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Tone and voice in T.S. Eliot’s early poetry and prose Cooper, John Xiros 1984

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TONE AND VOICE IN T. S. ELIOT'S EARLY POETRY AND PROSE  by JOHN XIROS COOPER B.A., S i r George W i l l i a m s  U n i v e r s i t y , 1970  M.A., The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1977  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE .OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f E n g l i s h )  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 1984  (?) John X i r o s Cooper,  1984  In  presenting this  thesis  in partial  f u l f i l m e n t of  r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t of  British  it  freely  agree for  Columbia, available  I  agree that  for reference  the  University  the L i b r a r y  s h a l l make  and s t u d y .  I  that permission for extensive  copying of  understood that financial  copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of  Department o f  English  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h 1956 Main Mall V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1Y3  E-6 (3/81">  this It  this  g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t  permission.  Date  further thesis  s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e h e a d o f my  d e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s o r h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . for  the  1 M a r c h 1984  Columbia  is thesis my w r i t t e n  Abstract  This study examines 'tone' and 'voice' in T. S. Eliot's early poetry and prose from sociological and historical perspectives. A procedural framework is proposed drawn from recent work in the sociology of knowledge, social anthropology, and the sociology of language which helps to elucidate the specific relationship between a literary text and the concrete historical moment in which i t is lodged.  In this study a  literary work is not conceived of as a discrete textual object, but as a signifying practice which shares with a l l uses of language the important feature of occurring in a particular social context that is already always deeply inscribed with meaning.  The shared knowledge of this  system of meaning in a society I call  'common intuitive l i f e ' .  Works of  art impinge on the common intuitive l i f e as operations, of certain, specific kinds, on this system of settled significations.  I argue that  Eliot's early work actively aimed to subvert, disrupt, and, ultimately, transform the aesthetic and socio-political regions of the common intuitive l i f e of bourgeois society.  This study, thus, contests the tradi-  tional critical practice of assigning to Eliot's enactments of experience in his poetry and to his formulations of critical axioms in his prose a universalist or essentialist value.  Instead his early work is read as  embodying more limited aesthetic and cultural practices, which, on occasion, use universal ist notions, like myth, instrumentally in the service of the more limited project.  iii  "Hearing the dissonances" introduces the concept of 'tone' and explores the paradoxical services this notion has rendered Anglo-American formalism from I. A. Richards to American 'new c r i t i c i s m . 1  rethinks 'tone' sociologically.  This chapter  "The destruction of 'literature'"  examines "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" as Eliot's witty attempt to annul late Romantic notions of the 'literary' and of the verbal practices which follow from such notions.  "Undermining the foundations"  extends this analysis to other short poems and ends with a discussion of a fragment of  The  waste  Land,  bringing to bear concepts and themes  developed in previous chapters and looking forward to the fuller treatment of  The  waste  Land  in Chapter Five.  activity," examines tone and form in The  Chapter Four, "An incessant sacred  wood,  discovering and  interpreting the overall unity of this signal text as a function of its iconoclastic encounter with settled notions and theories of literature and literary practice. Land"  "A deep closed song; or the argument of  The  waste  examines Eliot's early masterpiece as a work whose unity lies, not  in putative intrinsic coherences, but in its relationship to the common intuitive l i f e of bourgeois readers in post-Great War England. The chapter, in short, explores the poem's negative or dialogical  'unity'.  The study concludes in "A very long perspective" with a brief discussion of "Ash Wednesday" and  For  Lancelot  Andrewes.  It assesses the mutations  of tone and voice consonant with Eliot's migration in English society from an uneasy marginality to a socially and institutionally more central place.  iv  But I have seen the birth and death of several purely literary periodicals; and I say of all of them that in isolating the concept of literature they destroy the l i f e of literature. . . . Even the purest literature is alimented from non-literary sources, and has non-literary  consequences.  Pure literature is a chimera of sensation; admit the vestige of an idea and i t is already transformed. . . .  We must  include besides 'creative' work and literary criticism, any material which should be operative on general ideas—the results of contemporary work in history, archaeology, anthropology, even the more technical sciences when those results are of such a nature to be valuable to the man of general culture and when they can be intelligible to him. T. S. Eliot, "The Idea of a Literary Review," The  New  criterion  4 (January 1926): 3-4.  V  Table o f Contents  Abbreviations  vi  Acknowledgements  v i i  Preface  1  Chapter One: H e a r i n g t h e d i s s o n a n c e s  15  Chapter Two: The d e s t r u c t i o n o f " l i t e r a t u r e "  53  Chapter Three: Undermining  97  the f o u n d a t i o n s  Chapter Four: An i n c e s s a n t a c t i v i t y Chapter F i v e : A deep c l o s e d song; o r the argument o f  157 The  waste  Land  207  Chapter S i x : A v e r y l o n g p e r s p e c t i v e  302  Works C i t e d  321  vi  Abbreviations  ASG  After  Strange  CP  Collected  FLA  For  Lancelot  Idea  The  Idea  KE  Knowledge  Poems,  Notes  PP  On  SE  Selected  SW  The  TCC  To  Youth  Poems  A  Primer  of  a  of  1909-1962,  Andrewes:  and  [1915], Notes  Gods:  Heresy,  1934  1963  Essays  Christian  Modern  on  Style  Society,  Experience  in  and  Order,  1928  1939  the  Philosophy  of  F.  H.  Bradley,  1964  towards Poetry  the  and  Poets,  Essays,  Sacred Criticize Written  Definition  of  Culture,  Poetry  and  1948  1957 1932  Wood:  Essays  the  Critic,  in  Early  on  1965  Youth,  1967  Criticism,  1920  Acknowledgements  Over the four years this study has been in preparation many people have contributed to its completion.  The Graduate Committee in the  Department of English has been most helpful and its present Chairman, Professor Hulcoop, especially so.  I also thank the members of my  supervisory committee, Professors Graham Good and Peter Quartermain, and Professor Ross at an earlier stage, for their discerning comments and suggestions.  To Professor Keith A l l d r i t t , my supervisor, I owe a  special debt for his constant encouragement, sound advice, and penetrating criticism.  To Cheryl Cooper I owe a debt that goes beyond words.  However, any errors that remain, of fact or judgement, infelicities of thought and expression, are entirely my own responsibility.  1  Preface  T h i s study examines v o i c e and tone i n T. S. E l i o t ' s e a r l y and p r o s e .  The c a t e g o r y o f 'tone' i n v i t e s t h e c l o s e s c r u t i n y o f a  work's c o n c r e t e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l My work develops and v o i c e .  formalism."  context.  a s o c i o l o g i c a l approach t o the s t u d y o f l i t e r a r y  I t does t h i s i n a s c h o l a r l y and c r i t i c a l  "new c r i t i c i s m , " and, t h e term  tone  c o n t e x t dominated  by t r a d i t i o n s o f r e a d i n g and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n v a r i o u s l y c a l l e d criticism,"  poetry  "practical  I adopt, "Anglo-American  By "Anglo-American f o r m a l i s m " I mean t h a t t r a d i t i o n o f  r e a d i n g and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t h a t o p e r a t e s on the assumption t h a t a work o f l i t e r a t u r e i s a d i s c r e t e , s e l f - c o n t a i n e d t e x t u a l o b j e c t whose meaning i s generated  as t h e r e s u l t o f t h e e n t i r e l y i n t r i n s i c a c t i o n o f the language  o f t h e t e x t , r e c u p e r a b l e formal p a t t e r n s , and t h e unique i n s t a n c i n g o f c o n v e n t i o n a l f e a t u r e s (Fekete 1977: 85-98; M i c h a e l s 1980: 410-420; Fowler  1981: 186-187).  My study opposes t h i s view.  The dominance o f  t h i s f o r m a l i s m i n t h e academic s e t t i n g where l i t e r a t u r e i s read and d i s c u s s e d has f o r c e d a c e r t a i n p o l e m i c a l tone t o creep i n t o my work and  i n t o my f o r m u l a t i o n o f a c r i t i c a l  a m i n o r i t y p r a c t i c e i n North A m e r i c a ,  practice that i s s t i l l  v e r y much  though l e s s so i n most o t h e r  academic communities i n t h e w o r l d . For my purposes,  a work o f l i t e r a t u r e i s not c o n c e i v e d o f as a  d i s c r e t e t e x t u a l o b j e c t but shares w i t h a l l uses o f language t h e c r u c i a l f e a t u r e o f always o c c u r r i n g i n a communicative c o n t e x t .  By t h i s I do  2  not mean t h a t a t e x t must be read a g a i n s t a communicative  background.  T h i s would be t o r e s u r r e c t c e r t a i n p r e - f o r m a l i s t t r a d i t i o n s o f r e a d i n g a g a i n s t which t h e r e i g n i n g f o r m a l i s m was f i r s t minted 1930s.  i n t h e 1920s and  The communicative c o n t e x t i s not s i m p l y a s e p a r a b l e background,  r e c o v e r e d i n c r i t i c i s m as s e p a r a b l e e v e n t s , o b j e c t s , and i n d i v i d u a l s a f f e c t i n g the d i s c r e t e t e x t , e i t h e r at the l e v e l o f naive r e f e r e n t i a l i t y or  at the l e v e l o f general ideas.  t e x t as a whole and pervades  The communicative c o n t e x t shapes a  a l l i t s i n d i v i d u a l elements  ( F i r t h 1957: 181-182; Fowler 1981: 191-192). not s i m p l y speak; i t addresses  and p a r t s  For example, a t e x t does  p a r t i c u l a r r e a d e r s whom t h e a u t h o r  c o n c e i v e s o f i n c e r t a i n ways, b e g i n n i n g w i t h t h e o f t e n t a c i t assumption  t h a t r e a d e r s a l r e a d y always  have something  authorial  in their  l i k e e x p e c t a t i o n s o f what a l i t e r a r y t e x t s h o u l d b e - - w i t h which her own t e x t w i l l 1979b: 7-11).  headsh i s or  have t o s e t up some s o r t o f d e t a i l e d r e l a t i o n s h i p (Eco  S i m i l a r l y , t h e language o f a l i t e r a r y work i s u n i n t e r -  p r e t a b l e save i n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h e l i n g u i s t i c usages o f a p a r t i c u l a r community, and i n t h e c o n t e x t o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h e t e x t s e t s up w i t h those changing  usages and t h e normal e x p e c t a t i o n s i m p l i e d i n e s t a b l i s h e d  verbal p r a c t i c e s .  A g a i n , modes o f formal and g e n e r i c p a t t e r n i n g make  no sense u n l e s s read as s e t t i n g up m o t i v a t e d r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h s e t t l e d p r i n c i p l e s and p r a c t i c e s t h a t d i s t i n g u i s h the p a t t e r n e d from t h e amorphous, n o i s e from sound, o r d e r from The  chaos.  communicative c o n t e x t which makes sense o f a t e x t  occurs w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i e t y . i n two d i m e n s i o n s :  as a m u l t i - l e v e l  itself  T h i s study c o n c e i v e s o f s o c i e t y s t r u c t u r e i n continuous  historical  t r a n s f o r m a t i o n (a c o n v e n t i o n a l enough n o t i o n ) and as a s t r u c t u r e o f  3  i n t e n t i o n a l i t y g e n e r a t e d by t h e f u l l measure o f human agency i n the form o f human  Praxis  (Lowe 1982: 17-18).  I want t o i n s i s t on t h i s  latter  dimension o f s o c i e t y because v e r y o f t e n an approach such as t h e one I take i n t h i s s t u d y i s accused o f d i s s o l v i n g t h e i n d i v i d u a l  i n impersonal  and m e c h a n i s t i c f o r c e s o f p r o d u c t i o n , o r laws o f h i s t o r y .  The human  b e i n g i s n e i t h e r a puppet awkwardly d a n g l i n g on t h i n w i r e s descending from t h e laws o f h i s t o r i c a l change, nor a nervous mask g r i m a c i n g i n p a i n s and p l e a s u r e s o c c a s i o n a l l y e r u p t i n g from t h e depths o f t h e u n c o n s c i o u s . I t has been a weakness o f h i s t o r i c i s t and m a t e r i a l i s t approaches human s c i e n c e s t h a t t h e y have not i n s i s t e d enough on the s o c i a l o f t h e competent  i n the importance  and knowledgeable human agent ( L e f e b v r e 1969: 25-58;  Giddens 1981: 1 5 ) . Marx's emphasis on human  Praxis  has o f t e n been l o s t  s i g h t o f i n t h e importance p l a c e d on t h e second p a r t o f h i s c l a s s i c f o r m u l a t i o n on human agency.  