Eliot is not describing the act or method of creating the formula; he is
defining what the formula is. That is not the same. And given his other
claims about the images coming from some unconscious place, they need
not be an act of "formulation." The grammar does make a significant

But it is clear that this is now a pointless discussion since you do not
seem to address anything I say--which is fine--but to say something else
not relevant to my point. But what Eliot says and what Gingerich claims
do not match.

>>> Chokh Raj 07/23/13 11:04 AM >>>

Well, any dictionary would explain 'formulate' as

//to reduce to or express in a formula//


From: Nancy Gish 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 10:10 AM
Subject: Re: Yale "open course" lectures on Eliot

That is not what Eliot says. He says the latter is a formula--not the
same at all.

>>> Chokh Raj 07/23/13 9:00 AM >>>

And yes, a FORMULA, that's how a modernist poet formulates "a set of
objects, a situation, a chain of events" to evoke a particular emotion. 


In point of fact, Eliot's poetry is replete with objective correlatives.
These are the means by which he proceeds, from first to last. There is
not a poem that does not employ this technique. One would end up quoting
his entire poetry. Tell me where he does not use this celebrated
technique and I shall get back with illustrative quotations. 


From: Nancy Gish 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 1:52 AM
Subject: Re: Yale "open course" lectures on Eliot

Gingerich's "point of view" does not seem to distinguish among symbols,
image clusters, and what Eliot called an "objective correlative." To
correlate is not necessarily to symbolize, and Eliot's own definition
does not conflate them. In other words, Gingerich does not seem to
understand the "objective correlative." I think we can rely on Eliot's
own words, which refer to the "formula" for an emotion, not to a
symbolic meaning. Gingerich can, of course, have his own definition, but
that is not the same as claiming to explain Eliot's.

It would be nice, also, if Gingerich distinguished between the noun
"subtlety" and the adverb "subtly." ("tastefully and subtlety" [sic]) 

I can imagine the sneers this will evoke and am long past interest in
them, but this is a good deal below the Yale professor.

If anyone is interested in actually discussing Eliot, I would be
interested in any views on the focus of his sense of tradition. It
increasingly seems to me that to attend at all to what is called
"British" literature means to try to deal with the plural, "traditions."
I have been thinking about this and would be glad to know any reactions
from the list, not random blogs.

>>> Chokh Raj 07/22/13 10:20 PM >>>

a point of view

Understanding the Objective Correlative

By Jon Gingerich 

October 24, 2012

The winter evening settles down 

With smell of steaks in passageways. 

Six o’clock. 

The burnt-out ends of smoky days. 

And now a gusty shower wraps 5

The grimy scraps 

Of withered leaves about your feet 

And newspapers from vacant lots; 

The showers beat 

On broken blinds and chimney-pots, 10

And at the corner of the street 

A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps. 

And then the lighting of the lamps. 

-- TS Eliot, 'Preludes'


From: Tom Colket 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2013 1:37 PM
Subject: Re: Yale "open course" lectures on Eliot

Nancy , I know that there are many ways to teach Eliot in the classroom,
and beginners have to start somewhere. Nonetheless, when I heard the
rather obvious and passionless points made in the Yale lectures I was
reminded of a passage about Eliot that I've always loved, from Randall
Jarreactually believe that all those things about objective correlatives,
classicism, the tradition, applied to his poetry?// Surely you must have
seen that he was one of the most subjective and daemonic poets who ever
lived, the victim and helpless beneficiary of his own inexorable
compulsions, obsessions? From a psychoanalytical point of view he was
far and away the most interesting poet of your century. But for you, of
course, after the first few years, his poetry existed undersea,
thousands of feet below the deluge of exegesis, explication, source
listing, scholarship and criticism that overwhelmed it. And yet how
bravely and personally it survived, its eyes neither coral nor
mother-of-pearl but plainly human, full of human anguish!"


-- Tom -- 

Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 11:24:40 -0400
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Yale "open course" lectures on Eliot
To: [log in to unmask]

Dear Tom,

I think there are two likely reasons for what you note: first, it seems
to be an introductory class, so it probably assumes students with little
knowledge of the basics; second, Hammer is not a specialist on
Eliot--his books are on Hart Crane and other American poets. So he is
not an Eliot expert with a graduate seminar. It is no doubt a useful
film if one does not know Eliot.

>>> Tom Colket 07/22/13 10:55 AM >>>

While doing some on-line searching, I came across some lectures on Eliot
as part of the Yale University "Open Courses," where major colleges and
universities make video recordings of actual class lectures available
free of charge on the web. I was initially excited to find that there
were three 50-minute Eliot lectures, consisting of an introduction, a
lecture on Prufrock, and the final one on The Waste Land. Unfortunately,
after hearing the lectures, I cannot recommend them to the List. Anyone
with even a small amount of Eliot knowledge will, in my opinion, find
nothing new or insightful in what this Yale professor has to say for
almost three hours.

I'm curious as to how this situation could have come about. How is it
possible that a professor at a major university could have so little to
offer his students about Eliot?

-- Tom --