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"Lead, kindly fowl, they always did, whether it be...."

On 7/27/2012 9:05 PM, Chokh Raj wrote:
> That's interesting. Google gets me to this page:
>
> http://wordinfo.info/unit/258?spage=16&letter=A
>
> Thanks, Peter.
>   CR
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* P <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
> *Sent:* Friday, July 27, 2012 7:20 PM
> *Subject:* Re: Eliot, the past, and the mythical method
>
> E. is using something mickey-mouse? to explain a serious literary 
> principle. He compounds it by using an adjective, auspicious, which is 
> rooted in another form of fortune telling, bird flight. In those 
> years, 1923?, fortune telling was rife, esp. with Madame Blavatsky and 
> theosophy. She is the great grandmother of Tom Cruise. Would one use 
> Scientology to exemplify Modernism?
> Its a joke. Irony.,
>
> Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> Yes, Peter. Just as a certain configuration of planets in a horoscope 
> is deemed auspicious, Eliot finds a certain configuration of events 
> (Psychology, ethnology, and The Golden Bough) auspicious for the 
> mythical method. Well, that to me is the obvious meaning of the line 
> in question.  In comparison, Tom Colket's deduction, I'm afraid, seems 
> to be a stretch.
>
> CR
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* P <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
> *Sent:* Friday, July 27, 2012 2:29 PM
> *Subject:* Re: Eliot, the past, and the mythical method
>
> Could it be that some attention here needs to be given to //the word 
> 'auspicious' esp. as it relates to the word 'horoscope'//? Surely that 
> is a pun, and a pun by a writer not easily given to punning. Why then 
> the word play, think you?
> Peter M.
>
>
> Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> Let me also "wonder" if Eliot meant that.
>
> CR
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Sent:* Friday, July 27, 2012 11:58 AM
> *Subject:* Re: Eliot, the past, and the mythical method
>
> CR> There is point in your deduction, Tom. But that does not seem to be
> CR>Eliot's point here which finds elaboration in what follows.
> CR>
> CR> Certain events have "concurred to make possible what was
> CR>impossible even a few years ago".
>
> Here's how I read that part of the essay:
>
> Eliot is making these four _separate_ points:
>
> ==============
>
> 1) There is a newly discovered method for creating literature called 
> the "mythical method."
>
> "In using the myth, in manipulating a continuous parallel between 
> contemporaneity and antiquity, Mr. Joyce is pursuing a method which 
> others must pursue after him. They will not be imitators, any more 
> than the scientist who uses the discoveries of an Einstein in pursuing 
> his own, independent, further investigations. It is simply a way of 
> controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape and a significance to the 
> immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history."
>
> ===============
>
> 2) This method, that I (Eliot) am crediting to Joyce, was 
> "foreshadowed" by Yeats.
>
> "It is a method already adumbrated by Mr. Yeats, and of the need for 
> which I believe Mr. Yeats to have been the first contemporary to be 
> conscious."
>
> ===============
>
> 3) This method could be expanded on fruitfully by future authors to 
> express insights about humanity. For example, future authors could use 
> the myth of astrology rather than the Greek classical myths.
>
> "It is a method for which the horoscope is auspicious."
>
> ===============
>
> 4) The reason this method wasn't known to authors earlier than 1922 is 
> that certain breakthroughs in other fields had to occur first to allow 
> Joyce to discover the mythical method.
>
> "Psychology (such as it is, and whether our reaction to it be comic or 
> serious), ethnology, and The Golden Bough have concurred to make 
> possible what was impossible even a few years ago."
>
> -- Tom --
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 08:33:59 -0700
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Eliot, the past, and the mythical method
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
> "a method for which the horoscope is auspicious"
>
> There is point in yourdeduction, Tom. But that does not seem to be 
> Eliot's point here which finds elaboration in what follows. Certain 
> events have "concurred to make possible what was impossible even a few 
> years ago".
>
> CR
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Sent:* Friday, July 27, 2012 9:11 AM
> *Subject:* Re: Eliot, the past, and the mythical method
>
> CR> To me the line in question simply implies that time is favorable
> CR>for future authors to pursue the mythical method. I don't think it
> CR>suggests using the myth of astrology to gain similar insights into
> CR>the (timeless) human condition.
