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Impressionism: A literary style characterized by the use of details and
mental associations to evoke subjective and sensory impressions rather than
the re-creation of objective reality.


Eliot’s early poetry abounds in it.


CR


On Sat, Feb 24, 2018 at 12:22 PM Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> "*Preludes*" is a poem <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry> by T. S.
> Eliot <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._S._Eliot>, composed between
> 1910 and 1911. It is in turns literal
> <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literal_and_figurative_language> and
> impressionistic
> <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism_(literature)>.
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preludes_(poem)
>
> Impressionistic? Yup. That is it.
>
> CR
>
> On Sat, Feb 24, 2018 at 12:06 PM Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> “You dozed, and watched the night revealing
>>
>> The thousand sordid images
>>
>> Of which your soul was constituted;
>>
>> They flickered against the ceiling.
>>
>> And when all the world came back
>>
>> And the light crept up between the shutters
>>
>> And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
>>
>> You had such a vision of the street
>>
>> As the street hardly understands;”
>>
>>
>> — ‘Preludes’
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Feb 24, 2018 at 9:04 AM Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>> “Time for you and time for me,
>>>
>>> And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
>>>
>>> And for a hundred visions and revisions,
>>>
>>> Before the taking of a toast and tea.”
>>>
>>>
>>> Insights,
>>>
>>> CR
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 11:45 PM Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Many poets have dramatized a conversation between two selves of self
>>>> but that is not a medical condition of hysteria. But yes, when you have a
>>>> split personality, you are sometimes this person, sometimes that, that is a
>>>> medical condition. For instance, Eliot’s first wife was found walking the
>>>> streets in a guise other than her natural self, it was a case of
>>>> dissociation, a form of hysteria. Who does not have a conversation with
>>>> his/her own self? That is quite natural and human.
>>>>
>>>> CR
>>>>
>>>> On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 11:25 PM Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Your reading of the poem, according to you, sees the "you and I" as
>>>>> "two selves." I do not know what you think "hysteria" means, but it is not
>>>>> popular images of crazed women or mad weeping.
>>>>>
>>>>> In the late 19th and early 20th century, it was a serious medical
>>>>> diagnosis. And having two selves was one version (there were many, but this
>>>>> was one major one). So your focus on the poem as opening with "two selves"
>>>>> is quite specifically within the definition at the time.
>>>>>
>>>>> This is simple history of medicine, not an impression of
>>>>> over-emotional behavior. Eliot's interest in this topic is frequent in his
>>>>> writing--consider at least the poem "Hysteria." And he had read a great
>>>>> deal about it.
>>>>>
>>>>> On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 10:44 PM, Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Let us go then, you and I,
>>>>>> When the evening is spread out against the sky
>>>>>> Like a patient etherized upon a table;
>>>>>> Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
>>>>>> The muttering retreats
>>>>>> Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
>>>>>> And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
>>>>>> Streets that follow like a tedious argument
>>>>>> Of insidious intent
>>>>>> To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
>>>>>> Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
>>>>>> Let us go and make our visit.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> No, nothing hysterical about “you and I” here.
>>>>>> My focus is on this poem only.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> CR
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 10:00 PM Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> If you read clinical descriptions of hysteria--in psychiatric texts,
>>>>>>> for example as well as Janet--from that time, what you call "you and I"
>>>>>>> would be a form of hysteria. Eliot was very familiar with these definitions
>>>>>>> because he knew Janet and James.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Also, it appears in "Prufrock's Pervigilium."
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 8:54 PM, Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Whatever, there is no sign of hysteria in ‘The Love Song of J.
>>>>>>>> Alfred Prufrock.’
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> CR
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 1:39 PM Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Eliot said that himself in a 1962 interview: he said Prufrock was
>>>>>>>>> partly himself and partly someone older. But duality is all over Eliot's
>>>>>>>>> work. It was also a major psychological issue in the early 20th century,
>>>>>>>>> and the most important then (until about 1920) was Pierre Janet. Janet
>>>>>>>>> lectured on hysteria at Harvard the year Eliot arrived, and he and Morton
>>>>>>>>> Prince and William James were all part of a group who studied and discussed
>>>>>>>>> dissociation. At that time, duality/dissociation was clinically listed as a
>>>>>>>>> form of hysteria.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> His "different take" is illustrated by an earlier claim, to
>>>>>>>>> Kristian Smidt, that it was spoken to a male friend. But Eliot often said
>>>>>>>>> different things at different times: he did not have any consistent
>>>>>>>>> "different take."
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> My article in Cassandra's and my book,* Gender, Desire, and
>>>>>>>>> Sexuality in T. S. Eliot *(Cambridge, 2004) traces the psychology
>>>>>>>>> sources and the representations in the poetry--if anyone wants facts and
>>>>>>>>> sources. The note on the first page also lists many who have discussed
>>>>>>>>> duality in the poetry.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Sorry for the ad, but the book has been out for a long time and is
>>>>>>>>> cited a lot. So this topic is not simple or just impressionistic. Also, for
>>>>>>>>> anyone interested, it should be in many libraries.
>>>>>>>>> Nancy
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 1:17 PM, Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]
>>>>>>>>> > wrote:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Incidentally, I’ve always subscribed to the “you and I” in the
>>>>>>>>>> poem as two selves of Prufrock, the poem being Prufrock’s conversation with
>>>>>>>>>> his own self. So have some critics. Despite Eliot’s different take on it.
>>>>>>>>>> What do you think? Think.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> CR
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 12:23 PM Chanan Mittal <
>>>>>>>>>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> T.S. Eliot at Harvard
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> http://eliotatharvard.blogspot.com/
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> “My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—“
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> Look at Eliot’s 1910 picture here:
>>>>>>>>>>> https://english.fas.harvard.edu/event/5693/
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> Interesting pages.
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> CR
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>