Print

Print


O.K. I did locate the note. Hereit is:

46. I am not familiar with the exact constitution of the Tarot pack of cards, from which I
have obviously departed to suit my own convenience. The Hanged Man, a member of
the traditional pack, fits my purpose in two ways: because he is associated in my mind
with the Hanged God of Frazer, and because I associate him with the hooded figure in
the passage of the disciples to Emmaus in Part V. The Phoenician Sailor and the
Merchant appear later; also the 'crowds of people', and Death by Water is executed in
=====

P may be correct about this note. If it isn't intended as a joke then T.S.E. is just blowing it out his ass. And if that (or a joke for that matter) is the case, then I was probably correct in a speculation a  few years ago that the first puzzled reader of TWL was Eliot himself, and the notes were a rather a <painful and tonally incoherent set of efforts to find some unity in his poem. That was probably behind his repeated suggestion, repeatedly rejected by Pound, to prefix Gerontion.

The earlier note on Ovid and anthropology does not read as a joke however, and if so intended it's pretty flat.

Did Eliot ever  come to terms with his wonderful poem, or did he always continue to agonize over it or make (deliberately) misleading comments?

Carrol

P writes: " Surely Eliot's comment there is a joke, like the one at the end of the FIre Sermon."