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Lecture 8

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Deirdre Flynn

Lecture 8 Central issue in wasteland is not that western civilization is broken but it’s actually shattered. And being shattered, its pieces are reversed, jumbled..incapable of putting back together in a coherent whole that can be nurturing and regenerative.. a vase that leaves us fearing now that its shattered that it will face endless thirst unquenchable. The emptiness we fear. In the arms of the angels by Mcloughlin The emptiness we fear. The emptiness and loneliness we fear that is coupled with all those memories that seep in ot our veins and lead u to seek shelter in the arms of a secular angel: heroin Compassionate Song about addiction Deals with existential, psychological, spiritual social emptiness that leads to seek comfort in opiates Its the suspension in a sense of waiting-waiting for the second chance-waiting for something that never arrives until wait is just too terrible- waiting one needs an distraction from that emptiness and feeling of hollowness ..from the memories that opiates provide an escape from, seep out of his veins from…as he finds state of euphoria from the drug, you experience opiatic tanscendents in the arms of the secular angel…for couple of hours Constant cycle of addictiveness, running away from emptiness, addiction and to find another drug state In wasteland, The characters seem to be seeking some shelter, some return to a loss state of transcendent peace, where they are no logner walking in circles, crowds of hollow men..instead left “undone” with pieces that constituted western civilization Elliot doing what visual artists were doing at that time- was to create cubist collages out there. In wasteland, verbal collages, verbal images, images that we access through language Both verbal and visual collages depict reversals, confusing contracts, abrupt cuts i.e the burial of dead, 7 significant reversals 1) Spring : traditional symbol of renewal is now the cruellest month. It’s the cruellest month because the thawing of the ice brings feeling back to the limbs: unbearably painful. Winter: a ymbol of discontendness, of frozen is now warm and cozy 2) Shelter and shade: what we normaly seek to find relief , is no longer anywhere to be found, but shadow under rock, it’s a strange shadow not your morning ro evening shadow but instead its fear. A psychological, emotional shadow of fear inside subjects. Shadow of fear. This shade is no shelter , brings with them awareness of painful feelings and fear 3) love too reversed. No longer about intimate connection and mutual support. Rather it’s a series of missed encounter where the hyacinth girl is wet and her partner cant see her, his eyes are glazed over, he is paralyzed, neither living nor dead….love maybe like sea. Sea: a poetic symbol of love, eternal. But in this case, love is not eternal and holding but rather its waste and emptiness 4) society is also fundamentally different: rather than groups of interconnected individuals rather composed of dazed crowds full of hollow men and women, all undone by death. Mme sosostris sees people walking in circle around a ring flowing over the London bridge..each men staring at their feet dying to have their memories seeped out of their veins 5) even the London city is reversed: a real city, with real streets, with real time , with real history  now unreal city, haunted by ghosts like Stetson,dogs digging up corpses that are metaphorically buried in the garden, i.e in the minds of those who lost their loved ones 6) reader that was once a brother is now a hypocrite .Mon sembable: with someone with who the speaker feels great familiarity & intimacy, now a threatening hypocrite& reader—the hypocrite is a double.double is a threatening reminds of one’s evil side. Doubles are often monstrous sides of ourselves in fiction. This friend has become hypocritical double ;one who pretends to have principles, beliefs , pretends to be virtuous but actually doesn’t at all, is a pretext, posing as a reader he is a hollowman, lost in wasteland of postworld war London he is the double of the narrator, the narrator is taking through the rubble of post WW london wasteland,ndrying to make sense of the anarchy of the world reminds of yeats, we see widening gyres of 2 coming. Yeats saw each country, era and each person as composed of warring elements. Yeats represented warring elements as two interpenetrating gyres and each person, country, era was a bound system of competing gyres, one discord and one concord yeats envisioned while one gyre expanded, the other diminished in endless spiral of turning gyres The widening gyre, discord if left unchecked risked exploding in to anarchy! Elliot admiring & critical relationship with Yeats. Elliot’s critique ;Yeats is not of this world. Independent of experience, feeling and thinking different from