My point exactly. As McLuhan pointed out, being a trading people they needed a method of keeping track of their trades so they hammered out a crude workable alphabet which they took around the Mediterranean with them & educated their known world.
That connects Phlebas with the currant fellow, the mechanical typist, and her carbuncular young man with Bradford assurance, &c, &c. The profit and the loss. Also with the Dantean crowd flowing over London bridge down to the City where all the roads meet at THE ONE FIGURE absent from the poem, the royal stock exchange which connects with the whole of the Empire & so, the world.

BTW Eliz 1 opened the 1st exchange in early 1600s. Eliz 2 opened Exchange Tower in 1967.


Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

P> Those are ancillary elements which reinforce Phoenecia but they don't say why.


I want to highly recommend an essay on Eliot's "Dans le Restaurant" (which contains Eliot's first reference to Phlebas the Phoenician). The essay, written by the late Professor William Arrowsmith, is "Daedal Harmonies: A Dialogue on Eliot and the Classics," Southern Review 13 (1977) 1-47.

In that essay, Arrowsmith postulates several ideas about why Phlebas is Phoenician. Arrowsmith's main idea is that Eliot is taking us back as far as written literature can go. As noted in Wikipedia "The Phoenicians were the first state-level society to make extensive use of the alphabet. The Phoenician phonetic alphabet is generally believed to be the ancestor of almost all modern alphabets." Arrowsmith views the Phoenician reference as similar to the reference to Mylae, an ancient war, bringing up the idea that "this has all happened before; this is the human condition."

-- Tom --

Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2013 02:14:38 -0700
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: TWL as ground.
To: [log in to unmask]

Those are ancillary elements which reinforce Phoenecia but they don't say why.

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

Because Dido was Phoenician, and there had been a long passage on Dido and Aeneas, and because Carthage was first defeated at sea by Rome in the battle at Mylae. Among  many other reasons.

>>> P 08/20/13 11:44 PM >>>
Why Phoenician? He is another figure in the ground, but why Phoenician? Why not Egyptian? Greek? Roman?

Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

fact and artifact: vis-a-vis the postulate of the fugue

"Here, said she, is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor."

Well, it may as well be the poet who is "drowned" here, vis-a-vis his nervous breakdown, passing into a fugue in which state the "unconscious" wakes up to a mode of recollection and recreation. And even though there is always a correlation between "the man who suffers and the mind which creates,"  

Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.


Now this fugue postulate is corroborated by what the poet himself observed vis-a-vis the wasteland that was his first marriage: "To her the marriage brought no happiness to me it brought the state of mind out of which came The Waste Land." It correlates "the man who suffers and the mind which creates."

TWL as ground, indeed, absolutely!


And yet I must compliment Peter Montgomery for this wonderful insight -- 
a state of fugue in which the 'unconscious' is free to cull up fragments
from its stock of memories and put them in an order that suits it best. 
When the poet recovers from that state he makes what he can of 
what the 'unconscious' has expressed. 


No, it does not leave to the reader to make whatever he/she would make of it. There are enough signposts. 

Of course, by 'madness' I meant whatever form it takes. 


On Aug 19, 2013, at 9:43 PM, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 
There is a method to this madness, if madness it be. 
It is just not random ramshackle curiosity shop.
It is a work of art.


On Aug 19, 2013, at 9:23 PM, P <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I'm not sure how relevant mental health analysis actually is. This is more of a fragmented cultures rammed together and laid out for whatever the reader synthesises.