if we have only a limited familiarity with that source work. I
>>> have no quarrel with the familiar insistence, encouraged by Eliot, that the
>>> notes to The Waste Land are a joke. The question is whether we make too many
>>> assumptions, and the wrong assumptions, on what the joke is supposed to be
>>> about, and on whom.
>>>
>>> ==============================**======
>>> Table 1:
>>> Vol 1: 'Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar' (Inferno)
>>> Vol 1: 'Dirge' (Inferno)
>>>
>>> Vol 2: 'Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service' (Purgatorio)
>>> Vol 2: 'The Hippopotamus' (Paradiso)
>>>
>>> Vol 3: 'The Hollow Men' (Purgatorio)
>>> Vol 3: 'The Waste Land' (Inferno)
>>> ==============================**======
>>>
>>> Table 1 lists the Cantica to which each of Eliot's five poems
>>> corresponds, and the volume in which each is reviewed. Note that the second
>>> "pilgrimage" (The Waste Land as Inferno, The Hollow Men as Purgatorio) has
>>> no Paradiso, an omission open to at least two understandings. Perhaps
>>> Eliot's second Paradiso is so exquisitely ephemeral that it does not exist,
>>> a farcical possibility less far-fetched than it may seem. Built into all
>>> five poems, but especially Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service, is insistent
>>> "philosophical" wit (or Harvard humor) about that over-debated dog of an
>>> abstruse question from undergraduate philosophy classes: whether nothing
>>> should be regarded as "something."
>>> Although the nothing-something issue can be entertaining, I suggest we
>>> take the alternate route by looking more closely at Dante's Paradiso,
>>> especially cantos 20, 32, and 33. Although we all learned to read the
>>> Commedia as an allegory about Christians and pagans, I believe Eliot noticed
>>> it may read more coherently as an allegory about Christians, pagans, and
>>> Jews. If Eliot's elaborate improvisations implement a dominant purpose, it
>>> may be to encourage the reader to notice the same thing. Given that Eliot's
>>> readers by and large are not Dante scholars, this is a formidable authorial
>>> undertaking, addressed by a simple methodology. Eliot read the Temple
>>> Classics edition of the Commedia (which I have also used) and the
>>> annotation, by Wicksteed and Oelsner, is uneven. Many or most of our poet's
>>> borrowings are from passages in which the annotators miss the point, an
>>> effective way of singling out those very passages for the reader's further
>>> consideration. Eliot may have noticed th
>>>
>> e insufficiencies of the annotators, and made a game of playing with what
>> they overlooked. It is a symmetrical but intricate game, and many of Eliot's
>> borrowings are indirect. For example, Cleopatra, or her barge, are invoked
>> in borrowings from Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra that appear in both
>> Burbank (11-12) and The Waste Land (77). One might not notice immediately
>> that Cleopatra also appears in the Commedia. What is being allusively
>> "called" is both the secondary work and the Commedia as a primary source.
>>
>>> ==============================**==============================**
>>> ================
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2011 21:24:23 -0600
>>> From: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Re: Patricia Sloane's Bleistein book (was Re: Patricia Sloane's
>>> Key to 'The Waste Land')
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Nancy
>>>
>>> I did not mean to offend but could not sit still and let Dr. Sloane’s
>>> work be summarily dismissed.
>>>
>>> BTW, in my reading of her book I found some of her positions to be
>>> convincing and others not so.  Again, I would encourage all to read the
>>> book.  If possible the reading should be done with Julius close at hand.
>>>
>>> Rick Seddon
>>> Portales, NM
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>>> Behalf Of Nancy Gish
>>> Sent: Sunday, October 02, 2011 7:41 PM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Re: Patricia Sloane's Bleistein book (was Re: Patricia Sloane's
>>> Key to 'The Waste Land')
>>>
>>>
>>> I suggest that whatever I wrote was based in scholarly analysis and valid
>>> argument, and I have no reason whatever to "recuse" myself. Scholarly debate
>>> is not a legal structure, but it does depend on evidence and knowledge.  To
>>> suggest that I had any personal animosity toward a person I never met and
>>> had no opinion about personally whatever is outrageous. So, too, is the idea
>>> that my disagreements with her way of reading is in any way whatever outside
>>> appropriate debate. Neither I nor anyone on this list has any obligation to
>>> assent to, agree with, or even take seriously the claims of any other.  This
>>> is a list for discussion, and for me that means a basis in scholarship.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> This is deeply offensive, Rick, and I'm sorry to see it from you.