Men make h i s t o r y , he s a i d , but not i n  c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f t h e i r own c h o o s i n g . which t h e s o c i o l o g y o f knowledge p r o d u c t s o f human  Praxis,  One a s p e c t o f t h i s o b s e r v a t i o n o f  has made us aware i s t h e f a c t t h a t t h e  r e i f i e d i n t i m e , themselves o f t e n come t o  a c q u i r e t h e i r r e d u c i b i l i t y and f o r c e o f n a t u r e . s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l the  In t h i s s e n s e , r e i f i e d  s t r u c t u r e s d e p e r s o n a l i z e i n t e n t i o n and c a r r y  into  arena o f human agency and a c t i o n i n t e n t i o n a l . i t i e s t h a t have no  individual  l o c u s , but a r e embodied i n o b j e c t i v a t e d and i n s t i t u t i o n a l  forms (Marx 1970: 46-48; Berger and Luckmann 1979: 106-109; S a r t r e 1982: 79-94). S o c i e t y as a f i e l d o f p e r s o n a l and impersonal i n t e n t i o n a l i t i e s formed and t r a n s f o r m e d i n t h e p r o c e s s e s o f h i s t o r i c a l change g e n e r a t e s a p e r v a s i v e system o f s i g n i f i c a t i o n s o r meanings which  inhabitants  4  a c q u i r e by v i r t u e o f t h e i r a c t i v e r e s i d e n c e i n t h e g i v e n community. O b j e c t s , p r o c e s s e s , e v e n t s , i n d i v i d u a l s , groups, i n s t i t u t i o n s , memories, v e r b a l p r a c t i c e s , and so on a r e a l l enveloped i n t h i s system o f s i g n i f i cations.  A l l members o f a s o c i e t y a r e s o c i a l i z e d t o t h i s system which  i s , i n e s s e n c e , i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e ; t h a t i s , i t i s a system o f shared meanings h e l d i n common by a l l members o f a s o c i e t y . Of t h e System Of S i g n i f i c a t i o n s  I call  the  common  The shared  intuitive  knowledge  life.  I  have chosen t h i s coinage because i t conforms t o a v o c a b u l a r y f a m i l i a r to  l i t e r a r y s t u d i e s , y e t p r e s e r v e s t h e concept o f s o c i e t y on which my  work depends.  T h i s n o t i o n i s n o t new.  sources i n c l u d i n g T. S. E l i o t h i m s e l f .  I t d e r i v e s from a number o f But more s p e c i f i c a l l y i t i s  i n d e b t e d t o Raymond W i l l i a m s , b e g i n n i n g w i t h h i s i m p o r t a n t response t o Eliot's  Notes  Society  (1958, 1961; see E a g l e t o n 1970 f o r a c o m p a r a t i v e a n a l y s i s o f  Towards  the  Definition  of  Culture  these two views o f t h e 'common c u l t u r e ' ) . on t h e i d e a o f t h e 'common c u l t u r e 1950s.  1  (1948) i n Culture  However, W i l l i a m s '  have not s t o o d s t i l l  and  reflections  since the l a t e  In a l e c t u r e i n M o n t r e a l i n 1973 he s k e t c h e d t h e t h e o r e t i c a l  model o f c u l t u r e t o which h i s work has l e d him and which u n d e r l i e s , t o a l a r g e e x t e n t , my n o t i o n o f t h e common i n t u i t i v e l i f e .  H i s remarks  come i n t h e c o n t e x t o f a d i s c u s s i o n o f 'base' and ' s u p e r s t r u c t u r e ' i n M a r x i s t c u l t u r a l s t u d i e s and o f A n t o n i o Gramsci's r e l a t e d concept o f '.hegemony'.  I would say f i r s t t h a t i n any s o c i e t y , i n any p a r t i c u l a r p e r i o d , t h e r e i s a c e n t r a l system o f p r a c t i c e s , meanings and v a l u e s , which we can p r o p e r l y c a l l dominant and e f f e c t i v e . T h i s i m p l i e s no presumption about i t s v a l u e . A l l I am s a y i n g i s t h a t i t i s c e n t r a l . . . . In any case what I have i n mind i s t h e c e n t r a l , e f f e c t i v e and  5  dominant system o f meanings and v a l u e s , which a r e not merely a b s t r a c t but which a r e o r g a n i z e d and l i v e d . . . . I t i s a whole body o f p r a c t i c e s and e x p e c t a t i o n s ; our assignments o f e n e r g y , o u r o r d i n a r y u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e n a t u r e o f man and o f h i s w o r l d . I t i s a s e t o f meanings and v a l u e s which as t h e y a r e e x p e r i e n c e d as p r a c t i c e s appear as r e c i p r o c a l l y c o n f i r m i n g . (1980: 38)  He goes on t o argue t h a t t h i s system c o n s t i t u t e s "a sense o f r e a l i t y f o r most people i n t h e s o c i e t y , " an awareness  t h a t i s a b s o l u t e because  i t i s o f a r e a l i t y t h a t i s e x p e r i e n c e d a t every l e v e l o f c o n c r e t e , practical  l i f e , from t h e most f o r m a l l y c o n c e p t u a l and p u b l i c t o t h e  most f e e l i n g l y  i n t i m a t e and p r i v a t e .  I t encompasses a s o c i e t y ' s  possible  range o f i d e a s and f e e l i n g s about something as formal and c o r p o r a t e as a national Constitution or legal characteristic  system, and, c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y , a s o c i e t y ' s  responses t o t h e f a c t , s a y , o f death o r t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n  of p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y and s u b j e c t i v i t y .  I t i s n o t , moreover, a s t a t i c  system, but one which depends on c o n c r e t e and s o c i a l crucial  p r o c e s s e s . The  f a c t o r here i s what W i l l i a m s c a l l s t h e "process o f i n c o r p o r a t i o n "  (1980: 3 9 ) , t h a t i s , t h e p r o c e s s by which t h e meanings and v a l u a t i o n s o f e x p e r i e n c e a r e i n c o r p o r a t e d , p r i n c i p a l l y by language, i n t h e common i n t u i t i v e l i f e as a whole. W i t h i n t h i s "system o f p r a c t i c e s , meanings and v a l u e s , " what I am c a l l i n g t h e common i n t u i t i v e l i f e o f a s o c i e t y , language p l a y s an important role.  Language does n o t s i m p l y r e c o r d t h e c o n t e n t s o f t h e common  i n t u i t i v e l i f e ; i t forms t h e b a s i s f o r s i g n i f i c a n t the  interaction  within  compass o f a shared l i f e and encodes t h e shared systems o f v a l u e ,  knowledge, and b e l i e f .  Thus language s e r v e s not o n l y t o f i x and a s s i g n  meaning, but a l s o , and t h i s i s t h e source o f i t s c r e a t i v i t y , t o c o n f i r m  6  or  c o n t e s t t h e s e assignments.  Works o f a r t impinge on t h e common  i n t u i t i v e l i f e o f a s o c i e t y as an o p e r a t i o n , o f one k i n d o r a n o t h e r , on s e t t l e d s i g n i f i c a t i o n s which t h i n g s a c q u i r e over time ( B e n n e t t 1979: 24-25).  More s p e c i f i c a l l y , works o f l i t e r a t u r e impinge on the v e r b a l  p r a c t i c e s o f t h e common i n t u i t i v e l i f e and become o p e r a t i o n s on the way language a r t i c u l a t e s t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h i n g s .  So t h a t a poem, s a y ,  i s not s i m p l y a work i n language, but a work on language; i t does n o t contain  meaning, r a t h e r i t i s an o p e r a t i o n on p r i o r meaning. These o b s e r v a t i o n s a r e i m p o r t a n t f o r r e s o l v i n g t h e e s s e n t i a l  problem  which E l i o t ' s p o e t r y has always p r e s e n t e d l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , a problem which was t h e o r i g i n a l  spur o f t h i s s t u d y .  E l i o t wrote an a l l u s i v e ,  r e c o n d i t e , p e r v a s i v e l y i r o n i c p o e t r y which has f a s c i n a t e d c r i t i c i s m f o r s e v e r a l g e n e r a t i o n s and which has i n v i t e d l e a r n e d commentary t h a t i s s u b t l y i n g e n i o u s i n i t s e x p l o r a t i o n o f what i s taken t o be E l i o t ' s ordinary aesthetic sophistication.  extra-  H i s a n t a g o n i s t s have o f t e n accused  him i n t h i s r e s p e c t o f d e l i b e r a t e o b s c u r i t y and an A l e x a n d r i a n approach to  c o m p o s i t i o n (Lucas 1923: 116; H a m i l t o n 1950; W i n t e r s 1963: 36, 6 4 ) .  Yet when t h i s i n g e n i o u s c r i t i c i s m has come f i n a l l y t o say what t h e p o e t r y i s about, what E l i o t i s a c t u a l l y s a y i n g i n t h e poems, i t has heard something r a t h e r o l d - f a s h i o n e d , something c o n v e n t i o n a l , and even r a t h e r crude. waste  Land:  Here i s Helen Gardner on t h e " a g e l e s s " s u b j e c t o f The  t h e poem, she w r i t e s , " d i s c o v e r s a r a d i c a l d e f e c t i n human  l i f e and makes c l e a r t h e ' i n s u f f i c i e n c y o f human enjoyments'"  (1959: 8 8 ) .  T h i s comes from Gardner's f i r s t book on E l i o t , which i s s t i l l  c i t e d as  one o f t h e d e c i s i v e and more l e a r n e d r e a d i n g s o f E l i o t (Moody 1979: 9 3 ) . The  "radical defect"  The  waste  Land  u n v e i l s a t t h e h e a r t o f human  life  7  i s none o t h e r than O r i g i n a l S i n .  T h i s ponderous,  crude, anti-modernist,  u n s u b t l e t h e o l o g i c a l commonplace, which was a l r e a d y b e i n g t r e a t e d as a c l i c h e ' b y t h e c i v i c humanists  i n Q u a t t r o c e n t o I t a l y (Baron 1966: 302-  3 1 4 ) , s t r i k e s Gardner w i t h t h e f o r c e o f a r e v e l a t i o n about l i f e . s e v e r a l pages a f t e r t h i s r e v e l a t i o n she c o n t i n u e s e x p l i c a t i n g of  details  t h e poem h a v i n g seemingly a c c e p t e d O r i g i n a l S i n as a n e c e s s a r y and  obvious of  For  ' t r u t h ' o r ' f a c t ' o f t h e human c o n d i t i o n .  such an o b s e r v a t i o n about l i f e  i s entirely  Of c o u r s e , t h e t r u t h and she i s  contestable  q u i t e u n j u s t i f i e d i n passing s i l e n t l y over t h i s p o i n t .  I am not s a y i n g  t h a t she s h o u l d engage i n a t h e o l o g i c a l d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f t h e t r u t h o f the n o t i o n . contestabiiity  It  What needs t o be taken up i s a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e o b s e r v a t i o n ' s i n 1922 when t h e poem was p u b l i s h e d .  i s c l e a r from t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e poem i t s e l f , from  prose [ F L A 5 0 ) , and from h i s b i o g r a p h y (Gordon  1977) t h a t he knew  p r e c i s e l y how c o n t e s t a b l e an a s s e r t i o n about O r i g i n a l time.  S i n was i n h i s  I t i s c l e a r t h a t E l i o t came t o a c c e p t t h i s a n c i e n t C h r i s t i a n  d o c t r i n e v e r y e a r l y i n h i s l i f e so t h a t to  Eliot's  achieve  such an o b s e r v a t i o n .  i n which we see t h e s o c i a l  The  waste.  Land  does n o t l a b o u r  The poem i s not a s e r i e s o f examples  and p e r s o n a l e f f e c t s o f O r i g i n a l S i n t h a t l e a d  us o v e r w h e l m i n g l y t o a knowledge o f the t r u t h o f such a n o t i o n , a l t h o u g h t h i s i s t h e k i n d o f i n d u c t i v e process which Gardner suggests l i e s a t t h e h e a r t o f t h e poem. point o f departure.  Instead, the notion of radical The a s s e r t i o n o f O r i g i n a l  human s i n f u l n e s s i s a  Sin in  The  waste  Land  cannot be i n n o c e n t l y accounted f o r as t h e u n a v o i d a b l e d i s c o v e r y o f an o r i g i n a l l y i n n o c e n t 'speaker', l o s t i n a f a l l e n w o r l d , who engages i n a h e u r i s t i c p r o b i n g o f contemporary  l i f e and comes t o t h e ' s u r p r i s i n g '  8  conclusion  that eighteen  right after a l l . already  c e n t u r i e s o f C h r i s t i a n thought about s i n a r e  The poem opens w i t h what t h e poem shows i t knows  intact.  E l i o t knew, and t h e r e f o r e c r i t i c i s m should a s s e r t i o n o f r a d i c a l human s i n f u l n e s s i n  The  know, t h a t t h e i m p l i c i t  waste  r e p r e s e n t e d an  Land  o b l i q u e a s s a u l t on c e r t a i n l i b e r a l i z i n g accounts o f human e x p e r i e n c e i n s c r i b e d i n t h e common i n t u i t i v e l i f e o f t h e E n g l i s h m i d d l e c l a s s e s . n o t i o n o f O r i g i n a l S i n f u l n e s s opposes, i n a l l i t s s p i k y  The  irreducibility,  the m e l i o r i s t o p t i m i s m o f l i b e r a l , u t i l i t a r i a n e t h i c s which had d i s p l a c e d , in  t h e p o p u l a r mind, o l d e r C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n e s .  had become t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l era.  This e t h i c a l  account o f t h e moral l i f e  meliorism  i n the bourgeois  The poem n o t o n l y a t t a c k s t h e p o s i t i v e p r i n c i p l e s o f l i b e r a l  --such as t h e n o t i o n o f human p e r f e c t a b i l i t y and e g a l i t a r i a n i s m - - b u t more e l u s i v e a s p e c t s ,  l i k e t h e atmosphere and f e e l o f t h e p a l l i d  ness such e t h i c s imply.  also  inward-  The poem's whole manner and m a t t e r i s shaped by  that oppositional context. and  ethics  N a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g i e s , imagery, themes, v o i c e s ,  t h e range o f t o n a l i t i e s must be read f o r t h e c o n t r a s t s they s e t up  w i t h t h e c o n t e n t s and s t y l e s i n s c r i b e d i n t h e common i n t u i t i v e l i f e .  