Print

Print


Texts work on different levels.
On the plain literal level it's easy enough for the women to mean they have no customers. At a more analogical level, of which the characters may be unaware, be which is meant to be grasped by the audience the characters may indeed be suggesting a lack of self worth or even a lack of personal individuality. I find it easy enough to recognize in those women the kind of character portrayed in E.'s poem "Preludes" where the question of the soul and what constitutes the soul is raised. In E's essay "Marie Lloyd" he indicated that he found the lower classes to be more moral because they at least had values even if those values may be questionable. I think E. is toying with those questions in S. A.

P. M.

Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi Peter,
it always gets me is what I think. 
I don't know really and would appreciate any help here you know. 
Sometimes I wonder if it is  a case of something like "if we shadows have offended"  not the same sentiment, not an apologia, nor a reminder of the dramatic frame or edge of the stage, but a  claim to be something less than a character. 
If you take the next line that there are four of us down here it could suggest a different status of the women vs the men with the women accepting the status of nothingness. But then how can you logically make that statement other than in those odysseus and Polyphemus stories  ( and other folk traditions) that say no one hurt me or my name is nobody.
I am not too keen on this idea as everything about this work confounds your attempts to see character outside the confines of their lines and the rhythms of those lines. I am not persuaded by Carol Smith's suggestion that the dramatic world of Sweeney Agonistes had characters who were "flat to fit the world they moved in". Because I don't see them moving in any world. And anyway I don't find Doris and Dusty flat, where Smith sees vulgarity and superstition or a social type "lower-class London prostitutes" ( plenty not to like about that analysis) I would say I see people jigged up in masks declaiming.
I suppose this all boils down to my bleating against the question of how many children Lady Macbeth had, but I do think it is a powerful statement that there's nobody up here.
A friend of mine when we were young went to the home of his girlfriend and had the door opened  to him by her father. As he peered around the older man he asked "Is anyone home?" and got the reply "Well I'm someone". There's something in that kind of claim you know if you have the power to prove it.

Cheers Pete




On 22/01/2013, at 9:55 PM, P wrote:

And what do you make of:
"Nobody's up here?"

I always get the impression they're making ready for Guy Fawkes day.
P. M.

Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Being introduced  before your entrance  then not actually having much to say keeps you ominous I think.  That wonderment Doris has that Sam is the Knave of Hearts is quite disturbing. After the earlier riffing she and Dusty do on Sam being a nice boy and so on.   Puts you on edge for a predator. Then that nice play on "Loot" which is his rank no - except he would be phoenetically a  "leftenant" in Britain so Loot gets a focus and  what will he loot ? But he does the Ringmaster introductions and then there is silence as he becomes part of the chorus. Maybe its as well we dont find out where the plot goes.
 
Pete
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask]" href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">P
To: [log in to unmask]" href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 3:52 PM
Subject: Re: Sweeney Agonistes: Eliot’s raw underbelly

The flat accent could make him stand out, perhaps in an ominous way. Eliot was always sensitive to such details.
P. M.

Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Sam’s interesting isn’t he. Veteran of a celebrated single minded force. I suppose the CEF would have been pin up boys with Ypres still in the mind. I think anyone who brings an aphoristic pair like K and K around to see some girls has more than one arrow in his quiver.

Pete

From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of P
Sent: Monday, 21 January 2013 4:32 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Sweeney Agonistes: Eliot’s raw underbelly

I tend to trend your way Pete, but surely there are them's as cain't or won't. And what's your take on the Canadian? ;->
Pierre

Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hey CR,

this is not at all the way I see Sweeney A.  I only have small observations to make but  to the extent that Lehmann sees it in a particular kind of place - a course (sic) pub - and that the bamboo tree business is supposed to be a referential nod to any worldly idyll viz Gauguin's world. Well I can't see it.  I know that the boys arrive and Doris calls down to them in the street but the notion that the play can be imagined in a setting is at odds with the irreal sense of space and time.   And the Bamboo tree is more a link to the  music hall than the actual South Seas. ( I think of Judy Garland in Meet me in St Louis doing the song by the way)

Cheers Pete.

----- Original Message -----

From: [log in to unmask]" href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Chokh Raj

To: [log in to unmask]" href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]

Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 3:31 PM

Subject: Re: Sweeney Agonistes: Eliot’s raw underbelly

Sweeney Agonistes: Eliot’s raw underbelly

Is Poetry Fiction?

 by

Gary Lehmann

CR