>
> CR, here's how I understand the syntax of the line:
>
> "It is a method for which the horoscope is auspicious"
>
> 1) "A" is a newly discovered method that can now be used to create 
> literature.
>
> 2) It is possible that you will use "B" in your writing because you 
> decided to apply the principles you learned while contemplating "A".
>
> 3) If you do use "B" (in accordance with the principles of "method 
> A"), it seems promising that you will be successful.
>
>
> "A" = 'Mythical method' discovered by Joyce
>
> "B"= 'horoscope/astrology'
>
> -- Tom --
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2012 10:59:52 -0700
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Eliot, the past, and the mythical method
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
> Tom, here's the passage from 'Ulysses, Order, and Myth':
>
> "In using the myth, in manipulating a continuous parallel between 
> contemporaneity and antiquity, Mr. Joyce is pursuing a method which 
> others must pursue after him. They will not be imitators, any more 
> than the scientist who uses the discoveries of an Einstein in pursuing 
> his own, independent, further investigations. It is simply a way of 
> controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape and a significance to the 
> immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary 
> history. It is a method already adumbrated by Mr. Yeats, and of the 
> need for which I believe Mr. Yeats to have been the first contemporary 
> to be conscious. //It is a method for which the horoscope is 
> auspicious.// Psychology (such as it is, and whether our reaction to 
> it be comic or serious), ethnology, and The Golden Bough have 
> concurred to make possible what was impossible even a few years ago. 
> Instead of narrative method, we may now use the mythical method. It 
> is, I seriously believe, a step toward making the modern world 
> possible for art, toward that order and form which Mr. Aldington so 
> earnestly desires. And only those who have won their own discipline in 
> secret and without aid, in a world which offers very little assistance 
> to that end, can be of any use in furthering this advance."
>
> http://people.virginia.edu/~jdk3t/eliotulysses.htm
>
> To me the line in question simply implies that time is favorable for 
> future authors to pursue the mythical method. I don't think it 
> suggests using the myth of astrology to gain similar insights into the 
> (timeless) human condition.
>
> CR
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Sent:* Thursday, July 26, 2012 11:07 AM
> *Subject:* Re: Eliot, the past, and the mythical method
>
> P> I think the reference is definitely satiric
> CR> Apparently a tongue-in-cheek remark.
> Just in case it wasn't clear from my post, I wasn't saying that TSE 
> personally believed in astrology and horoscopes.
> I also assume TSE didn't believe that someone named Odysseus/Ulysses 
> battled a real Cyclops and saw a real sorceress named Circe turn men 
> into pigs.
> Nonetheless, TSE saw great value in using the Ulysses myth from 
> antiquity to gain insights into the (timeless) human condition.
> It's in that context that I wonder if he was //anticipating some 
> future authors using the myth of astrology as a tool to express 
> similar insights.//
> -- Tom --
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2012 07:36:33 -0700
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Eliot, the past, and the mythical method
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
> T>"It is a method for which the horoscope is auspicious"
>
> Apparently a tongue-in-cheek remark.
>
> CR
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* P <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Sent:* Thursday, July 26, 2012 8:22 AM
> *Subject:* Re: Eliot, the past, and the mythical method
>
> Before you go too far down that road you may wish to check out Madame 
> Sosostris and Madame Blavatsky. I think the reference is definitely 
> satiric. A related satire is to be found in Charles Williams' THE 
> GREATER TRUMPS. Also don't forget the lines about fortune telling in 
> 4Q. They actually explain what the satire is all about.
>
> Peter M.
>
> Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> I wrote (in reference to TSE's Tradition essay):
>
> T> Is he being sarcastic when he says "It is a method for which
> T> the horoscope is auspicious"?
>
> And Rick wrote:
>
> R> Sorry, I've thought some on this but I have no idea how to read
> R> this other then to ignore it as an aside.
>
> Rick: In context, here is the line in the essay:
>
> "In using the myth, in manipulating a continuous parallel between 
> contemporaneity and antiquity, Mr. Joyce is pursuing a method which 
> others must pursue after him. . . It is simply a way of controlling, 
> of ordering, of giving a shape and a significance to the immense 
> panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history. . . . 
> It is a method for which the horoscope is auspicious. . ."
>
> Given the line's prominent placement, it's got to be more than an aside.