The  poem must be r e a d , i n s h o r t , as an attempted r e - i n s c r i p t i o n o f fundamental experience.  Thus, the p o i n t about  The  waste  Land  i s not t h a t i t p r e s e n t s  some p a r t i c u l a r v i s i o n o f l i f e , b u t t h a t i t c o n t e s t s accounts o f fundamental e x p e r i e n c e t h a t E l i o t i n a l l honesty c o u l d n o t a b i d e .  That he  chose v i s i o n a r y modes as a method o f c o n t e s t a t i o n and as a way o f c l a i m i n g epistemological  a u t h o r i t y f o r h i s 'argument' should  the poem's a c t u a l i n t e r e s t s . and  n o t d e f l e c t us from  In t h i s way, t h e s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , l e a r n i n g ,  t e c h n i q u e o f t h e poem can be p u t , a p p r o p r i a t e l y , i n t h e s e r v i c e o f a  9  s i m p l e , even simple-minded, theme, because i t i s n o t t h e d i s c o v e r y o f a knowledge o f t h e theme t h a t i s a t i s s u e , but t h e f a t e o f what t h e theme a s s e r t s i n a h o s t i l e , and y e t s o p h i s t i c a t e d , l e a r n e d , p e r v a s i v e l y environment.  ironic,  The poem's s t y l e i s c a l l e d out by t h e r i g o u r s o f the par-  t i c u l a r s i g n i f y i n g work i t must do i n an a f f e c t i v e l y complex environment (Burke 1941, 1961: 3-4; E a g l e t o n  1976: 101; Douglas 1978: 95-98).  knew, and t h e r e f o r e c r i t i c i s m should  Eliot  know, what i t meant i n 1922 t o w r i t e  a poem ' d i s c o v e r i n g ' O r i g i n a l S i n t h a t B e r t r a n d  R u s s e l l was going t o read.  R u s s e l l , o f c o u r s e , was o n l y one r e a d e r o f many, and an e x t r a o r d i n a r y one a t t h a t .  However, he was a l s o r a t h e r t y p i c a l as a l e g a t e e  o f t h e p r i n c i p l e s , p r o c e d u r e s , and a t t i t u d e s o f t h e l i b e r a l i n Europe. alone,  Enlightenment  Yet t h e E n l i g h t e n m e n t i s not t h e i n h e r i t a n c e o f i n d i v i d u a l s  l e t alone the sole possession  i t i s the i n t e l l e c t u a l  o f great r a t i o n a l i s t  philosophers;  and a f f e c t i v e i n h e r i t a n c e o f a whole c l a s s .  The  p r i n c i p l e s o f European E n l i g h t e n m e n t run l i k e t h r e a d s through the s t r u c t u r e o f thought and f e e l i n g o f t h e European b o u r g e o i s i e the e i g h t e e n t h  century  t o our own time (ASG p a s s i m ) .  from t h e end o f  Of c o u r s e , i t i s  i m p o r t a n t t o remember t h a t t h e impact and i n f l u e n c e o f E n l i g h t e n m e n t ideas  i n the regions  each r e g i o n .  o f Europe vary w i t h the h i s t o r i c a l  circumstances of  Thus, t h e c i v i c humanism o f t h e F r e n c h , c o n s t r u c t e d  a n a t i o n a l image o f  le  citoyen,  around  i s d i f f e r e n t from t h e u t i l i t a r i a n i s m o f  E n g l i s h l i b e r a l s , which i s d i f f e r e n t again tendencies i n I t a l i a n l i b e r a l i s m .  from t h e r a d i c a l l i b e r t a r i a n  Yet running  through t h e c o n s t e l l a t i o n  o f i d e a s and p r a c t i c e s t h a t had t h e i r modern f o r m u l a t i o n  i n the E n l i g h t -  enment we f i n d common themes and common a t t i t u d e s , towards t h e p a s t , towards human n a t u r e , towards s c i e n c e and r e l i g i o n , and so on.  Indeed,  10  I take t h e Enlightenment  and i t s many f r u i t s i n n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y Europe  t o be t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i v e i n t e l l e c t u a l  and i d e o l o g i c a l  programme o f t h e  European b o u r g e o i s i e i n i t s disenchantment w i t h t h e s a c r e d and m y t h i c a l worlds o f the feudal a r i s t o c r a c i e s I understand  (Horkheimer and Adorno 1944,  1972: 5 ) .  t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y as t h e p e r i o d o f c o n s o l i d a t i o n o f  the power o f the b o u r g e o i s i e as t h e d i r e c t i v e e l i t e o f i n d u s t r i a l i z i n g Europe.  T h i s i s n o t t o say t h a t a r i s t o c r a c t i c forms and e x e r c i s e s o f  power d i d n o t p e r s i s t i n t h e n i n e t e e n t h and w e l l centuries.  They d i d .  into the twentieth  But i t i s t o say t h a t these were p r o g r e s s i v e l y  s u b o r d i n a t e d as sources o f r e a l d i r e c t i v e power i n t h e r e l e v a n t s o c i e t i e s and took on, more and more, t h e f i g u r a t i v e and ceremonial i r r e l e v a n c e t h a t a r i s t o c r a t i c forms s t i l l to p e r s i s t .  My sense o f Enlightenment  t u r e o f thought of sources.  have i n our t i m e , where they have managed as t h e r u l i n g i d e a s o f the s t r u c -  and f e e l i n g o f the b o u r g e o i s i e i s d e r i v e d from a number  F i r s t , t h e seminal  study o f the Enlightenment  Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, t r a n s l a t e d as ment  (1944, 1972); second, L u c i e n Goldmann's  Enlightenment:  the  The  Christian  Burgess  and  the  The  Dialectic Philosophy  Enlightenment  by Max of  Enlightenof  the  (1973).  By  'bourgeois e r a ' , I mean t h e s o c i e t y o f Western Europe, e s p e c i a l l y  B r i t a i n and F r a n c e , from t h e . l a s t t h i r d o f the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y t o t h e f i r s t decade o f the t w e n t i e t h ( c f . Davie Marx's d e f i n i t i o n and use o f the term Class  Struggles  in  France  (1964: 134).  1978:  14-15).  'bourgeois  And I accept  s o c i e t y ' from h i s The  E. J . Hobsbawm has s u c c i n c t l y  summarized t h e s p e c i f i c s o f European h i s t o r y i n t h i s e r a i n The Age of Revolution,  1789-1848:  11  The g r e a t r e v o l u t i o n o f 1789-1848 was t h e triumph not o f ' i n d u s t r y ' as s u c h , but o f capitalist industry; not o f l i b e r t y and e q u a l i t y i n g e n e r a l , but o f middle class o r 'bourgeois' liberal s o c i e t y ; not o f 'the modern economy' o r 'the modern s t a t e , ' but o f t h e economies and s t a t e s i n a p a r t i c u l a r g e o g r a p h i c a l r e g i o n o f t h e w o r l d ( p a r t o f Europe and a few patches o f North A m e r i c a ) , whose c e n t r e was t h e n e i g h b o u r i n g and r i v a l s t a t e s o f Great B r i t a i n and France. The t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f 1789-1848 i s e s s e n t i a l l y t h e t w i n upheaval which took p l a c e i n those two c o u n t r i e s , and was propagated thence a c r o s s t h e e n t i r e w o r l d . (17-18, Hobsbawm's emphasis) Of c o u r s e , Hobsbawm i s concerned w i t h t h e opening o f t h e b o u r g e o i s e r a . E l i o t ' s c a r e e r comes as t h a t e r a i s c l o s i n g i n t h e f i r s t decades o f t h e twentieth century.  My s t u d y can be seen as a c o n t r i b u t i o n t o o u r know-  ledge o f t h e l i t e r a r y c u l t u r e o f b o u r g e o i s s o c i e t y , and o f a p a r t i c u l a r c o n s e r v a t i v e c r i t i q u e o f b o u r g e o i s forms o f thought and f e e l i n g . T h i s s t u d y argues t h a t an e x a m i n a t i o n o f tone and v o i c e i n E l i o t ' s e a r l y work r e v e a l s a p o e t r y and prose d i r e c t e d t o t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n - he would have thought o f i t as a c l e a n s i n g - - o f t h e common i n t u i t i v e o f t h e Anglo-American  middle c l a s s .  life  I do not mean t h a t h i s work i s  e n t i r e l y p o l e m i c a l , as t h i s i m p l i e s E l i o t keys h i s work e n t i r e l y a t t h e level of ideas.  H i s c r i t i q u e i s much more r a d i c a l  than t h i s  p e n e t r a t i n g t o t h e a f f e c t i v e r e a l i t y o f , what he came t o c a l l idea  of  a  christian  society  (1939), "negative l i b e r a l  suggests, i n The  society."  i m p o r t a n t t o remember t h a t E l i o t ' s h o s t i l i t y t o l i b e r a l  It is  s o c i e t y does not  p r i m a r i l y i n v o l v e him i n h i s e a r l y work i n a s y s t e m a t i c c r i t i q u e o f t h e political  economy o f l i b e r a l i s m .  of p o l i t i c a l  We w i l l  f i n d no d e t a i l e d c o n s i d e r a t i o n s  events and p e r s o n a l i t i e s o f h i s time i n h i s work, a l t h o u g h  t h i s a s p e c t i s not e n t i r e l y absent.  E l i o t ' s aim i s r a t h e r the u n v e i l i n g  12  o f the s p e c i f i c s o c i a l , m o r a l , and  p s y c h o l o g i c a l consequences o f  as i t i s found i n the l i b e r a l e t h o s .  His p o e t r y works a t the l e v e l  the a c t u a l l y l i v e d , the d e n s i t y o f e x p e r i e n c e domain, below the l e v e l o f formal to formulate concrete the  life  i n the everyday.  p o l i t i c s and  of  In t h i s  p o l i c y , E l i o t was  able  a metonymic approach t h a t uses an imagery drawn from the  experience  o f everyday l i f e  i n a r e v e l a t o r y way.  ' r e v e a l i n g ' p a r t i c u l a r s are o f t e n p r e s e n t e d  And  although  i n a v i s i o n a r y or even  h a l l u c i n a t o r y a e s t h e t i c c o n t e x t , t h e i r use as s o c i a l l y t y p i f y i n g elements must not be l o s t s i g h t o f .  In Chapter F i v e , I argue t h a t the v i s i o n a r y  mode o f p r e s e n t a t i o n f u n c t i o n s as a l e g i t i m a t i o n s t r a t e g y (Berger 31-32) t h a t r e - e n f o r c e s  the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e n e s s  o f the c o n c r e t e  Indeed, E l i o t ' s use o f t y p i f y i n g metonymy (Greimas and  particular.  Courted 1982:  i s a s i g n i f y i n g p r a c t i c e o f immense i m p o r t a n c e , because i t a l l o w s t e x t to o f f e r concrete  experience  i n immediate form and,  (Burke 1941,  1961:  t h a t i n s a y i n g t h i s I am t a k i n g i s s u e w i t h the way 'image' i n modernism i s n o r m a l l y the  discussed.  'image' as the minimal u n i t o f  aesthetic  193)  the  a t the same  t i m e , conduct a r a t i o n a l argument i m p l i c i t l y through the metonymic of t y p i f i c a t o r y representations  1969:  22-28).  'logic'  I realize  the i d e a o f  the  C r i t i c i s m has i n t e r p r e t e d perception  i n modernism.  My p o i n t i s t h a t E l i o t awakened and e x p l o i t e d s y s t e m a t i c a l l y the p o t e n t i a l o f the  'image' t o f u n c t i o n m e t o n y m i c a l l y i n a s o c i a l c o n t e x t .  p o e t r y the ing  'image' serves more than an a e s t h e t i c f u n c t i o n .  In h i s  As a t y p i f y -  element, a r e v e a l i n g p a r t i c u l a r , i t becomes i m p o s s i b l e t o d i s s o c i a t e  the image from the e t h i c o - r e l i g i o u s c o n c e p t s and of concrete  l i f e , which i t t y p i f i e s  i m p o s s i b l e , when we  analyze  i d e a s , o r from the forms  ( D e l i a Volpe 1978:  39).  the v e r b a l s t y l e o f the c o n c r e t e  Also, i t is image, not  13  to  hear  how  the s t y l e i t s e l f m o b i l i z e s and f o c u s s e s p a r t i c u l a r  a t t i t u d e s towards what i s being r e p r e s e n t e d  (Burke 1941,  1961:  social 128-131).  These a t t i t u d e s can be t r a c e d back t o a g e n e r a l c r i t i q u e o f s o c i e t y from a p a r t i c u l a r c l a s s p o s i t i o n i n t h a t s o c i e t y and t o c o h e r e n t  transforma-  t i v e s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e s i n t h a t c o n t e x t (Machery 1977: B a l i b a r 1978:  28; Bennett  1979:  156-168).  T h i s l a t t e r o b s e r v a t i o n p o i n t s t o the importance i n E l i o t ' s work.  T h i s importance  o f tone and v o i c e  has been r e c o g n i z e d by Anglo-American  f o r m a l i s t c r i t i c i s m , but the i d e a o f 'tone', as a c r i t i c a l remained l a r g e l y undeveloped n o n e t h e l e s s . l i t e r a t u r e brings to c r i t i c a l  3;  concept,  has  As the tone o f a work o f  a t t e n t i o n the r e l a t i o n s h i p o f t e x t and  w o r l d , i t has been very d i f f i c u l t f o r an a n t i - h i s t o r i c i s t , a n t i - c o n t e x t u a l critical  p r a c t i c e t o pursue the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f i t s own  and c o n t e x t u a l i z i n g concept. requires a notion l i k e  historicizing  N e v e r t h e l e s s , the f a c t t h a t f o r m a l i s m  'tone' t o account  f o r the w e a l t h o f meanings  t h a t n a r r o w l y formal and g e n e r i c a n a l y s e s cannot encompass d i s c l o s e s the n e c e s s i t y f o r any l i t e r a r y c r i t i c a l how  r e l u c t a n t l y , the c o n c r e t e presence  p r a c t i c e t o t h e o r i z e , no  matter  o f the w o r l d i n the t e x t .  But  t h i s demand p l a c e d on c r i t i c i s m r e q u i r e s a s o p h i s t i c a t e d , informed o f what the purposes.  