Rick> "The forecast for the method is good"
Your paraphrase "The forecast for the method is good", that is, "the mythical method itself looks promising" is reasonable. The only thing that seems odd about that reading is that Eliot has just said a few sentences earlier in the essay that the mythical method is as important as a scientific discovery on the level of Einstein. Given that, it's a bit odd to follow that proclamation by saying, "and not only is it as important as a discovery by Einstein, but the method actually looks quite promising".
CR> And now an elucidation of the line (about horoscope being auspicious
CR> for the mythical method) which is at variance with the ones proffered
CR> here. Please peruse p. 108 of 'T.S. Eliot and the Use of Memory'
CR> by Grover Cleveland Smith at the following link. We learn that the line
CR> in question was only meant as a jibe aimed at the occultist Yeats
CR> who "adumbrated" the mythical method in the first place.
First of all, thanks for the interesting conversation.
I just want to point out that, to me, Grover Cleveland Smith is no more the "final word" on Eliot than me, or you, or Peter, or Rick. I'll take into consideration Smith's view that Eliot was making fun of Yeats, but Smith's statement in that book you cited is not a definitive interpretation to me.
This conversation reminds me of past list discussions (around 1999) when Pat Sloane was part of the list [Sadly, she has passed away]. When list members would insist on one particular interpretation of an Eliot line, she would often write in to say, "Eliot is an author of multiple meanings - Why can't the line mean multiple things at the same time?"
What I'm trying to say is that from your post I can see how the line about psychology, ethnology, and The Golden Bough could be taken to be the things that are "lining up" (like the stars do in astrology) to make possible the discovery of the mythical method. I also see Rick's point that the line "It is a method for which the horoscope is auspicious" could mean "The forecast for the method is good". I think you saw my point that the line could be suggesting that future writers consider using the myth of astrology now that Joyce has discovered the utility of using Classical myth to elucidate contemporary life.
I can envision that Eliot was trying to say all of these things in a multiple-meaning line, and was deliberately presenting an ambiguous line to the reader.
What I'm getting at is that I'm not trying to pick a winner here; I'm enjoying the discussion and learning about shades of meaning of Eliot, which is why I'm on the list. Again, thanks for the interesting conversation.
-- Tom --
I was perusing Wikipedia on Piccarda and traversing with Dante in Heaven, especially Piccarda's lower heaven, the sphere of the Moon, when the truth of Tom Colket's interpretation of "It is a method (the mythical method) for which the horoscope is auspicious" dawned upon me with the intensity of a revelation. The Mythical Method is, indeed, one which subsumes the myths of Heaven and all its allied worlds by way of metaphors to lend insights into the human situation. That is what I guess our worthy colleague Tom Colket was at pains to drive home to us. I'm sorry, Tom, it took me that long to get your point. I'm still not sure, though, if that is what Eliot implied for sure. It could as well be.
From: P <[log in to unmask]>;
To: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>;
Subject: Re: Eliot, the past, and the mythical method
Sent: Sat, Jul 28, 2012 4:29:07 AM