>
> I've been thinking that the idea of a horoscope, the idea of 
> astrology, is that the planets and the stars greatly influence our 
> individual lives and fate. In other words, something "bigger than 
> ourselves" plays a vital part in our lives.
>
> Perhaps what TSE is alluding to is that the "mythical method" is also 
> trying to establish a link between us and something "bigger than 
> ourselves". In other words, when Joyce uses the Greek myths of 
> Ulysses' amazing multi-year voyage and his eventual return home, and 
> parallels it with a one-day "journey" around a city in Ireland (and 
> his eventual return to Molly Bloom), Joyce is stating an implicit 
> comparison/equivalencebetween the mythical Ulysses from antiquity and 
> a contemporary "ordinary person". So maybe, for Eliot, the 
> horoscope/astrology, which claims that the fate of an "ordinary 
> person" has its roots in the heavens is "auspicious", that is, is yet 
> another promising metaphor by which some other author can "control, 
> order, give a shape and a significance to the immense panorama of 
> futility and anarchy which is contemporary history".
>
> Just a thought.
>
> -- Tom --
>
>
> > Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2012 18:36:35 -0500
> > From: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: Eliot, the past, and the mythical method
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> >
> > Sorry for the very quick replay to your questions Tom but it was a
> > summer afternoon and the wild blackberries were ripe and calling.*
> >
> > I don't know much about Henri Bergson or Eliot and Bergson but
> > Bergson did write about time and memory and Eliot did attend some
> > Bergson lectures in his Paris year of 1910-11. TSE was critical of
> > Bergson later but I think many critics see TSE under Bergson's
> > influence early on. You may want to explore this. A start:
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Bergson
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_and_Free_Will
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matter_and_Memory (Bergson also
> > prompted Eliot to acknowledge his anglo-catholic, royalist and
> > classical tendencies.)
> >
> > Now on to some of your earlier questions:
> >
> > > 2) Is he being sarcastic when he says "It is a method for which
> > > the horoscope is auspicious"?
> >
> > Sorry, I've thought some on this but I have no idea how to read
> > this other then to ignore it as an aside.
> >
> > > Also from the above quote, Eliot writes, "Psychology . . ,
> > > ethnology, and The Golden Bough have concurred to make possible
> > > what was impossible even a few years ago."
> >
> > > 3) Does anyone have a clear idea of how these three particular
> > > things make it "possible" to now (that is, post-1923) write in the
> > > "mythical method"?
> >
> > Time has marched on and I don't see James Frazer as the
> > popularizer of myth; I see Joseph Campbell. But I think what Eliot
> > is getting at is that with the knowledge of psychology, ethnology
> > and myth that wasn't available before we could go beyond reading
> > myths as stories to see them as an attempt to get us to think
> > about the meaning of humanity.
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Frazer
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell
> >
> > In a later posting Tom wrote:
> >
> > > By the way, the Tradition essay specifically calls out
> > > **literature** ("Whoever has approved this idea of order, of the
> > > form of European, of English literature . . ."), but I wonder if
> > > there is any evidence that Eliot thought the idea of the present
> > > changing the past was a much more general concept that applied to
> > > the human condition. I'm thinking about things like his marriage
> > > to Vivienne, which, in hindsight, must have seemed to Eliot like
> > > quite a different thing than it did when they first met. Would
> > > that be an example of the present changing the past, at least in
> > > one's judgment of the past or recollection of it??
> >
> > For the main question here I fall back to my earlier comment on
> > Bergson but as for the specific mention of literature remember
> > that at this time Eliot was trying to make his mark as a critic.
> > By specifically mentioning literature he his reinforcing his
> > expertise in the field.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Rick Parker
> >
> >
> > * Off topics (sorry if this is a bit bloggy but I can't help
> > myself):
> >
> > "Summer afternoon--summer afternoon; to me those have always
> > been the two most beautiful words in the English language."
> > -- Henry James
> >
> > I prefer a New England autumn but a Virginia spring is awfully
> > darn nice.
> >
> > Eliot wrote about Wensleydale cheese being part of England's
> > heritage (this is a favorite of mine; try some if you can get it.)
> > I'm not really sure if blackberries and vanilla ice cream is part
> > of New England's heritage but it should be. And this reminds me, I
> > haven't had my lobster roll or Woodman's fried clams yet this year
> > and the sweet corn is almost ripe. I've got to get to work on this
> > stuff.
>
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