On 2/25/2013 4:30 PM, Peter Dillane wrote:
> Thanks Carrol will have a proper look later. In Paediatrics it is often said
> "there is no such thing as a baby" which suggests at least one industry
> recognises this.


     I'm not entirely unsure what "this" refers to (I'm tempted to say 
I'd be more impressed if pediatrics said there was no such thing as a 
foetus), but the exchange put me in mind of Eliot's intro to 
_Nightwood_. He says of Puritan society past that, "Failure was due to 
some weakness or perversity peculiar to the individual; but the decent 
man need have no nightmares. It is now rather more common to assume that 
all individual misery is the fault of 'society,' and is remediable by 
alterations from without. Fundamentally the two philosophies, however 
different they may appear in operation, are the same." I can't help 
wondering if in trying to sniff out what is abstract and what is more 
real in terms of individuals and society, this isn't the principle at 
work. For Eliot, at any rate, the proper tension between real and 
abstract is indicated in the observation that "so far as we attach 
ourselves to created objects and surrender our wills to temporal ends, 
[we] are eaten by the same worm."

Ken A

> Pete
> -----Original Message-----
> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
> Of Carrol Cox
> Sent: Tuesday, 26 February 2013 7:45 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: The " abstract - isolated - human individual" was Can less be more?
> (Comment  at end)
> Peter Dillane wrote: in the Milton essay you say:
> 'As Arthos notes Adam and Eve are separated from any historical context, any
> web of social relations, [ he]  presumably sees this as reflecting a basic
> reality, corresponding to the human condition or the permanent (ahistorical)
> nature of man, rather than a powerful and necessary illusion grounded in
> historically determinate social relations. This latter assumption, however,
> would have the advantage of freeing the critic from either engaging in
> ideological quarrels with Milton or from attempting to defend Milton or any
> other poet for his moral or political profundity,'