ours. Elliots problem with yeats is that he cant see the source of his thoughts, an objective crolloary, anything out in the world that would make Yeats to create such system of metaphysics…lack of evidence. Prof thinks that Elliot is similar to yeats, a soul brother of yeats, which is why prof superimposing yeatsian system on elliot’s wasteland Both experienced London falling apart post ww Closely linked in their literature circles. Both yeats and Elliot share similarities in postworld war sensibilities Owne and sasoon: warpoets, create a graphic depiction fo battles nad post-trauamtic disorder but yeats and elliot do something different-dotn give us graphic depiction seen in war poems but paint a a existential and social dilemma, a vaster dilemma of what is the world, Europe, what is England after catstrohic event such as WW1… Elliot grounds yeats metaphysics, there is nothing related to in the world, no objective corollary… in yeats poem and so he shows concrete examples of movement and fragmentation.objectives corlalies are myths of what is up and blow us , i.e the religious myths…gestures to hindu system of values…gestures to Buddhist systems of thought…but first go through secular…seems all anarchaic and meaningless….with ti a toen of rejection and denial..makes the relationships depicted inthem seem worse than shallow…repungent .. A game of chess Beautiful Luxorious room but she can’t enjoy it, she is nameless and amidst all this luxury, she sits Omage to ancient civilization to luxuxry, modern day Cleopatra..surround by luxury which at first glance wouldn’t appear to be sad, suffocating, “drowning” Fruited vines: embodiment of life and nourishment are not alive at all but carved into supportive pole that are encustrated with vines…Reversal of what is life affirming and what is decorative and superficial Cupid: embodiment of love and desire are chiselled and immobilized on the chair which this woman sits There is light but rather than evoking synthetic clam, soothing they are overabundance, they are suffocating and overwhelming..too much odor…TOO much all at once..not cleaned out by fresh air coming from the window..but air from window exacerbates the smell..stirs it all up..becomes nauseating..also stirs up the flames of the candle…which burst out and turn into smoke…so light get snuffed out into the ceiling water and dolphin what should be down Reversal of sky and sea…amidst all the life-affirmign splendour, she sits The room is like a tomb to her… “Above the …” stanza Philomela: woman raped and has her tongue cut out of her and then became the bird. She threatened to weave a tapestry telling her story to not just her sister but the world. Her sister read the tapestry..etc..another bizarre treatment with the corpse…in the burial of dead, corpse beign dug up by dogs or becoming ghost seems apt..mothers and fathers who sent their son to the trenches only to have them returned as corpses.. The woman is nervous.. she is pushing for some connection.“my nerves are bad”…why don’t you thinking of? The man replies:” I think we are in rats alley” The man is still in the past..he is locked in the past..because of the trauma he has endured..the woman left nervous, isolated, alone..and anxious…and that’s how so many woman and apartners felt after their husbands, children returned…. Life is squashed by death …the present is overtaken by past…she threatens to flee if he doesn’t her..if the narrator wont speak to her…he tells her what he is thinking but its nothing intersubjective. He can’t listen to herit s also intrasubjective encounter, within himself..he is in the trenches…rat’s alley where dead men lost their bone..dead to the present and this deadness, love switches to lovelessness like the hyacinth girl transformation to a nervous woman in a loveless marriage with a withdrawn husband Her question ;what is that noise is what is really wrong with u? her distress grows: “what shall I do” Their life is repetitive..meanigless routine…powerless to alter and for her, impossible to endure..wants driving her crazy is that the man insists there is nothing wrong….he can’t address it…chronic undoing of war. He cant tolerate her mounting hysteria, which elicits stress for him and so on..widening gyre..the discord keeps expanding out.. We are Eavesdropping in a bar.. lovereversed to emptiness and .friendship is too turned in to hypocrisy and into doubling…meaningly gossip about her friend Demobbed:discharged “ hurry up please, its time”  the bar man calling while women gossiping and wasting time Complete degradation of friendship The nasty friend is telling other woman that she told Lil to pretty up. man are scarce if lil doesn’t give him good time..others will..why no sympathy, compassion? Lil used the money to buy a morning after birth pill to end a preganancy with Albert she didn’t idnciation of adulterous pregnancy…the pill did
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