'world' i s and how We  i t i s best d e s c r i b e d f o r l i t e r a r y  need t o a c q u i r e as s o p h i s t i c a t e d a grasp o f the  o f the t e x t i t s e l f t h a t f o r m a l i s m has taught us.  purposes,  of understanding  critical  'world' as  I devote q u i t e a few  pages o f t h i s s t u d y to d e s c r i b i n g the most p r o d u c t i v e way, critical  grasp  for literary  the n a t u r e and s t r u c t u r e o f the s o c i a l  r e a l i t y which always a l r e a d y pervades any g i v e n l i t e r a r y t e x t . d e s c r i p t i o n draws on t h e work o f s o c i a l  This  a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s , s o c i o l o g i s t s of  14  knowledge, o f language, and o f a r t . forms o f c o l l e c t i v e  life  Beyond the u s e f u l  these f i e l d s o f f e r  c o n v i c t i o n t h a t the study o f l i t e r a t u r e itself  from c o n t a c t , not w i t h the  but with the knowledge o f i t s the academy o f f e r Generally  a t r o p h i e s the f u r t h e r  ' w o r l d , or 1  s p e a k i n g , my study has t h r e e  or h i s t o r y as  in  c e r n i n g the e f f e c t  o f the e x t e r n a l  r e c o g n i z e d , but l e f t  concept o f  'tone'  world on the t e x t  structure  represents a  refers  have not d i v i d e d t h i s  is  study i n t o three  t h e s i s about E l i o t ' s  silently developing its  i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f what a  to i n the s o c i a l  take up each theme in t u r n .  duced the t r i b u t a r y  itself  dis-  and the shared knowledge of  semantic c o d i n g s , which permits a f r u i t f u l text a c t u a l l y  taking  a c r i t i q u e o f Anglo-American f o r -  unacknowledged; the t h i r d theme i n v o l v e s  an understanding o f s o c i a l  one  sketched h e r e ,  s l e i g h t - o f - h a n d , by which the u n a v o i d a b l e n e c e s s i t y of  principal  such,  concept d e r i v e d from Anglo-American  malism from the p o i n t o f view t h a t i t s  I  insulates  themes: the p r i n c i p a l  work as b r i e f l y  f o r m a l i s m ; the second theme i n v o l v e s  I  'life'  it  us.  as my p o i n t o f departure a c r i t i c a l  literary  s t u d i e s l i e s my  nature and forms which our c o l l e a g u e s  i s the study o f aspects o f E l i o t ' s  critical  literary  knowledge about  world. separate  parts  i n which  I have o r g a n i z e d the whole work around a early  p o e t r y and p r o s e .  I have i n t r o -  themes i n those p l a c e s , v a r i o u s l y d i s t r i b u t e d i n  the  work as a whole, where they seem to me to be most u s e f u l l y d i s c u s s e d . O b v i o u s l y because my argument about E l i o t ' s  work depends on  p o i n t s drawn from the o t h e r themes, e s p e c i a l l y  the t h i r d , the f i r s t  chapters c o n t a i n l o n g e r s e c t i o n s on formalism and s o c i e t y . on The waste  Land,  certain two  Chapter F i v e  which c u l m i n a t e s the s t u d y , extends some o f the  earlier  15  r e f l e c t i o n s on s o c i e t y . T. S. E l i o t i s a w r i t e r who has had a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount o f a t t e n t i o n devoted t o h i s work.  The b u l k o f i t i s f o r m a l i s t c l o s e r e a d i n g ,  p r a c t i c a l c r i t i c i s m , e x e g e t i c a l commentary, and t h e g l o s s i n g o f r e f e r e n c e s and a l l u s i o n s (a minor i n d u s t r y i n i t s e l f ) .  Every word i n h i s p o e t r y  has been r e a d , g l o s s e d , commented upon many times o v e r .  Indeed, non-  s p e c i a l i s t s i n E l i o t s t u d i e s a r e o f t e n f a m i l i a r not o n l y w i t h t h e man's work, but a l s o w i t h t h e c r i t i c a l and  debates and c o n t r o v e r s i e s h i s p o e t r y  prose have provoked i n our time.  Because o f t h i s I have not f e l t  compelled t o p r o v i d e a l i n e by l i n e commentary on every poem he wrote. I am i n t e r e s t e d much more i n d e v e l o p i n g  an argument about E l i o t as a  w r i t e r whose p o e t r y and prose a r e t h e m a t e r i a l o f a w i d e r c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e d i r e c t e d , a t bottom, t o t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f people's I t h i n k t h e p e r s i s t e n c e o f h i s r e p u t a t i o n and s t a t u r e d e r i v e s  lives.  entirely  from t h e f o r c e and power, even t h e a u d a c i t y , o f such an e n t e r p r i s e .  To  t h a t I should a l s o add t h a t I b e l i e v e a l l works o f l i t e r a t u r e t o be irredeemably  engaged, i n t h e i r v a r i o u s d i r e c t and o b l i q u e ways, i n  t r a n s f o r m a t i v e p r a c t i c e s o f a s o c i o - v e r b a l k i n d , p r a c t i c e s which f o r e ground, c h a l l e n g e , o r change t h e r o u t i n e o r c o n v e n t i o n a l in p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l circumstances the t r u t h s o f l i v e d  experience.  ways i n d i v i d u a l s  account f o r , o r r e p r e s e n t  i n language,  16  Chapter One:  H e a r i n g the d i s s o n a n c e s  H i s t o r i c a l o r c o n t e x t u a l c r i t i c i s m , whether m a t e r i a l i s t o r n o t , has been most v u l n e r a b l e i n i t s t r e a t m e n t o f the d i s c r e t e l i t e r a r y  text.*  Too o f t e n a t e x t has been reduced t o a t h e m a t i c cypher o f p a r t i c u l a r socio-political  or psycho-biographical contexts.  The t e x t ' s v e r b a l  and  formal i n t e g r i t i e s have been d i s s o l v e d i n the s e r v i c e o f themes and concepts drawn from h i s t o r y i t s e l f . to  In o p p o s i t i o n t o what were thought  be r e d u c t i o n i s t o r m o n i s t i c c r i t i c a l  p r a c t i c e s , Anglo-American  f o r m a l i s m took as i t s p r i m a r y p o l e m i c a l s l o g a n the p r e s e r v a t i o n o f the formal i n t e g r i t y o f "the t e x t i t s e l f . "  As the dominant c r i t i c a l  prac-  t i c e from the l a t e 1940s t o our own day, Anglo-American f o r m a l i s m has been d i f f i c u l t the  to r e s i s t .  In a d d i t i o n t o the p r a c t i c a l  convenience o f  p r i n c i p l e o f the autonomous t e x t , i t has d i r e c t e d a s e a r c h i n g and  s a r d o n i c c r i t i q u e o f a l l c o n t e x t u a l i s t thought from p h i l o l o g y , b i o g r a p h y , belies  lettres,  and the h i s t o r y o f i d e a s .  But f o r m a l i s m ' s most v i g o r o u s  a t t a c k has been r e s e r v e d f o r h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l i s m , m a i n l y i n the form of what has come t o be known as the ' v u l g a r Marxism' o f the 1930s (Jay 1973: 53-56; E a g l e t o n 1977: 11-43; W i l l i a m s 1977: 77-82).  A g a i n s t the  view o f . 1 i t e r a t u r e as c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e on the s i m p l e t h e m a t i c and c o n t e n t p l a n e , Anglo-American f o r m a l i s m poses a more s o p h i s t i c a t e d encompassing  framework  f o r the p r a c t i c e o f c r i t i c i s m .  and  While the h i s -  t o r i c i s t c r i t i c b l a n d l y d i s m a n t l e d a work's unique formal coherence i n an a n a l y s i s o f the work's s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l  c o n t e n t , the f o r m a l i s t ,  17;  by d i s l o d g i n g t h e t e x t from t h e s o c i a l  and p o l i t i c a l  t o p r e s e r v e , and thus by t h a t c r i t i c a l  move and t h a t move a l o n e g u a r a n t e e ,  the work's i n t e r n a l  e n v i r o n m e n t , seemed  integrity, i t s positive structure.  T h i s guarantee  and t h e c o n f i d e n t a s s e r t i v e n e s s born o f t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l f o r m a l i s t p r a c t i c e l e d t h e f o r m a l i s t t o take f o r granted  triumph o f that  i s e n t i r e l y i n t r i n s i c t o t h e t e x t , t h a t a work o f l i t e r a t u r e  'meaning' 'contains'  meaning i n t h e same way t h a t a jam j a r ' c o n t a i n s ' t h e s t r a w b e r r y jam. The  practice that  meaning, i f s t r i c t l y  would  have  developed from such an o r i e n t a t i o n t o  a p p l i e d , would have produced a c r i t i c i s m so c i r c u m -  s p e c t , t h i n , and i r r e l e v a n t t h a t i t would have d i s a p p e a r e d without  a t r a c e l o n g ago.  dominant c r i t i c a l  Anglo-American f o r m a l i s m  from view  has made i t s e l f the  p r a c t i c e o f t h e l a s t f o r t y y e a r s by i g n o r i n g i n i t s  p r a c t i c e i t s own f i r s t p r i n c i p l e s , by i g n o r i n g i t s own assumptions (Michaels  1980: 418-419).  While o p e n l y and e x p l i c i t l y a r g u i n g  f o r the  autonomy o f t h e t e x t , t h a t a poem, i n E l i o t ' s famous p h r a s e , i s "a poem and  not a n o t h e r t h i n g , " t h e a c t u a l c r i t i c a l  been as t h o r o u g h l y  contextual  a c t i v i t y o f f o r m a l i s m has  as any o t h e r c r i t i c a l  p r a c t i c e , but i t s 3  c o n t e x t u a l i z i n g has been u s u a l l y s i l e n t and hidden from view.  This  c o n t r a d i c t o r y p r a c t i c e , w h i c h , on t h e one hand, postponed (when i t d i d n ' t vehemently deny) a l l c o n t e x t u a l  c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , w h i l e , on t h e o t h e r  hand,  i n f o r m a l l y drew them i n t o t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i v e p r o c e s s , was p o s s i b l e o n l y i n t h e i d e o l o g i c a l h a l l o f m i r r o r s t h a t has c h a r a c t e r i z e d l i f e , East and West, d u r i n g t h e C o l d War.  intellectual  Yet f o r m a l i s t s were not com-  p l e t e l y deaf t o c o n t e x t ; a f t e r a l l , i n a c t u a l p r a c t i c e not a l l ' t e n s i o n ' or  'ambiguity'  i n a t e x t c o u l d be ' r e s o l v e d ' i n t h e l a s t i n s t a n c e by  r e f e r e n c e t o some s t r e n u o u s l y s t i p u l a t e d formal  'paradox' (Burgum 1951:  18  31-48).  They needed some thoroughly dehistoricized contextual c r i t i c a l  concept in order to surmount the obvious philosophical ineptitude and naivete of the assumption entirely  that meaning i s e n t i r e l y positive and  intrinsic,  'given' by the sign, and that the utterer gets meaning into an  utterance by choosing the word that puts i t there (Nowottny 1968: Formalism  152).  needed a way of opening the text towards i t s relevant social  and p o l i t i c a l contexts, contexts that are c l e a r l y determinative at  some  level of a work's content and form, while at the same time seeming not to. In short, what was  required was  a critical  idea that did not collapse the  work's formal and verbal i n t e g r i t y in the 'corrosive' contingencies of real history while yet, s i l e n t l y , establishing the work's r e l a t i o n to the world.  That category i s 'tone . 1  With the concept of tone, treated as i f i t were a purely formal category and occasionally thought of as a 'device', the problem of the l i t e r a r y work's external relations could be "safely" approached. Although other favoured formal c a t e g o r i e s — t e n s i o n , paradox, image pattern, ambiguity, and so on--were openly discussed and developed as critical  instruments,. tone, though used continuously, consciously, and  productively for interpretation, was explored as a concept.  l e f t largely undefined and un-  Clearly, however, from the use to which the  4 notion was put,  tone represented perhaps the most important, unacknowl-  edged, formalist category for getting at 'meaning'.  One could spend a  great deal of time scrupulously laying bare the positive structure or formal patterns of a work, but to get at what i t a l l meant in the l a s t instance required a conceptual leap that could not be managed within the naive, unidimensional positivism that formalist practice seemed to i n s i s t  19;  upon.  Tone f u n c t i o n e d i n p r a c t i c a l c r i t i c i s m as t h e most comprehensive  semantic f e a t u r e o f a t e x t , a c c o u n t i n g f o r a l l t h a t r e s i d u e o f s i g n i f i c a t i o n which i n t r i n s i c a n a l y s e s c o u l d n o t name, because so much o f what a work means depends on a r e a d e r ' s c l o s e awareness o f t h e s o c i o - c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t s which encompass and r a t i f y t h e work. as a c r i t i c a l  The n o t i o n o f tone  itself  i n s t r u m e n t , o r as an aspect o f meaning, o r as a c e r t a i n  i n t e r p r e t a b l e output o f the a c t i v i t y o f the t e x t i n a p a r t i c u l a r environment was r a r e l y broached.  semantic  Tone was i n v o k e d i n o r d e r t o l i n k ,  s u b c r i t i c a l l y , a t e x t ' s t o t a l meaning t o t h e semantic u n i v e r s e which members o f a s o c i e t y c a r r y around i n t h e i r heads, a complex l i n k a g e t h a t went 'without s a y i n g ' because supposedly it.  The  inability  a l l c o u l d hear i t and a c t upon  t o .'hear' t h e t o n e , o r t o make t h e proper i n f e r e n c e s  about a work's t o n e , was put down as a d e f e c t o f s e n s i b i l i t y , as an i n a b i l i t y t o master t h e r e f i n e m e n t s and d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s o f an a c h i e v e d civilization  ( R i c h a r d s 1924, 1959: 62; L e a v i s 1943, 1965: 143-171).  