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As far as I know blindness is his only physical attribute.  He is often depicted as old. 

Richard Seddon
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On Oct 3, 2013, at 9:47 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Dear Richard,
>  
> I was not offended, just concerned to make clear my only point.
>  
> I think, however, that Eliot was never constrained by the specific use of a character in a source: the Tiresias in Sophocles may not determine that in Eliot. The former was not--in any of the versions I know--defined by physical traits except blindness. Are there any?
> Nancy
> 
> >>> Richard Seddon 10/03/13 11:39 PM >>>
> Nancy:   I did not intend you or anyone in particular in my remark.  It was a general remark and I meant no offense.
> 
> Richard Seddon
> [log in to unmask]
> 
> 
> 
> On Oct 3, 2013, at 9:26 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>> 
>> From Richard:
>> "Now I guess a dedicated (obsess ed) reader can ignore or make light of this and still see Tiresias as some sort of homosexual reference."
>>  
>> Please read what I actually wrote. How does I possibly lead to the above response?
>> Nancy
>> 
>> >>> Nancy Gish 10/03/13 5:04 PM >>>
>> Dear Richard,
>>  
>> I never said this part of the poem was about homosexuality; I only said that that topic is as valid as any other. And before that  I pointed to the same thing about Tiresias that you say here. I am making a point about discussing homosexuality in Eliot's work and life as a valid topic: that's all. As for Tiresias, I don't think he is depicted as homosexual. But the previous encounter with Eugenides is. So one can see links--or not.
>> Nancy
>>  
>> 
>> >>> Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]> 10/3/2013 4:52 PM >>>
>> Well,  perhaps in this case, you can point out the obvious homosexual innuendo that i am missing, bearing in mind that a homosexual is not physically both a man and a woman at the same time but physically either a man or a woman.  
>>   
>> The way I see it Tiresias was physically a man and then he was physically a woman.  Nothing homosexual in that.  TSE finds a middle ground and depicts him in resolution of the juxtaposition as both physically a man and a woman.  Still nothing homosexual.  
>> 
>> As I recall the Greek story of Tiresias there is nothing in it that is overtly homosexual.  The main attribute of Tiresias is that he was a prophet.  If he had been homosexual the Greeks didn't let us know.  But, significantly, his shape shifting ability has never been used to indicate his sexual persuasion.
>> 
>> 
>> Richard Seddon
>> [log in to unmask]
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Oct 3, 2013, at 2:11 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>>> Dear Richard,
>>>  
>>> Parts of every theory have been depicted as pure bunk. That does not mean they are.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Nancy
>>> 
>>> >>> Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]> 10/3/2013 1:34 PM >>>
>>> Agreed CR.  
>>> 
>>> TSE delights in juxtaposing  seemingly oppositional objects and ideas.  That is what he is doing here.  He is fascinated with mutually exclusive, but related, things or concepts.  By stating them he seems to be looking for a middle ground in the reader's mind.   I could more accept Tiresias as an allusion to transsexuality than homosexuality, except that to TSE, I think, the genders were physically immutable. 
>>> 
>>> Homosexuality is a behavior pattern and an approach to sexuality.  It is an attribute of the mind and does not involve physical change.  It is singular to an individual.  
>>> 
>>> He would have loved simultaneous equations.  Different equations yet related so that when used together they solve both's unknowns. 
>>>  
>>> And Nancy,  parts of the homosexuality argument have also been depicted as pure bunk.
>>> 
>>> Rick Seddon
>>> Portales, NM
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Oct 3, 2013, at 10:45 AM, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote
>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Presume what you will, Tom. To me the passages in question are imaginative constructs rather than an expression of some actual experience.
>>>> 
>>>> CR
>>>> 
>>>> From: tcolket <[log in to unmask]>; 
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>; 
>>>> Subject: Re: Tiresias 
>>>> Sent: Thu, Oct 3, 2013 4:28:09 PM 
>>>> 
>>>> In more detail during my lunch break:
>>>> 1) Eugenides proposes meeting at Cannon Street hotel and the Metropole, a 'code' for a gay liason. This reference to Cannon Street opens the 'frame'.
>>>> 
>>>> 2) Tiresias appears as "man with female brrasts", that is, a male with some female attributes, a veiled  reference to homosexuality.
>>>> 
>>>> 3) Tiresias watches a rape and notes that he too has "foresuffered ALL"
>>>> 
>>>> 4) Narrator runs away from the "ghastly hill on Cannon Street" (facsimile edition), thereby completing the poetic 'frame' delineated by the two references to Cannon Street.
