Thank you.
P. M.

Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I just showed one: the statements on a poem's meaning are contradictory. Either there is an "absolute" meaning or there is a meaning "not exhausted by any explanation." It cannot be both. Here's another. Eliot told Kristian Smidt that the "you" in "Prufrock" was a male companion, but in a 1962 interview, he said that Prufrock was partly himself and partly someone else, a man of about forty who also expressed his own feelings. Citations for these statements are in my essay on dissociation in Eliot's poetry. Here's another: his dismissal of the notes and their impact on interpretation of TWL as sending critics on a wild goose chase is well known. So how does that compare with the claim of the notes that Tiresias is the most important personage or that Weston is explanatory? He reiterated his "debt" to Weston, but he no longer said it was explanatory, and it is really only in section V that Weston is explicitly used, so that is a possible "debt" but hardly an overall explanation. So which way is one to read the notes, especially all the others that started the wild goose chase? Here's another, he rejected biography but used it in writing of other poets, like Yeats, for example: "I have, in early essays, extolled what I called impersonality in art, and it may seem that, in giving as a reason for the superiority of Yeats's later work the greater expression of personality in it, I am contradicting myself. It may be that I expressed myself badly, or that I had only an adolescent grasp of that idea--as I can never bear to re-read my own prose writings, I am willing to leave the point unsettled. . . " (TSE, "Yeats," OPP). Well, he then offers what he has come to understand are two forms of impersonality. So I assume we all are left to accept an unsettled point about whatever he thought he meant in his possibly adolescent understanding or possible self-contradiction.


>>> P <[log in to unmask]>01/11/13 10:58 PM >>>
You have mentioned the contradictions many times, but I have never yet seen you provide chapter and verse on any of them.
P. M.

Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Read what? I just did read the essay. If you mean the letter, my point is that any one statement of Eliot can be found to be contradicted elsewhere--so no, I have not read the letter, but that does not affect my point. And Eliot is not the final authority on his own work anyway--also part of my point. So I don't know what you think you "got" but you can't dismiss the contradictions. They are all over. Did you want the entire page of his critique of a method of criticism retyped?
N

>>> Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>01/11/13 8:11 PM >>>
Gotcha, you haven't read it, either.

On 1/11/2013 7:53 PM, Nancy Gish wrote:
[log in to unmask] type="cite">
"But as every method [of criticism] has its own limitations and dangers,