Tone  was t r e a t e d i m p l i c i t l y as t h e s t a t i c , i n t r i n s i c p r o j e c t i o n s o f c e r t a i n a t t i t u d e s towards audience and e x t r i n s i c themes, r a t h e r than as t h e placing  a c t i v i t y o f t h e t e x t w i t h i n a s p e c i f i c community.  Tone, read as  an i n t u i t i v e l y r e c o g n i z e d d i s t i n c t i v e f e a t u r e o f i n t r i n s i c meaning, was i g n o r e d as a r a t i o n a l c a t e g o r y o f a n a l y s i s , whose s t r u c t u r e gave l i m i t e d access t o t h e c o n c r e t e r e l a t i o n s o f t e x t and w o r l d . T h i s study argues  t h a t t h e concept o f t o n e , as used i n f o r m a l i s t  c r i t i c i s m , cannot by i t s e l f c a p t u r e t h e r i c h n e s s and c o m p l e x i t y o f t h e w o r l d t o which poems r i c h l y and c o m p l e x l y r e f e r . o f tone would r e q u i r e an expanded d e f i n i t i o n . saying that formalism i s a c r i t i c a l  To do t h a t , t h e concept  More g e n e r a l l y , I am  t r a d i t i o n t h a t has c o n c e n t r a t e d  20  so much a t t e n t i o n on t h e t e x t i t s e l f , d e v e l o p i n g a h i g h l y s o p h i s t i c a t e d grasp o f t h e i n t e r n a l workings  o f t h e t e x t , t h a t i t has a l l o w e d i t s  sense o f t h e w o r l d beyond t h e t e x t t o a t r o p h y ; i n d e e d , i n t h e hyperf o r m a l i s m o f contemporary d e c o n s t r u c t i o n , t h e 'world' has s i m p l y d i s appeared as a t e x t u a l r e f e r e n t .  The concept  s i m p l y an acknowledgement i n f o r m a l i s m t h a t between t e x t and w o r l d .  I will  of tone, i n s h o r t , i s some  relationship  be a r g u i n g t h a t a  simple  exists  acknowledgement  o f t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p , n o r m a l l y i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c a l l y conveyed, i s not enough t o do j u s t i c e t o t h e t e x t as a s i g n i f y i n g p r a c t i c e w i t h i n a particular socio-historical  reality.  Formalism's r e l u c t a n c e t o i n v e s t i -  gate t h e t e x t i n t h e w o r l d l e d t o a now wel1-documented form o f c r i t i c a l blindness.  T h i s b l i n d n e s s was t a c t i c a l l y c r u c i a l  i n t h e 1920s and 1930s  when t h e new c r i t i c i s m was d e v e l o p i n g i t s a s s a u l t on a v a r i e t y o f c l u m s i l y and d e t e r m i n i s t i c a l l y a p p l i e d forms o f c o n t e x t u a l c r i t i c i s m . that p o l i t i c a l  moment has passed  However,  and t h e accompanying b l i n d n e s s t o  c o n t e x t i s now a l i a b i l i t y and r e q u i r e s a thorough  re-assessment.  L i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m needs t o develop a grasp o f t h e w o r l d - - o r a t l e a s t o f t h e common i n t u i t i v e l i f e o f a people w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r reality—at  social  l e a s t as s o p h i s t i c a t e d , d e t a i l e d , and c o n c r e t e as i t s grasp  o f t h e i n n e r workings  o f the t e x t i t s e l f .  Later i n t h i s chapter I  a n a l y z e some comments by F. R. L e a v i s about E l i o t ' s "Burnt Norton" i n o r d e r t o show t h e r e s u l t o f t h e a t r o p h y i n g o f a c r i t i c a l l y understanding  o f t h e n a t u r e and p r o c e s s e s o f s o c i a l  as t h e common i n t u i t i v e l i f e o f a community.  reality  relevant inscribed  My c h o i c e here i s somewhat  i r o n i c , i n t h a t t h e e a r l y E l i o t was one o f t h e more profound i n f l u e n c e s on L e a v i s  1  own c r i t i c a l  development.  However, by t h e time L e a v i s came  2(1  to w r i t e h i s p i e c e on "Burnt N o r t o n " i n the 1940s, E l i o t had transformed  i n h i s own  critical  long  p r a c t i c e the p r i n c i p l e s w i t h which  had been i d e n t i f i e d i n the 1920s.  And  he  t o t h a t e a r l i e r p e r i o d I now  In the mythology o f Anglo-American f o r m a l i s m  i t was  turn.  T. S. E l i o t  on French models, f i r s t thought and  p r a c t i c e d what seemed to be the  p r i n c i p l e s o f the  In h i s e a r l y c r i t i c a l  'new  criticism'.  r e v i e w s , and e s p e c i a l l y the group c o l l e c t e d i n  The  sacred  essays  who, ruling  and (1920),  mod  E l i o t seemed bent on r e s c u i n g l i t e r a t u r e , l i t e r a r y and c r i t i c a l from the hands o f l i t e r a r y gentlemen-amateurs ( E a g l e t o n 1977:  work,  1 2 ) , whose  d e v o t i o n t o the p a r t i c u l a r v a l u e s o f a s o c i a l c l a s s and t o the r e i g n i n g commonplaces o f n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y  Gladstonian  l i t e r a r y o b j e c t by making i t , when a l l was  l i b e r a l i s m obscured  s a i d and done, s i m p l y  i n s t a n c e , e i t h e r f o r good o r e v i l , o f the m e l i o r i s t t h e m a t i c s "Whig i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f h i s t o r y " ( B u t t e r f i e l d 1931, nineteenth-century  1968:  r e c e p t i o n o f John M i l t o n i s o f course  of  the  an the  45-46).  The  the famous case  i n p o i n t , whereby M i l t o n i s r e c r u i t e d by Macaulay as a p r o t a g o n i s t o f all  t h a t was  p r o g r e s s i v e , P r o t e s t a n t , and  liberal  i n the  c e n t u r y , thus p r e f i g u r i n g the e q u i p o i s e , o f the n i n e t e e n t h 64-71).  seventeenth (Weimann  E l i o t ' s i n s i s t e n c e t h a t a work o f a r t c o u l d not be  understood o r e v a l u a t e d  1976:  adequately  i f i t were s i m p l y v a n d a l i z e d f o r the Whig t r e a -  sures i t harboured, w h i c h , f o r the g e n t l e m a n - c r i t i c , both a u t h e n t i c a t e d the work's e x c e l l e n c e and the c o r r e c t n e s s o f the c r i t i c ' s s o c i a l g i a n c e s , was affront.  alle-  o f f e r e d t o Edwardian and Georgian l i t e r a r y London as  A g a i n s t the l i b e r a l  l i t e r a r y amateur E l i o t developed  an  the  g l a c i a l persona o f the p r o f e s s i o n a l c r i t i c and the i d e a o f a more o b j e c t i v e , text-based  critical  method t h a t took as i t s p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e  the  22  w o r k as  a work o f  literature  o t h e r works w i t h which i t wood  and e l s e w h e r e  sufficiency  that  "and not a n o t h e r t h i n g , "  has  affinities.  literary  a theoretically  comparable o n l y  Hinting in  The  s o u n d , c o n c e p t u a l , and  c o u l d be c o n s t r u c t e d t o make l i t e r a r y  to Sacred  logical  c r i t i c i s m something  more t h a n t h e e x t r a c u r r i c u l a r m u s i n g s - i n - t h e - 1 i b r a r y  o f a man w h o ,  as  5 part  of the  Eliot that  persona, pretended  developed  in his early years a style  s h a r p l y and v i v i d l y  cism i n  late  have not p e r c e i v e d  literary that  t h e norm a g a i n s t w h i c h E l i o t ' s  and p o l e m i c a l l y a i m e d i s  Edmund G o s s e , a n d t h e o t h e r s  sacred  early  literary  and t h e  wood  s h a p e and t h r u s t operate.  o f the  The f e i n t  sharpness o f tongue which literary  sees t h r o u g h a t e x t to  r u l i n g concepts  i n s i s t e d on t h e t e x t ' s  and s t y l e  autonomy,  liberal its  analysis  he d e v o t e d  of the  only centrally  system i n have had  a poem was  of  their to reading,  extra-literary meliorism, If  i t was p r i m a r i l y b e c a u s e J o h n 'higher'  literary  The  t r a d i t i o n of  o f h i s own c r i t i c i s m .  i m p e r s o n a l i t y of the a u t h o r ,  if  is  and s t y l e  introduced i t  he i n s i s t e d on t h e  sonality;  it  gener-  L y n d , E d w a r d Dowden,  towards  subordinacy to  Lynd assumed t h a t  criti-  future  w o r k was  thematics  assumed t h e t e x t ' s  Robert  If  community i n w h i c h E l i o t  d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the  namely r e a d i n g t h a t shaped the  criticism.  from the  Eliot's  Robert  assertiveness  literary  contrast,  critical  do,  no l o n g e r h e l p c o n s t i t u t e a c o h e r e n t  c u l t u r e w h i c h makes s e n s e , n e g a t i v e l y , Eliot's  culture.  vivid  early  no l o n g e r r e a d .  to  of propositional  c o n t r a s t e d w i t h what p a s s e d f o r  V i c t o r i a n and E d w a r d i a n  ations of c r i t i c s because  he had more momentous t h i n g s  he Morley  non-literary destinies; it  was p r i m a r i l y  because  s i m p l y a r e f l e x o f an a u t h o r ' s  c o n s i d e r a b l e space  t o t h e c l o s e and  l a n g u a g e o f a poem o r d r a m a t i c  speech,  if  per-  subtle  i t was  primarily  23  because Edward Dowden quoted passages from poems as ornamental f o r h i s own d i f f u s e r a m b l i n g s about p s y c h o l o g y ; judgements i n t h e  form  highlights  i f he c a s t h i s p l a c i n g  o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l p r o p o s i t i o n s marked by a t r a i n e d  p h i l o s o p h e r ' s t a c t f o r d i s c r i m i n a t i v e d e l i c a c y , i t was p r i m a r i l y because Edmund Gosse wallowed i n f e c k l e s s and i r r a t i o n a l  impressionism.  With  the d i s s o l u t i o n o f t h e Edwardian l i t e r a r y w o r l d i n t h e a p o c a l y p s e  o f the  Great War (Grubb 1965: 73-96), E l i o t ' s work was s u d d e n l y , almost c a t a s t r o p h i c a l l y , s t r i p p e d o f t h e c o n t e x t t h a t had determined themes.  As a r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t t h e n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y Whig  i t s s t y l e and world-view  grew a f t e r World War One, E l i o t soon became a p r i s o n e r o f h i s own s l o g a n s , a p r i s o n e r o f h i s own r o l e i n h e l p i n g t o d i s p l a c e and l i q u i d a t e a l i t e r a r y scene. The  And I . A. R i c h a r d s was h i s f i r s t g a o l e r . s t o r y o f I . A. R i c h a r d s ' h e r o i c attempts  to systematize (or  'engineer' t o use h i s f a v o u r i t e metaphor [ R i c h a r d s 1919, 1946: 1 7 9 ] ) , h i s own i n v e s t i g a t i o n s i n a e s t h e t i c s , t h e t h e o r y o f c o g n i t i o n , t h e psychology  o f p e r c e p t i o n , and E l i o t ' s  c o n f i d e n t a s s e r t i o n s about how a  s e r i o u s , p r o f e s s i o n a l l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m ought t o be done has been many times and I don't want t o go over w e l l - t i l l e d f i e l d s 362-403; Watson 1973: 186-192). cleansed E l i o t ' s  critical  they were launched  attempt (1929).  (Lodge 1970:  To a l a r g e e x t e n t , i t was R i c h a r d s who  m i s s i l e s o f t h e p o l e m i c a l c o n t e x t s i n which  and took t h e s e t o f p r o p o s i t i o n s t h a t seemed t o u n d e r l y  them as autonomous concepts c o u l d be b u i l t .  told  on which a t h e o r y and p r a c t i c e o f c r i t i c i s m  He went about doing t h i s  to s t i p u l a t e a productive c r i t i c a l  i n h i s f i r s t and most theory,  practical  important criticism  The f a c t t h a t E l i o t , as t h e y e a r s and the l i t e r a r y c u l t u r e which  had provoked h i s e a r l y c e s s a y s passed  i n t o t h e d u s t b i n o f h i s t o r y , came  24  to  i g n o r e more and more h i s own c r i t i c a l  'principles'  (Hynes 1977: 66)  never seemed t o worry R i c h a r d s e x c e s s i v e l y , though i t l e d some l i k e F. W. Bateson i n t o cranky c h a g r i n (1977: 7-8). But as a consequence o f R i c h a r d s ' e f f o r t s and t h e e f f o r t s o f o t h e r s who took from E l i o t , o r R i c h a r d s , o r b o t h , a s i m i l a r n e c e s s i t y , E l i o t found h i s name s h a c k l e d to  t h e o r i e s o f l i t e r a t u r e , a u t h o r s h i p , and c r i t i c i s m t h a t he spent a  good deal o f h i s l a t e r c a r e e r s h a k i n g o f f .  T h i s was o f t e n put down as  the m a g i s t e r i a l q u i x o t i c i s m o f a man whose judgement had s u b s i d e d among high A n g l i c a n s .  I t was on t h i s ambiguous ground t h a t t h e 'new c r i t i c i s m ' ,  o r what I c a l l Anglo-American f o r m a l i s m , r a i s e d i t s b a t t l e  standard  a g a i n s t t h e p h i l o l o g i s t s , h i s t o r i a n s o f i d e a s , b i o g r a p h e r s , e t c . who crowded t h e academic p r e c i n c t s where ' E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e b e i n g taught criticism  for  i n e a r n e s t i n t h e 1920s and 1930s.  (1929, 1946) p r o v i d e d a c o n c e p t u a l  that struggle.  1  Richards'  was f i r s t Practical  framework and v o c a b u l a r y  I t was t h e r e t h a t t h e n o t i o n o f 'tone' as a c r i t i c a l  i n s t r u m e n t was f i r s t proposed and d e f i n e d .  I t was one o f R i c h a r d s '  "four  a s p e c t s " o f meaning, a s p e c t s t h a t needed i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and a n a l y s i s i f the c r i t i c were t o r e c u p e r a t e t h e " T o t a l Meaning" o f an u t t e r a n c e , p o e t i c o r q u o t i d i a n (180-181).  