>>>
>>> Nancy
>>>
>>>>  Richard Seddon 10/02/11 9:34 PM>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>> Dear List
>>>
>>> I have read Pat Sloane?s book and found it a refreshing exception to the
>>> morass of unthinking, unsubstantiated and undocumented use of the poems in
>>> worshipful adoration of Julius?s single minded crusade of showing TSE as the
>>> ultimate intellectual anti-Semitic.
>>>
>>> Pat Sloane presented her ideas in an extremely well documented and well
>>> sourced book.  To read it and Julius?s book is to be struck immediately by
>>> the immense scholarly effort that Pat brought to her book.  Julius?s book
>>> does not fair well at all in the comparison.
>>>
>>> I would suggest that a scholarly critique of Sloane?s book is badly
>>> needed and If that critique results in her book being dismissed so be it,
>>> but, to dismiss it without that critique is the anti-thesis of scholarship.
>>>
>>> Until that critique is forthcoming I would encourage all members of this
>>> list to read the book and form their own opinions.
>>>
>>> Nancy and Pat?s animus was a continuing soap opera on this list.  Having
>>> read through those blistering posts for several years I would suggest that
>>> Nancy recluse herself from offering expert opinion on Pat Sloane?s work.
>>>
>>> Rick Seddon
>>> Portales, NM
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>>> Behalf Of [log in to unmask]
>>> Sent: Sunday, October 02, 2011 6:11 PM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Re: Patricia Sloane's Bleistein book (was Re: Patricia Sloane's
>>> Key to 'The Waste Land')
>>>
>>>
>>> If Nancy is alluding to the review by William Logan in the NY Times, I
>>> would only add that it is both amusing and distressing to see so much
>>> attention now directed toward the poetry in the context of the life of the
>>> poet instead of his writings as a separation from the life.  I assume that a
>>> collection of letters would naturally veer towards the biographical but this
>>> new frenzied attention to the man instead of the works is somewhat
>>> offensive; though Logan, whose criticism of contemporary poetry is usually
>>> quite piercing and astute, does seem like less of a voyeur than other
>>> reviewers I have read.  Perhaps, in this celebrity-besotted age, one can
>>> expect no less of the Times or its readers.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Eugene Schlanger
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Nancy Gish<[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: TSE<[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Sun, Oct 2, 2011 1:54 pm
>>> Subject: Re: Patricia Sloane's Bleistein book (was Re: Patricia Sloane's
>>> Key to 'The Waste Land')
>>>
>>>
>>> I read Pat's posts and excerpts for years.  I did not feel the book would
>>> clarify anything. So I am seriously interested in whether there were any
>>> reviews by Eliot scholars--if anyone wants to check. Had I seen any in
>>> journals, I would probably have read them.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I agree with much of your previous post, but I think the confusion may
>>> well be a valid response to what--in all those posts and excerpts--was
>>> genuinely confusing--a morass of speculation.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Meanwhile, the NYTimes Book Review has another review today of the
>>> Letters. I am reading student essays, so it's sitting here.  But it is
>>> interesting that all of a sudden there are so many.  I have found Louis
>>> Menand's the most interesting so far.
>>>
>>> Nancy
>>>
>>>  Ken Armstrong<kennenathens@**FRONTIER.COM <[log in to unmask]>>
>>>>>>  10/02/11 1:24 PM>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>> Surely you read some when you read the book upon its publication? Any
>>> to
>>> share?
>>>
>>> Nancy Gish wrote:
>>>
>>>> The "review" by Scheer is just his blog. Are there any reviews in
>>>> modernist or literary journals?
>>>> N
>>>>
>>>>  Chokh Raj 10/01/11 3:42 PM>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>> That's what the reviewer says. I've only made it into a heading.
>>>>
>>>> I look forward to reading the book.
>>>>
>>>
>>