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On 5/3/2012 1:10 PM, Nancy Gish wrote:
> Carrol did not "overlook" anything,

    Sure he did. Here's the entire post:

"The theory, not always labeled "objective correlative," presupposes that
there_can_, in principle, be a 'formula' for a particular emotion. There
cannot be, and the discussion of the theory is pointless from its roots."


The roots of the term are in Eliot's studies. Cox does not mention them. Pick another verb if you don't like "overlooks"; say "ignores" or "fails to mention" or, perhaps most probable, "is unaware."


> and this constant presumption of a superior knowledge gets 
> increasingly distracting from any serious discussion.

   You have a very selective detection organ for assumed superiority. 
You indulge in it certainly more than I, and Carrol was apparently born 
with it. I'd say at an honest minimum we cancel each other out on the 
superiority score and you can in good conscience stop pretending it 
distracts from serious discussion. Often it seems to be the spur of any 
discussion at all.

>  Eliot's expertise in philosophy (always a discipline with many many 
> conflicting views--like literary criticism) does not mean he had a 
> god-like absolutist knowledge.

     There you go again. Argument by extension. Ask Carrol. No one said 
Eliot was god-like. I said he was not the "nothing special" intellect 
that Carrol and you are so determined to portray him as. And what is the 
point of saying philosophy is a discipline with conflicting views; does 
this relieve you from understanding how Eliot understood it?

> The objective correlative has been a long subject of debate,
> but all Carrol said was that there cannot be a "formula" for emotion.


    And all I said was that Carrol is ignoring the basis for Eliot's use 
of the term, which clearly he is.

    TSE: "Hey, Buddy, your house is on fire!"

    Carrol: "I'm not your buddy! Now go away."

> I would say that this is simply a fact for, ironically, the 
> _general_ reason CR insists on all the time--that readers bring 
> different life experience to any image. (Where I disagree with CR is 
> that that different experience must fit the text, not simply be 
> whatever one likes it to mean.)

   I've made my disagreement with CR. I don't recall him saying that 
what he brings to the poem doesn't "fit" the poem. But I agree with your 
statement here that an interpretation must be supported by the text, not 
by just any old thing any reader wants to bring to it, such as a 
prejudice based in emotion against Eliot's life. But the fact is that 
people bring to it what they want, and it colors, sometimes severely, 
their readings. Even people who can pronounce the rules.


> Nonetheless, I do think the basic idea of using images rather than 
> assertion to evoke emotion--to that extent--Eliot made an important 
> point and provided a key term.

     Do you not worry that in expressing yourself this way you are not 
assuming a position of superiority; as if your grasp of art and 
literature has put you in a spot where you can typically make such 
judgements over a great poet? Here I am telling you that Eliot's use of 
the term (and others) was deeply based in his philosphic studies, and 
you have not even touched on that claim and instead purport to pass 
judgement on the relative worth of what Eliot did. I don't know how you 
can be comfortable doing that, save the obvious explanation. And notice 
that Eliot said no such thing, in relation to "objective correlative," 
that images evoke emotion.

> It is not beyond critique or consideration as to meaning. But it is 
> not new: as Mark Twain said, "Don't say 'the old woman screamed; bring 
> her on and let her scream."

    No claim was made for its being beyond critique or consideration 
(indeed, consider away, start any time!), nor that it was new. The claim 
was one only: that the term was based in his studies, particularly of F. 
H. Bradley. I mention it one more time, singular and limited as it is, 
in the hopes that, otherwise ignored,  it might yet get through.

   Ken A