Sense, F e e l i n g , I n t e n t i o n , and Tone were t h e  f o u r " b i l l i a r d - b a l l s " t h e r e a d e r , as j u g g l e r , kept i n t h e a i r w h i l e b a l a n c i n g t h e c u e . o f T o t a l Meaning on h i s nose (180). as t h e speaker's  "attitude  to  his  Tone was d e f i n e d  listener."  The speaker chooses o r arranges h i s words d i f f e r e n t l y as h i s audience v a r i e s , i n automatic o r d e l i b e r a t e recognition of his relation to them. The tone o f h i s u t t e r a n c e r e f l e c t s h i s awareness o f t h i s r e l a t i o n , h i s sense o f how he stands towards those he i s  25  a d d r e s s i n g . Again t h e e x c e p t i o n a l case o f d i s s i m u l a t i o n , o r i n s t a n c e s i n which t h e speaker u n w i t t i n g l y r e v e a l s an a t t i t u d e he i s not c o n s c i o u s l y d e s i r o u s o f e x p r e s s i n g , w i l l come t o mind. (182, R i c h a r d s ' emphasis) T h i s a s p e c t o f meaning f u n c t i o n e d w i t h t h e t h r e e o t h e r s i n complete interdependence  i n a meaningful  utterance; a p e r f e c t understanding o f  such an u t t e r a n c e "would i n v o l v e not o n l y an a c c u r a t e d i r e c t i o n o f thought,  a c o r r e c t e v o c a t i o n o f f e e l i n g , an e x a c t apprehension  o f time  and a p r e c i s e r e c o g n i t i o n o f i n t e n t i o n , but f u r t h e r i t would g e t these c o n t r i b u t o r y meanings i n t h e i r r i g h t o r d e r and p r o p o r t i o n t o one a n o t h e r , and s e i z e . . . t h e i r sequences and i n t e r r e l a t i o n s . "  F o r the v a l u e o f a  passage, R i c h a r d s a s s e r t e d , " f r e q u e n t l y hangs upon t h i s  internal  among i t s c o n t r i b u t o r y meanings" (332, R i c h a r d s ' emphasis).  order  The emphasis  on i n t e r n a l o r d e r , p r o p o r t i o n , and sequence was a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c theme i n the  'new c r i t i c i s m ' .  Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , R i c h a r d s d i d not rush t o e s t a b l i s h ,  e x p l i c i t l y , t h e c o n t i n u i t y o f h i s work w i t h t h e a n c i e n t r h e t o r i c a l  tradi-  t i o n , f o r i t i s c l e a r now t h a t w i t h o u t changing t h e o v e r a l l framework o f a n a l y s i s , w i t h o u t r e c o n s t i t u t i n g t h e o b j e c t o f s t u d y , namely p u t t i n g t h e l i t e r a r y t e x t on a new b a s i s , R i c h a r d s r e t h o u g h t components o f t h e t e x t as c o n c e i v e d oricians.  and renamed t h e i n t e r n a l  and c o n s t i t u t e d by t h e a n c i e n t r h e t -  I say 'not s u r p r i s i n g l y ' because R i c h a r d s ' own work, l i k e  E l i o t ' s i n t h e London c o n t e x t , was w r i t t e n w i t h i n a h i g h l y charged p o l e m i c a l c o n t e x t i n t h e E n g l i s h u n i v e r s i t y community i n t h e 1920s (Lodge 1970: 3 6 6 ) . garde  o f i t s day.  Practical  Criticism  represented  the c r i t i c a l  I t announced t h e younger g e n e r a t i o n ' s  a d e c i s i v e break w i t h t h e a n c i e n t c r i t i c a l  avant-  attempt t o make  t r a d i t i o n stemming from  26  Aristotle's  and h i s  Poetics  i n t h e Western c r i t i c a l schools  a t r a d i t i o n w i t h an ample draw  Rhetoric,  c o n s c i o u s n e s s and a t r a d i t i o n t h a t i n t h e new  and departments o f E n g l i s h a t t h e U n i v e r s i t i e s r e p r e s e n t e d t h e  heavy o r t h o d o x y o f t h e c l a s s i c i s t s who took t h e new c h a i r s and l e c t u r e s h i p s (Lodge 1970': 367, 375).  practical  ate a t t e m p t , based on t h e l a t e s t r e s e a r c h t o found a modern c r i t i c a l passionate doxy.  challenge  was both a d i s p a s s i o n -  Criticism  i n a e s t h e t i c s and p s y c h o l o g y ,  p r a c t i c e on a n o n - r h e t o r i c a l  b a s i s and a  t o t h e preponderence o f c l a s s i c i s t c r i t i c a l  The s t u d e n t p r o t o c o l s on which R i c h a r d s '  ortho-  book opened p r o v i d e d a  data base f o r t h e t h e o r i z i n g t h a t f o l l o w e d and a c l e a r rebuke t o t h e softheadedness o f t h e p r a c t i t i o n e r s o f t h e o l d methods. ends, i n t h e f i n a l  Indeed t h e book  s e c t i o n o f h i s "Summary," d i r e c t l y a d d r e s s i n g t h e  issue o f the teaching  of c r i t i c a l  p r a c t i c e i n the English schools  on t h e  new b a s i s proposed. By p e e l i n g o f f t h e r h e t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n from t h e s k i n o f the l i t e r a r y t e x t , an e m a n c i p a t o r y e n t e r p r i s e i n t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l worked, R i c h a r d s  nevertheless  t h a t had p e r m i t t e d  c o n t e x t where he  a l s o s t r i p p e d back t h e c r i t i c a l  perspective  t h e t h i n k i n g , i n i t s own l i m i t e d way, o f the r e l a t i o n  o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l t e x t t o i t s a c t i v e s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l R h e t o r i c a l a n a l y s i s not o n l y c o n c e p t u a l i z e d  contexts.  the i n t e r n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n  o f a work, but i t a l s o helped s t a b i l i z e t h e r e l a t i o n o f t e x t and a u d i e n c e , t e x t and w o r l d . ^ Richards conceptual  By r e t h i n k i n g t h e " i n t e r n a l o r d e r " o f the t e x t ,  hoped t h e weakly d i s c r i m i n a t e d n o t i o n o f  tone  would do t h e  work o f a s t r o n g l y d i s c r i m i n a t e d two-thousand-year t r a d i t i o n Q  o f d e a l i n g w i t h a work's e x t e r n a l r e l a t i o n s . R i c h a r d s , o f c o u r s e , was o n l y c o m p l e t i n g t h e work o f r o m a n t i c i s m .  The complex r e l a t i o n s h i p s l i n k i n g w r i t e r and a u d i e n c e , w r i t e r and course (as genre and mode), w r i t e r and the dominant  dis-  ideology of his or  her time were a l l r e t h o u g h t i n r o m a n t i c i s m i n the c o n t e x t o f the i n v e n t i o n of the m e t a p h y s i c s o f B e i n g i n German i d e a l i s m ,  the accompanying  nomenology o f p r e s e n c e , and the new a u t h o r i t y o f v o i c e and (Wordsworth  phe-  speech^  1815, 1939: 935; C o l e r i d g e 1817, 1962: 221 f f . ) .  attempted w i t h o u t r e c o u r s e t o the whole system o f c l a s s i c a l  T h i s was rhetoric  t h a t b e f o r e r o m a n t i c i s m c o n t r o l l e d t h e s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n a system o f ' d e v i c e s ' , g e n r e s , modes, and r u l e s o f decorum t h a t e n c l o s e d the p l a y o f meaning w i t h i n a g i v e n o r d e r ( F o u c a u l t , 1973: 51-76).  That  earlier  o r d e r came t o be s e c l u d e d and d i s p l a c e d i n the l a t t e r p a r t o f the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y ( V i c k e r s 1970: 58-60).  In t h a t c r i t i c a l  moment, the  ' d e v i c e s ' , modes, e t c . were suddenly seen t o have e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l s i o n s ; o r , t o put i t a n o t h e r way,  certain epistemological  dimen-  inferences  c o u l d be made from t h e p l a y o f metaphor and s i m i l e which c l a s s i c a l rhetorical  t h e o r y , and the c u l t u r e which s u s t a i n e d i t , c o u l d not formu-  l a t e i n terms o f a t h e o r y o f knowledge.  The p l a y o f metaphor (one might  even say the r o l e o f metaphor), f o r example, t h a t d o u b l i n g o f p l a i n sense so f a m i l i a r  t o us from c l a s s i c a l and Renaissance l i t e r a t u r e ,  was  then emblematic o f c o s m o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e , emblematic, as we have a l l been t a u g h t , o f the r e l a t i o n  o f w o r l d t o cosmos and man  t o God.  By  and through r o m a n t i c i s m , however, such metaphoric d o u b l i n g breached c o n s c i o u s n e s s i t s e l f i n the d i r e c t i o n o f i t s deepest r a t i o n a l i t i e s and i n the a t t e n d i n g c o n d e n s a t i o n s o f s e l f and i n d i v i d u a l i t y which the philosophical made p o s s i b l e .  new  language o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s , i d e a l i s t and p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l , Thus, the D major sonata f o r c e l l o and piano d i r e c t e d  28  a t t e n t i o n towards Beethoven h i m s e l f r a t h e r than t o some a u t h e n t i c a t i n g , extra-personal  cosmology,** r e q u i r i n g o n l y the d i s c o v e r y o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l  space t o b r i n g i n t o p l a y the new  c r i t i c a l , d e s c r i p t i v e b i n a r i e s and  themes. In t h i s movement o f t h o u g h t , the r h e t o r i c a l transformed  system, r e f i n e d and  o v e r two m i l l e n i a , c o u l d no l o n g e r s e r v e as the unsurpassed  encompassing framework or space o f l i t e r a t u r e . modern c o n c e p t i o n (Abrams 1971:  of 'consciousness  227)  o f s i m i l i t u d e and  1  The  development o f  as the s p e c i e s ' access  the  to Nature  d e f l e c t e d the p l a y o f meaning away from the c l o s u r e s resemblance ( F o u c a u l t 1973:  can b e s t be glimpsed s i m i l e and metaphor.  238-240).  This d i f f e r e n c e  i n the f a t e o f the c e n t r a l r h e t o r i c a l W i t h i n the r h e t o r i c a l  tropes-  system, they r e f l e c t a w o r l d  always a l r e a d y i n p l a c e p r i o r t o the a c t i v i t y o f i t s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i n language.  Metaphor rethought  as an e x p l o r a t i o n o f  consciousness-in-the-  w o r l d generates meaning i n the a c t i v i t y o f w r i t i n g i t s e l f 144-145).  C o l e r i d g e might begin  f e i n t (Langbaum 1963:  (Stone  " F r o s t a t M i d n i g h t " w i t h what seems a  45-46) towards metaphor: "The  F r o s t performs i t s  s e c r e t m i n i s t r y , / Unhelped by any wind . . ." ( l i n e s 1-2); the poem's end, the systematic  however, by  'metaphor' o f the f r o s t ' s m i n i s t e r i n g has named no  s i m i l i t u d e , b u t , through t o n e - l e a d i n g , generated a sequence  of contiguous o f mind.  1967:  t o n a l zones which i n sum  make p a l p a b l e an e v o l v i n g s t a t e  The m i n i s t e r i n g f r o s t i s not the metaphor s t r i c t l y  speaking  so much as the o c c a s i o n , the s i t e , i n f a c t , where c o n s c i o u s n e s s c l o s e s t t o s e n s i n g i t s own sense t o i t s e l f :  substance and r e p r e s e n t i n g t h a t new  ' " T i s calm indeed!  m e d i t a t i o n w i t h i t s s t r a n g e / And  comes found  so calm t h a t i t d i s t u r b s / And  extreme s i l e n t n e s s " (8-10).  vexes  When the  29:  poem rounds back t o t h e c o m p o s i t i o n a l p r e s e n t t e n s e , t h e here and now o f the process o f p e r c e p t i o n , back t o an awareness o f "the s e c r e t m i n i s t r y of f r o s t "  ( 7 3 ) , i t i s not a sense o f m e t a p h o r i c a l  c l o s i n g w i t h which  we're l e f t , but t h e l e t t i n g go, moving out towards t h e f i e l d .  Thus,  metaphor i s used h e u r i s t i c a l l y t o e x p l o r e c o n s c i o u s n e s s , not t o accommodate e x p e r i e n c e t o some n o t i o n a l g i v e n t o which t h e metaphor r e f e r s . Furthermore,  the s t r u c t u r a l  i n t e g r i t y o f t h e poem does not f i n a l l y  c r y s t a l l i z e u n t i l the e n t i r e syntagmatic  chain i s achieved.  o v e r t o r c o v e r t i n i t i a t i o n o f some t r a d i t i o n a l  overall  Without any  form, t h e poet  a r t i c u l a t e s t h e environment i n which he f i n d s h i m s e l f , i n i t i a l l y as a p a r t i c u l a r , c o n c r e t e p l a c e ( t h e c o t t a g e ) , the s p e c i f i c s o f which q u i c k l y accumulate and m u l t i p l y t h e p l a y o f meaning, and, by f i t s and s t a r t s , a sense o f t h e w h o l e , drawn, i n t h i s i n s t a n c e , p r i m a r i l y from C o l e r i d g e ' s sense o f h i s p a s t , h i s hopes f o r t h e f u t u r e and, i m p l i c i t l y , h i s concept i o n o f Nature as mentor. t h a t sense o f repose  These a c c r e t i o n s o f meaning do n o t produce  i n a s h a r e d , encompassing cosmology f o r which t h e  poem i s now a r a d i a n t metonym; i n s t e a d , t h e poem i n s i s t s on f o r e g r o u n d i n g the process o f i t s a r t i c u l a t i o n , i n o t h e r words, t h e presence  o f con-  s c i o u s n e s s i t s e l f , and makes a v a i l a b l e t h e h e u r i s t i c drama which sciousness enacts  ( R i c h a r d s 1934, 1950: 118-119).  The c l o s u r a l  o f t h e p l a y o f meaning i n t h e poem o c c u r s as c o n s c i o u s n e s s Nature.  conlimit  'contacts'  And a l t h o u g h t h e l o o s e l y c i r c u l a r form o f " F r o s t a t M i d n i g h t "  g e s t u r e s towards m e t a p h o r i c a l c l o s u r e o f t h e t r a d i t i o n a l  sort  (which  M. H. Abrams s e i z e s upon i n o r d e r t o a p p r o p r i a t e t h e poem as a sub-genre of l y r i c  [Abrams 1965: 528, 5 5 0 ] ) , t h e a c t u a l h e u r i s t i c s t r u c t u r e  glimpsed  i n t h e sudden s h i f t s o f awareness, o f i n t e n s i t y o f f e e l i n g and  3Q  shock, makes achieve.  