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CR,

Now that you mention it, I do vaguely recollect an attempted felony 
upbraiding by one of the usual suspects, which I generally try to ignore 
(avoiding my civic duty, I guess). I posed the question here (perhaps 
too briefly from my ipod) because I assumed you had a specific 
purpose/meaning in mind for making the assertion and because I don't 
think I had thought of or heard of an everyday use of "objective 
correlative" outside of its connection with TSE.

For Eliot I think it was something highly specific and informed by his 
philosophic studies, particularly of F. H. Bradley. When Peter said we 
are maybe creeping toward the objective correlative, beastly-Yeats-like, 
I guess, I assumed he meant in Eliot's use of the term. With no 
upbraiding intended, I don't see what it gains us to use it as a synonym 
for symbol or metaphor, which already signify much more than their 
literal meaning.

Apart from that, occasionally here some one or other offers that 
'objective correlative' is a useless term, which I think is perfectly 
true if it is conceived in a useless way. However, I think it had a 
legitimate life and utility and a depth of meaning for Eliot when he 
brought it forth and that it can still be employed fruitfully by anyone 
wanting to understand the problems that Eliot was trying to understand, 
whether with Hamlet or in poetry generally. Eliot's late remarks on 
feeling in the Concord address that Rickard posted a few days ago are 
perhaps a continuing indicator of the primacy of feeling in his view of 
poetry.

Ken A



On 5/2/2012 6:56 PM, Chokh Raj wrote:
> Ken/Rickard,
>
> 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'.