Eliot's diagnosis was "neurasthenia." He stated that it was "aboulia," or a lack of will, an inability to act. That was, at the time, one clinical symptom of hysteria and/or neurasthenia. Vittoz treated him for that, and if you read Vittoz's book, it is quite clear how these fit together. There is nothing about homosexuality.

On the other hand, the loss of Verdenal and gain of Viv might have triggered such a neurosis. Who knows. But it was not part of his own accounts or his treatment.

>>> Ken Armstrong 10/04/13 9:00 AM >>>

Just enjoying this thread from a distance and wondered about a couple of your points below.

On 10/3/2013 12:28 PM, tcolket wrote:

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.

What you mean here is that it could be a veiled reference to homosexuality, right? You're not saying that it was, as in 1) above, an accepted 'code' for homosexuality?

3) Tiresias watches a rape and notes that he too has "foresuffered ALL"

Which rape? Not the secretary and small house agent's clerk, which seems pretty well established as a consort, quite an unlovely one, but the sex was apparently assumed to be part of the deal on both parties' parts, so to speak.

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. 

I don't see your logic here. Why wouldn't the implication, for example, be more simply that he is running away from, to put it neutrally, a homosexual proposition? Let's face it, after a rape is kind of late to be running; one would expect a different, traumatized state of mind.

I haven't seen my ed. of the facsimilie for a while, but I recollect Eliot being quoted in relation to his 'nervous breakdown' that he was relieved to learn that he was only 'deranged.' Do you suppose he meant by that a brush with homosexuality or at any rate a state of mind that would include homosexuality? Peter D in this thread noted that he wasn't so sure what Eliot would think of current views of homosexuality, but I think we can be pretty sure he would not be in favor of liberal views. His reaction to Peters many years after TWL seems a good barometer, whether you think it was a rant or that he was justified in his anger. My guess is that he wouldn't have been so angry had he not been justified in so being. 

Ken A