a formal openness which C o l e r i d g e cannot y e t f u l l y  possible  He cannot y e t  fully  a c h i e v e i t because even amidst t h e d e v e l o p -  ment o f a new p o e t i c s C o l e r i d g e f e l t t h e i n e r t i a l  drag o f t h e f o r m a l ,  e s p e c i a l l y c l o s u r a l , i m p e r a t i v e s e x e r t e d by t h e d o c t r i n e o f genre and mode. The  c l a s s i c a l o r d e r o f t h i n g s i n s i s t e d on a poem's mimetic  nature--  the poem as an i m i t a t i o n o f a N a t u r a l o r d e r , an o r d e r c u l m i n a t i n g i n a comprehensive and knowable cosmology.  A poem's coherences were program-  m a t i c , i n t h e sense t h a t they were s a n c t i o n e d by t h e p r i o r and a b s o l u t e coherences o f t h e cosmology.  The poem's whole f i n a l  form came i n t o  being  from t h e opening word as a c o n t r a c t e d debt p r o g r e s s i v e l y and i n e v i t a b l y amortized.  A poem l i k e M i l t o n ' s " L y c i d a s " d e f a u l t s on t h e d e b t , l e a v i n g  a structural 1961:  'residue  64-81).  1  which cannot be made sense o f g e n e r i c a l l y  (Ransom  That ' r e s i d u e ' can o n l y be i n t e r p r e t e d when t h e poem i s  no l o n g e r seen s i m p l y as an e p i s o d e  i n the i n t e r n a l  l i f e o f a genre, but  r e - i n s e r t e d i n t h e c o n c r e t e h i s t o r y t o which t h e poem's t o n a l s t r u c t u r e g i v e s us a c c e s s , not s i m p l y as a way o f f i n d i n g i n t h e poem a c t u a l r e f erences  t o 'events' but i n t h e way c o n c r e t e h i s t o r y , t w i s t s and makes  over t h e form o f t h e e l e g y as a f u n c t i o n o f M i l t o n ' s to  attitudes  use R i c h a r d s ' d e f i n i t i o n , t h e p a r t i c u l a r s o f t h a t h i s t o r y .  towards,  In o t h e r  words, t h e c l a s s i c a l view o f genre does not d i s c r i m i n a t e between ' p a s t o r a l e l e g y ' and ' p a s t o r a l e l e g y w r i t t e n i n a p e r i o d o f heavy e p i s c o p a l ship"  (Hill  censor-  1977: 50-51).  I f t h e c l a s s i c a l mode o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n l i m i t e d t h e h e u r i s t i c p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f metaphor, i t had a l s o e n c l o s e d t h e n o t i o n o f ' v o i c e ' i n poetry w i t h i n the rule-governed  semantics  o f genre and decorum.  In  305 romanticism,  t h i s c a t e g o r i c a l l i m i t a t i o n gave way  t o a sudden d i l a t i o n  o f the p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f s i g n i f i c a t i o n when, w i t h the a c c e s s i o n o f new  metaphysics o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s  v a r i o u s ways as the q u i n t e s s e n c e  the  a r t i c u l a t e d by Kant and Hegel i n t h e i r o f the human, ' v o i c e ' was  rethought  as  the s i g n o f the presence o f i n d i v i d u a t e d Being r a t h e r than as the s i g n o f an a l l e g i a n c e t o a p a r t i c u l a r c o r p o r a t e o r d e r l i n e s s .  Indeed, the  m u l t i p l i c a t i o n o f v o i c e s i n Rameau's nephew i s p e r c e i v e d by h i s i n t e r l o c u t o r as the s i g n o f derangement ( D i d e r o t 1761,  1966:  103-104).  The  'music' o f these v o i c e s i s cacophonous and the opera the nephew performs singlehandedly  s i m p l y b e w i l d e r i n g ( c f . A l 1 d r i t t 1978:  o f the 1760s, we  call  1971:  3-4).  'tone' was  In t h i s t e x t  are p o i s e d at one o f the moments when the n o t i o n o f  r h e t o r i c i s encompassed i r r e t r i e v a b l y by the romantic (Barthes  53).  The  c o n t r o l o f what R i c h a r d s  and  idea of s t y l e E l i o t would  no l o n g e r r a t i f i e d by an a b s o l u t e s i g n i f i e d  later  (a r e i g n i n g  cosmology) t h r o u g h g e n e r i c and modal c a t e g o r i e s ; c o n t r o l d e r i v e d from a newly p r i v i l e g e d inwardness and a u t h o r i t y t i e d t o the power, e x p r e s s i o n , and presence o f s o l i t a r y i n d i v i d u a l s .  'Tone' was  thematized  i n roman-  t i c i s m through the semantics o f s i n c e r i t y and a u t h e n t i c i t y ( T r i l l i n g 1972:  92-100). E l i o t ' s e a r l y work, i n f l u e n c e d by French models, a t t e n d e d  funeral of s i n c e r i t y .  'Tone , as a c r i t i c a l 1  w i t h the derangement o f the romantic  the  c a t e g o r y , came i n t o view  complex o f i d e a s , o f s e l f , a u t h o r i t y ,  e x p r e s s i o n , and a u t h e n t i c i t y , the c o l l a p s e o f the autonomous s u b j e c t as a b s o l u t e s i g n i f i e d , a c o l l a p s e t h a t breaks over the e a r l y poems, up t o "Ash Wednesday." church  In t h a t key t e x t , E l i o t acknowledges the  as the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l  s i g n i f i e r of a necessary,  historical  absolute  signified.  32  It  i s n e c e s s a r y as t h e g u a r a n t o r o f semantic c l o s u r e and c e n t r e d n e s s ,  an e x t r a t e x t u a l l i m i t i n g framework t h a t c l o s e s t h e a n a r c h i c meaning and r e f e r e n c e  (Margolis  play of  1973: 137; Gordon 1977: 132-133).  Indeed, such a commitment t o c l o s u r e and u n i t y c o n s t i t u t e s  implicitly  a s t a b l e " r e a l i t y " beyond t h e t e x t t h a t E l i o t ' s l a t e r work, from "Ash Wednesday" o n , c u l m i n a t i n g This  in  Four  explores  Quartets,  and r a t i f i e s .  " r e a l i t y " coincides i n part f o r E l i o t with the s o c i a l  everyday l i f e ; t h e r e l i g i o u s s e t t l e m e n t f u n c t i o n s as an a b s o l u t e "Ash  r e a l i t y of  t h a t encompasses t h i s  "reality"  framework t h a t E l i o t t a k e s f o r g r a n t e d a f t e r  Wednesday" and i t s guarantees a l l o w E l i o t t o take p a r t i c u l a r  a t t i t u d e s towards " r e a l i t y . "  These a t t i t u d e s c o n s t i t u t e n o t , as  Richards  would have i t , a p a r t i c u l a r tone towards " r e a l i t y " as an i n t e r n a l proj e c t i o n o f t h e t e x t , s i m p l y a f e a t u r e o f i t s i n t r i n s i c meaning, but something much more a c t i v e and outward.  And i t i s t h e purpose o f t h i s  s t u d y t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e p a r t i c u l a r s o f t h a t a c t i v i t y and t h a t outwardness.  F o r tone i s not j u s t s i m p l y a formal  category;  crudely i n the conceptualizations of formalism, concrete  t o a fundamental and  r e l a t i o n s h i p between t e x t and w o r l d .  Having an contained,  attitude  personal,  towards  something i n l i f e i s n o t a s i m p l e ,  self-  i n t e r n a l s t a t e o f mind o r f e e l i n g ; i t i s a s o c i a l  p r a c t i c e , and, i f t h a t (in  i t points, albeit  attitude  towards  audience o r t h i n g i s i n s c r i b e d  a poem, s a y ) , then i t i s a l s o a c u l t u r a l and, p e r h a p s , even a  political  practice.  imaginative  E l i o t , I b e l i e v e , came t o r e a l i z e t h i s .  His  works, l i k e h i s e s s a y s , were c o n c e i v e d and w r i t t e n i n a  s p i r i t o f s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l engagement; i n d e e d , I w i l l t o say t h a t t h e i r p r i m a r y purpose was p o l e m i c a l  go so f a r as  i n the c o n t e x t o f  33  English l i f e  i n the f i r s t  h a l f o f the t w e n t i e t h  will  not be l o o k i n g at  will  become obvious as I p r o c e e d , I would l i k e  c h a p t e r with a b r i e f interpretations  Four  in t h i s  Quartets  after  practical  In the c o n t e x t o f t h i s  that  first  formalist how the r i c h l y  c r i t i c i s m was not matched, i n by a comparably r i c h and  criticism,  d e t a i l e d development i n the a n a l y s i s world.  to c l o s e t h i s  N o r t o n " i n o r d e r to i l l u s t r a t e  p r o d u c t i v e development o f an i n t r i n s i c  Although I  study f o r reasons  look at one o f the most i n f l u e n t i a l  o f "Burnt  the twenty y e a r s  century.  o f the r e l a t i o n s  illustration,  between t e x t and  I a l s o want to begin p u t t i n g  i n p l a c e some i d e a s , drawn from the s o c i o l o g y o f knowledge, t h a t make t h i s that  long-delayed c r i t i c a l  does j u s t i c e  development f i n a l l y  both to the i n t r i n s i c  might  p o s s i b l e i n a way  c o m p l e x i t y o f the i n d i v i d u a l  t e x t and to the l i v e d d e n s i t i e s o f h i s t o r y . In h i s e a r l i e s t  c r i t i q u e of  d i s c u s s i o n o f the three  poems t h a t  D. W. H a r d i n g ' s comment t h a t the a t t r a c t i o n s  Four  Quartets,  F. R. L e a v i s  begins h i s  had been p u b l i s h e d i n 1942 by e n d o r s i n g  the a u t h o r i t y  o f "Burnt  to thought o f any " g i v e n i n t e l l e c t u a l  Norton" l i e s  and d o c t r i n a l  framework": The g e n i u s , t h a t o f a great p o e t , m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f i n a profound and acute apprehension o f the d i f f i c u l t i e s o f h i s age. Those d i f f i c u l t i e s are such t h a t they c e r t a i n l y cannot be met by any simple r e c o m p o s i t i o n o f t r a d i t i o n a l frames. E l i o t i s known as p r o f e s s i n g A n g l o - C a t h o l i c i s m and c l a s s i c i s m ; but h i s poetry i s remarkable f o r the e x t r a o r d i n a r y r e s o u r c e , p e n e t r a t i o n and stamina w i t h which i t makes i t s e x p l o r a t i o n s i n the c o n c r e t e a c t u a l i t i e s o f e x p e r i e n c e below the conceptual c u r r e n c y ; i n t o t h a t l i f e t h a t must be the  raison  d'etre  o f any f r a m e — w h i l e t h e r e  is  beyond  life  at  all.  With a l l i t s p o s i t i v e a s p i r a t i o n and movement, i t i s at the same time e s s e n t i a l l y a work o f r a d i c a l a n a l y s i s  34  and r e v i s i o n , e n d l e s s l y i n s i s t e n t i n i t s c a r e not t o confuse t h e frame w i t h a l i v i n g r e a l i t y , and h e r o i c i n i t s r e f u s a l to accept. ( L e a v i s 1943, 1965: 103)  To a r r i v e here L e a v i s (and Harding  b e f o r e him) p e n e t r a t e d  to a level of  a n a l y s i s which seemed t o r e f l e c t t h e l e v e l a t which t h e poem was being composed, o r t o put i t a n o t h e r way, t h e l e v e l the poem, gathered  up i n t o t h e conceptual  t o s t r a t a where  anterior  apparatus of i t s s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l  and c u l t u r a l m i l i e u x , might be heard t o be making s i m p l e d o c t r i n a l i n e l u s i v e language.  points  L e a v i s saw t h e poem's "immediacy" o f e x p e r i e n t i a l  c o n t a c t as t h e " e q u i v a l e n t i n p o e t r y o f a work--to do by s t r i c t l y p o e t i c a l means t h e b u s i n e s s o f an e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l and m e t a p h y s i c a l  inquiry" (94).  We s h o u l d note i n p a s s i n g t h a t L e a v i s ' " l i f e " and " l i v i n g r e a l i t y , " i f these terms have any p r e c i s i o n a t a l l , borrow t h e i r p h i l o s o p h i c a l substance from t h e m e t a p h y s i c s o f Being c r y s t a l l i z e d i n the p e r i o d between Hegel and Max S c h e l e r ( L e a v i s 1932, 1954; 94-95; 1972: 20-21).  Indeed,  the c h o i c e o f these f o r m u l a t i o n s t o d e s c r i b e t h e e n a b l i n g c o n t e x t o f Eliot's  ' i n q u i r y ' i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n a number o f ways.  r e a l i t y " are uttered with a confidence hundred-and-fifty-year specific gravity.  " L i f e " and " l i v i n g  s u s t a i n e d by t h e u n d e r l y i n g one-  p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n t h a t g i v e s them t h e i r  Yet., w h i l e they seem t o draw a boundary around some  p a r t i c u l a r zone o f o b j e c t i v e r e f e r e n c e , when t h e boundaries o f t h a t zone are a c t u a l l y s o u g h t , they recede l i k e t h e h o r i z o n . of the  Quartets,  In h i s f i n a l  reading  p u b l i s h e d i n 1975, L e a v i s , l i v i n g i n a time more  s e v e r e l y concerned w i t h d e f i n i t i o n and w i t h the i n t e n t behind  t h e use o f  such g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s , attempted t o d e v e l o p h i s sense o f t h e a c t u a l i z e d s t r u c t u r e o f E l i o t ' s " r e a l i t y " along a l i n e o f thought suggested by  35  Michael  Polanyi  207; L e a v i s ,  as the t a c i t dimension o f knowledge  1975: 3 9 , 243).  thought t h a t p r o v i d e s t h i s  It  is  this  latter  (Polanyi  development i n  study w i t h one o f i t s  points of  the a c t u a l  movement from word to word, l i n e structure,  proceeds t e n t a t i v e l y  of a s s e r t i o n . quality of  The e f f e c t  structure of E l i o t ' s to l i n e , t h a t i s ,  'ambiguity'  the poem's  ' p o l y s e m y ' , though L e a v i s the p a r t i c u l a r i t y  1  to  concrete  positive  i n an e v i d e n t d i f f i d e n c e and h e s i t a n c y  o f t h i s procede,  i n the  "reality"  poem, i t s  Leavis w r i t e s ,  " u n s e i z a b l e n e s s " (1943, 1965: 9 5 ) , a q u a l i t y  have c a l l e d  Leavis'  departure.  