>>>> 
>>>> 5) Why is the Cannon Street hotel now ghastly? Implication: Narrator, as represented by Tiresias, was also raped. Rapist was Eugenides, that is, it was a homosexual rape. 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> -------- Original message --------
>>>> From: tcolket <[log in to unmask]> 
>>>> Date: 10/03/2013 11:11 AM (GMT-05:00) 
>>>> To: [log in to unmask] 
>>>> Subject: Re: Tiresias 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Through the Eugenides passages that bookend the typist passage (see the two Cannon street hotel lines, the second line is from the facsimile edition)
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> -------- Original message --------
>>>> From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> 
>>>> Date: 10/03/2013 10:49 AM (GMT-05:00) 
>>>> To: [log in to unmask] 
>>>> Subject: Re: Tiresias 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Then what? How do you connect it with homosexuality?
>>>> 
>>>> CR
>>>> 
>>>> From: tcolket <[log in to unmask]>; 
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>; 
>>>> Subject: Re: Tiresias 
>>>> Sent: Thu, Oct 3, 2013 8:31:44 AM 
>>>> 
>>>> He says, "I Tiresias... throbbing between TWO lives ... have foresuffered all"  What makes you say this must refer to only what happened to Tiresias when he was a wonan? 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> -------- Original message --------
>>>> From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> 
>>>> Date: 10/02/2013 10:13 PM (GMT-05:00) 
>>>> To: [log in to unmask] 
>>>> Subject: Re: Tiresias 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> In the typist passage, Tiresias is only alluding to what he foresuffered as a woman.
>>>> 
>>>> CR
>>>> 
>>>> From: tcolket <[log in to unmask]>; 
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>; 
>>>> Subject: Re: Tiresias 
>>>> Sent: Thu, Oct 3, 2013 1:26:51 AM 
>>>> 
>>>> The key thing about Tiresias is not that he is old; it&apos;s that he has life experiences from both a male and female perspective. I do not think it is absurd to think that such a figure from mythology could serve as a symbol for a homosexual, given what a forbidden topic this was in 1922. 
>>>> 
>>>> I&apos;m not saying that Tiresias is a homosexual; but that&apos;s why I think he&apos;s in this section of the poem that deals with a rape (which I&apos;ve already discussed is a passage that I think is a disguised description of the homosexual rape of the narrator).
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> -------- Original message --------
>>>> From: Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]> 
>>>> Date: 10/02/2013 9:17 PM (GMT-05:00) 
>>>> To: [log in to unmask] 
>>>> Subject: Re: Tiresias 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Tom
>>>> 
>>>> Why?
>>>> 
>>>> Old men typically have sagging breasts.
>>>> 
>>>> My comment was intended to point that out.
>>>> 
>>>> I see this passage as merely a graphic depiction of an old man&apos;s chest.
>>>> 
>>>> Some can find a gay allusion in virtually any line of TWL.  I think using this phrase in that manner stretches that sort of reasoning to an absurdity.
>>>> 
>>>> My question then is,  why make this any more complicated than it already is.  Tiresias was an old man whose chest sagged.  He probably had bow legs, a bald head and arthritic fingers;  poor eyesight and  walked in a sort of shuffle.
>>>> 
>>>> Richard Seddon
>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> On Oct 2, 2013, at 6:50 PM, tcolket <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> You may want to consider that the phrase "old man with wrinkled female breasts," that is, a male with some female attributes, could be a safe way, in 1922, of alluding to a male homosexual.
>>>>> 
>>>>> -Tom-
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> -------- Original message --------
>>>>> From: Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> 
>>>>> Date: 10/02/2013 1:04 PM (GMT-05:00) 
>>>>> To: [log in to unmask] 
>>>>> Subject: Re: Tiresias 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> In the Sophocles texts, he has become, again, a man who has been a woman. In Eliot he seems clearly to remain both. That is part, I think, of the way he responds to the coupling of the two. He is, ironically, both and neither in that text.
>>>>> Nancy
>>>>> 
>>>>> >>> Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]> 10/02/13 12:02 PM >>> 
>>>>> I don&apos;t know about you Carroll but when I look at my 71 year old chest, which used to be hard and flat, I see what looks disturbing like sagging a cups were it not for the gray hair. 
>>>>> 
>>>>> And, I assure you I have not had a sex change nor even contemplated it. 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Carroll wrote: " The phrase "old man with wrinkled female dugs" seems discordant as well" 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Richard Seddon 
>>>>> [log in to unmask] 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> On Oct 2, 2013, at 7:57 AM, Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 
>>>>> 
>>>>> > How much of the legend of Tiresias is incorporated in TWL? He/she got into 
>>>>> > trouble originally by striking two copulating snakes. But his/her real 
>>>>> > downfall occurred by resolving a debate between Zeus & Hera; he sided with 
>>>>> > Zeus, declaring that women had far more sexual pleasure than men. That seems 
>>>>> > not to fit the case of the typist. He &apos;sides&apos; with Antigone against Creon in 
>>>>> > that play. 
>>>>> > 
>>>>> > The phrase "old man with wrinkled female dugs" seems discordant as well. 
>>>>> > The sex changes were arranged by deity after all, & should not have been 
>>>>> > ambiguous. 
>>>>> > Carrol 
>>>>> >
>>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>