just a touch
reprimanded for an indiscriminate use of //the term// 'objective correlative' for Eliot's images
To me Eliot's poetry is replete with 'objective correlatives', i.e. with concrete images that signify much more than their literal meaning, to convey certain deep and abstract ideas/emotions, more or less a synonym for symbols/metaphors. Here are a few instances from the 'Love Song':
a patient etherized upon a table; / The yellow fog / the butt-ends of my days and ways/ a pair of ragged claws / the mermaids / the chambers of the sea / sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
My problem arose when, at this list, I was stopped in my tracks, reprimanded for an indiscriminate use of 'objective correlative' for Eliot's images, reminding me what exactly Eliot meant by it:
"the only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an 'objective correlative'; in other words a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion; such that when the external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked."
I brought up this topic for discussion because I believe that Eliot's notion of 'objective correlative' is much more comprehensive and all-inclusive, that it does not preclude the common usage that we associate with an 'objective correlative'.
I presume that Eliot's aforementioned enunciation was made specifically in the context of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'.
From: Rickard Parker <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 5:45 PM
Subject: Re: Objective Correlative in Eliot's Poetry (was Re: OT - Chapel Perilous)
Yes. Please give us an example of what you think is an example of an O.C.
that Eliot may not have intended.
On Wed, 2 May 2012 16:10:04 -0400, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
>Interesting. What then is your notion of it?
>On May 2, 2012, at 3:30 PM, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Also, may we not use the term 'objective correlative' with regard to
>> without being bound by Eliot's specific notion of it?
>> IMHO, we may.
>> From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>;
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>;
>> Subject: Re: OT - Chapel Perilous
>> Sent: Wed, May 2, 2012 7:02:48 PM
>> An interesting remark, Peter. It prompts me to raise a query.
>> In deciphering Eliot's poetry, are we bound by Eliot's notion of
>> IMHO, a reader is free to view Eliot's poetry in the light of what we
generally mean by
>> objective correlative rather than be guided solely by Eliot's criterion
>> From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Sent: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 2:45 AM
>> Subject: Re: OT - Chapel Perilous
>> Sounds to me like we're creeping closer and closer to the objective
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Rickard Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
>> > Why, for all of us, out of all that we have heard, seen, felt, in a
>> > lifetime, do certain images recur, charged with emotion, rather than
>> > The song of one bird, the leap of one fish, at a particular place and time,
>> > the scent of one flower, an old woman on a German mountain path, six
>> > ruffians seen through an open window playing cards at night at a small
>> > French railway junction where there was a water-mill: such memories may
>> > symbolic value, but of what we cannot tell, for they come to represent the
>> > depths of feeling into which we cannot peer. We might just as well ask why,
>> > when we try to recall visually some period in the past, we find in our
>> > memory just the few meagre arbitrarily chosen set of snapshots that we do
>> > find there, the faded poor souvenirs of passionate moments.
>> > TSE