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Thanks, Peter Dillane and Peter Montgomery, for some keen observations. 

Well, here's a bit of a video, if you like, on Samson Agonistes. It begins with a reading of TWL and turns the pub scene of A Game of Chess, I guess, into the opening scene of SA - after about 9.15 minutes of it.

http://vimeo.com/12586841


CR 


________________________________
 From: Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 7:01 AM
Subject: Re: Sweeney Agonistes: Eliot’s          raw underbelly
 

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: P 
>>To: [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:Chokh Raj 
>>>To:[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
>>>http://www.poetrykit.org/pkmag/pkmag11/029.htm
>>>CR