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There is so much on Eliot and Dante that to be new would take major
scholarship. None of this is new to the writer below or first brought up
by him. And as Carrol implied, original contributions are not generally
what one finds in MA theses, however well done. But any "glory" for
these parallels would be difficult to attribute.
Nancy


>>> Chokh Raj 01/04/13 5:35 PM >>>

opening para of the introductory chapter 




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Dantean themes are at work on a deeply significant and formative level
in the aesthetics of The Waste Land. Let me introduce a few of the
ghostly allusions to Dante. The opening reference to the cruelty of
April “mixing / Memory and desire” (lines 2-3), for example, recalls the
lament of Francesca, caught with her lover Paolo in Hell’s whirlwind of
lust in Inferno, Canto V. The allusion is relevant to Eliot’s aesthetic
in the way that it suggests a relationship between the Hell of desire
experienced by Dante’s lovers and the poet’s Hell of desire, which
imprisons creativity. In Dante’s text, the pilgrim addresses Francesca,
asking her to revisit the doloroso passo or “painful/sorrowful passage”
(which is also the “fateful moment” of which their current predicament
is the result) when the lovers succumbed to their desires, and a
connection to the art of poetry is suggested in Francesca’s reference to
Virgil. Francesca begins: Nessun maggior dolore che ricordarsi del tempo
felice ne la miseria; e ciò sa ‘l tuo dottore (Inferno 5:121-123), or
“There is no greater pain than to remember a happy time in misery,
and this your teacher knows” (my translation). While the doloroso passo
also echoes the dangerous pass from Canto 1 which the poet has just
nearly escaped, il suo dottore refers to Virgil, implicating the
vocation of poet; and, because he is writer of the destroyed love
between Dido and Aeneas, the passage also suggests the poet’s
familiarity with the maggior dolor of memory and desire with which
Aeneas leaves Carthage and the poet’s familiarity with the doloroso
passo of love, in general, as a preliminary passage that encourages the
transformation of the poet along the trajectory of the adventure
narrative.





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Great glory to you, critic, for bringing up this argument. I must ponder
it awhile before I proceed. 




CR







From: Chokh Raj 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Friday, January 4, 2013 11:47 AM
Subject: Dantean Aesthetics in 'The Waste Land'



The Poet in Transformation: Dantean Aesthetics in T.S. Eliot's The Waste
Land (2012)


By Jamie Berlin





Abstract 




Dante was a seminal influence in T. S. Eliot’s poetry. Many scholars
have acknowledged Eliot’s professed debt to Dante and have examined
Eliot’s explicit imitations of Dante; however, few have pinpointed
Dantean influences in non-explicit references to Dante, and few have
credited the influence of a Dantean progress narrative across Eliot’s
poem The Waste Land. This thesis broadly analyzes the principles of
Dante’s aesthetic in the poem while analyzing the Sibyl, the Hanged Man,
and the Prajapati parable for their relevance to Eliot’s aesthetic
theory. When Dantean aesthetics and close readings of The Waste Land are
compared with Eliot’s contemporary essays on art, a fuller view of the
aspects of Dante’s fundamental influence emerges. In particular, the
prominence of Dante in the sub-text of Eliot’s The Waste Land reveals
the nature of their shared aesthetic—that art is a moral work by virtue
of a spiritual transformation endured by the artist, which involves both
a sacrifice of self and a substantiation of self. A deeper examination
of Dante’s influence on T. S. Eliot yields a vaster understanding of
Eliot’s aesthetics while helping to elucidate one of the central
mysteries in Eliot’s theory of art, the role of “personality.”




http://commons.emich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1794&context=theses




CR