P u t t i n g to the s i d e f o r the moment the q u e s t i o n o f the which the poem r e f e r s ,  1974: 121-  is a  certain  t h a t we might  1950s and 1960s and today might  word c a r r i e s ,  perhaps, a greater  o f h i s encounter with the poem.  call  flavour  His a n a l y s i s  "Burnt N o r t o n " i s famous f o r i t s  and s h i f t s  o f thought and f e e l i n g i n the movement, the c o n t i n u o u s n e s s , o f  the v e r s e ,  c a t c h i n g "the  He sees t h i s  specific.indeterminate  f u n d a m e n t a l l y as the  to the  the  opening o f  (95).  sensitiveness  of  of  s t a t u s o f the e x p e r i e n c e "  "complex e f f e c t  of a d e - r e a l i z i n g  o f the r o u t i n e commonsense world t o g e t h e r with the evoking o f a that is  hidden among the u n r e a l i t i e s  q u e s t i o n e d , paradoxes i t s e l f . In the  . . . "  i n t o which l i f e  in time,  assertiveness  reality  closely  (96).  "Burnt N o r t o n " o p e n i n g , the sudden s l i p p a g e , a f t e r  propositional  pressures  o f the f i r s t  ten l i n e s ,  the  at  But to what purpose D i s t u r b i n g the dust on a bowl o f r o s e - l e a v e s I do not know. (CP 189) a n d , superadded, the a t t e n d a n t stays  are p u l l e d ,  anxiety of s l i p p i n g f u r t h e r ,  i n t o a more r a d i c a l  rupture, a f e l t  once  anxiety,  the  figured  36  even i n the l i n e a t i o n , t h a t g i v e s the word " D i s t u r b i n g " i t s menacing n o t e ,  is marvellously  conveyed by L e a v i s  faintly  as a "sudden drop to  another p l a n e , to a d i s t a n c i n g comment, t h a t b r i n g s out by c o n t r a s t  the  immediacy o f what goes b e f o r e , w h i l e at the same time c o n t r i b u t i n g to  the  sensuous p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the whole"  of  the whole"  (96).  The "sensuous p r e s e n t a t i o n  i s n e g o t i a t e d by the s p a t i a l i z i n g a c t i o n o f the  "sudden d r o p , "  the r e s u l t o f a p r o g r e s s i v e widening o f the d i s c o u r s e o f p h i l o s o p h y , a s p e c u l a t i o n inaugurated by " F o o t f a l l s fully  achieved  echo . . . "  i c o n i c space--the garden--"our f i r s t w o r l d . "  becomes the a b s t r a c t  s i t e where c e r t a i n  condense as the r e s u l t o f the s p e c i a l states It  is  widening, f i n a l l y  of p e r c e p t i o n , revery  'takes'  preternatural  real,  not to an a r t i f i c i a l  To put i t  baldly,  it  however,  i n t o the t r u t h o f E l i o t ' s ciation for their interim"ttances, "reality," confronts  enacted i n  final  a s s e r t i o n s , but i t Yet  i n the poem's e c h o e s ,  its  "unseizableness" in  vertigoes, short, that  "the s p i r i t with the n e c e s s i t y o f supreme d e c i s i o n s ,  c h o i c e s , and so g i v e [ s ] a meaning to l i f e "  some deeper l e v e l  that actualizes  h i s o r i g i n a l , and most p o t e n t i a l l y  truth.  does demand an a p p r e -  sought as an " a b s o l u t e r e f e r e n c e "  the poem by r e a d i n g out a r e f e r e n t  hears  c r i t i c i s m does not demand an e n q u i r y  pauses, h e s i t a t i o n s , is  the  Leavis  as having the f o r c e o f i n c o n t e s t a b l e literary  all  towards  p a r a d i s e won back from memory.  contestabi1ity.  Leavis w r i t e s ,  heightened  case the dream o f o r i g i n s .  harmony, t h a t press u s , r e p r o v i n g l y ,  the r e p r o o f and accepts  identity  coherences p e r m i s s i b l e i n  these s p e c i f i c c o n d e n s a t i o n s , however f e e l i n g l y  their  That world  o f s e l f and  and dream, i n t h i s  to a  (97).  structure  ultimate  In the need to  close  (Chatman 1980: 41-42)  a 'meaning o f l i f e ' , productive,  apercu,  Leavis the  from  abandons  very  37  " u n s e i z a b l e n e s s " o f the poem's o r g a n i z a t i o n . scatter,  diffract,  o r d i s s o l v e the poem's meaning.  the poem's " u n s e i z a b l e n e s s " marks i t s and, t h e r e f o r e ,  T h i s q u a l i t y does not  constitutes  unavoidable e l u s i v e n e s s  practical  a semantic f e a t u r e .  t h a t attends  On the  contrary,  engagement with Leavis  hears o n l y  For us there  but o t h e r w i s e or  is  the  the u t t e r i n g o f gnomic c o u n s e l s .  For him the poem's " u n s e i z a b l e n e s s " o b s t r u c t s meaning r a t h e r duces i t .  reality  than  pro-  no need to read the poem as an i n t e n s e l y  s i m p l e , p r o p o s i t i o n about a g e n e r a l i z a t i o n c a l l e d  felt,  'life'  'reality'. Critical  closure of this  sort,  the  c r i t i c i s m , needs some a b s o l u t e r e f e r e n t But such c l o s u r e r a t i o n a l i z e s from l i n e  a text's  sine  qua  non  of  formalist  to l i m i t the play of meaning. microstructural  diversity,  evident  to l i n e as a m u l t i p l i c i t y o f o r g a n i z a t i o n s , by r e - w r i t i n g  poem's unique and i r r e d u c i b l e d e t a i l s l e s s resounding c u l t u r a l  the  and sequences i n terms o f more o r  commonplaces without  r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t the  texts  so r e - w r i t t e n are themselves comments on the commonplaces i n t o which are r e s o l v e d .  Formalist  obscure the work's  re-writing  detailed  r e l a t i o n s h i p to the s o c i a l  p r o c e s s , the c o n c r e t e h i s t o r y work's  utterances  o f a work c o n t a i n s determinants  i n which i t  as statements  is  about s t a t e s  "human kind / Cannot bear very much r e a l i t y " with which we ought o r ought not agree as L e a v i s would have i t ,  of a f f a i r s  the  in g e n e r a l :  not a b a l d p r o p o s i t i o n  ( L e a v i s 1975: 177).  quasi-scriptural.  Nor i s  The meanings o f  it,  "reality"  and "human k i n d " are not a b s o l u t e d e n o t a t i o n s ; they a r e ,  in f a c t ,  which p a r t i c u l a r men and women at p a r t i c u l a r  particular  conditions privilege  as p a r t o f a wider  times under  social  that  and h i s t o r i c a l  l o d g e d , by r e c a s t i n g  is  they  practice.  This  usages  practice  38  involves the appropriation of a network of 'absolute' references as a validating condition and limiting case of an historically determined structure of signifiers.  This structure of signifiers and their refer-  ences, conventionalized over time, constitute an intelligible universe. No one can argue that the sort of formalist reading we see here is not attentively and feelingly done; Leavis' actual responsiveness to the shifts and movement of the text are paradigmatic for practical criticism. Where the weakness lies is in how these shifts, word choices, linebreaks, syntactic pressures are to be made sense of, how the delicacy of the poem's positive structure, as i t is sensitively constructed, is to be interpreted.  The appeal to " l i f e , " "living reality," or any other  reification of the lived complexity of historically active social structures and processes cannot function as adequate interpretation because its explanatory power is hidden from sight, is simply implicit and unnamed in the shared intersubjectivity of the lived.  Having won a mag-  nificently complex sense of the poem's positive activity, Leavis closes his eyes when he turns to the world about which the poem seems to be making some point.  He closes his eyes by collapsing the irreducible  complexity of the social world to which the poem refers into generalized concepts--"life," "living reality"--with contents that are never made explicit.  Criticism needs to grow eyes in order to examine more closely  what a phrase like the "concrete actualities of experience" actually names in a poem. experience i t s e l f .  Clearly, a poem cannot deliver in some unmediated form The question is how we are to account for the media-  tions which transform experience into a poetic object. Plainly, the poem's language assembles and mobilizes, to some  39  e x t e n t , a t t i t u d e s towards t h e e x p e r i e n c e s which i t p r e s e n t s .  But no  language comes i n t o a poem t h a t has not a l r e a d y had a v i v i d l i f e and history i n a variety of recuperable social discourses, discourses that can be mapped a c r o s s a r e a l s o c i a l t e r r a i n  ( B a k h t i n 1929, 1973: 163-167).  Thus, how we a r e t o t a k e t h e d o n n i s h tone o f t h e opening o f "Burnt Norton" w i l l  depend on what a t t i t u d e we t h i n k t h e poem i s a s k i n g us t o  take towards i t , an a t t i t u d e which can be made sense o f as a f u n c t i o n o f t h a t p a r a d i g m a t i c s e t o f a t t i t u d e s towards dons and t h e i r  professional  d i s c o u r s e s which can be r e c o v e r e d from t h e common i n t u i t i v e l i f e o f a p a r t i c u l a r community.  T h i s l i n e o f thought o b v i o u s l y f o r e g r o u n d s a  poem's language, but not language i n some a b s t r a c t s e n s e , not t h e system of  language (what s t r u c t u r a l i s m c a l l s  medium o f t h e poem i s language as p a r t i c u l a r times and p l a c e s . the  la  la  langue).  parole,  Instead, the verbal  language as i t i s used i n  Language i n t h i s sense i s c o n s t i t u t i v e o f  e n t i r e c o n t e n t s o f what I am c a l l i n g t h e common i n t u i t i v e l i f e o f a  community.  One cannot use language o u t s i d e t h e a s s o c i a t i o n s , d e n o t a t i o n s ,  c o n n o t a t i o n s , h i s t o r i e s , meanings, e t c . t h a t make up t h i s shared i n t u i t i v e life  ( H a l l i d a y 1978: 8-35, 211-235).  Thus, t o use any l o c u t i o n i s t o  e s t a b l i s h a r e l a t i o n w i t h t h e purposes t o which t h a t l o c u t i o n o r tone or  s y n t a x has been put i n t h e s o c i o - v e r b a l  h i s t o r y o f t h e community.  we read t h e opening l i n e s o f "Burnt N o r t o n " s o l e l y f o r t h e i r  If  propositional  c o n t e n t , o r , i n o t h e r words, f o r what t h e y might o r might not say about "Time," we miss t h e same dimension o f t h e poem t h a t we miss i n Rene M a g r i t t e ' s famous p a i n t i n g o f a p i p e w i t h i t s legend pipe"  (The  Treachery  (or  Perfidy)  representation there i s a pipe.  of  Images,  "ceci  n'est  pas  une  1928-1929), i f we t h i n k t h e  40  Language does not s i m p l y r e f l e c t , but a c t i v e l y c o n s t i t u t e s , s o c i a l r e a l i t y ; t h a t i s , language i s not an autonomous o r d e r o f s i g n s t h a t p a r a l l e l s an autonomous o r d e r o f t h i n g s ; nor i s i t n a r r o w l y Although  stipulative.  the r e l a t i o n o f s i g n i f i e r t o s i g n i f i e d i n language i s a r b i t r a r y ,  the r e l a t i o n i s n o n e t h e l e s s s t a b l e ( W i l l i a m s 1977: suggests,  "we  c o n v e n t i o n a l and, more o r l e s s ,  43-44).  historically  F u r t h e r m o r e , as Benjamin Lee Whorf  d i s s e c t r e a l i t y a l o n g l i n e s l a i d down by our n a t i v e  languages":  And every language i s a v a s t p a t t e r n - s y s t e m , d i f f e r e n t from o t h e r s , i n which are c u l t u r a l l y o r d a i n e d the forms and c a t e g o r i e s by which the p e r s o n a l i t y not o n l y comm u n i c a t e s , but a l s o a n a l y s e s n a t u r e , n o t i c e s o r n e g l e c t s types o f r e l a t i o n s h i p and phenomena, channels h i s r e a s o n i n g , and b u i l d s the house o f h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s . (1956, 1978: 252) In an i m p o r t a n t a r t i c l e i n 1962,  W i l l i a m Haas d e f i n e d the r e l a t i o n between  the s t r u c t u r e o f s i g n i f i e r s and the  panta  rhei  of t h i n g s :  I t i s o f c o u r s e , u l t i m a t e l y , some r e l a t i o n o f l i n g u i s t i c expressions to other things that c o n s t i t u t e s t h e i r meanings. The q u e s t i o n i s : What s o r t o f r e l a t i o n ? My p o i n t i s t h a t i t i s n o t , and cannot be, a r e l a t i o n between two d i s t i n c t o r d e r s o f t h i n g . The a l l e g e d c o n f r o n t a t i o n o f language w i t h f a c t s , the a l l e g e d reference of expressions to things uninvolved i n l a n g u a g e — t h i s we cannot make sense o f . I f we d i v i d e language from o t h e r t h i n g s i n t h i s d u a l i s t f a s h i o n , both are d i s s o l v e d i n a general b l u r . I t i s only i n t h e i r a c t i v e i n t e r p l a y w i t h one another t h a t e i t h e r assumes d e t e r m i n a t e shape; and i t i s t h i s interpiay-t h i s a c t i v e co-operation of utterances with t h i n g s — t h a t c o n s t i t u t e s the meaning o f u t t e r a n c e s . (223)  Whorf and Haas are not t a l k i n g about some s p e c i a l the r e a l i t y o f everyday l i f e .  And  poems, t o o , l i k e  Four  r e a l i t y , but o f Quartets,  are  41)  meaningful  o n l y w i t h i n the c o n t e x t o f the semantic  the everyday.  i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y of  D e v i a t i o n s from the r e a l i t y o f everyday  marked and are meaningful s h i p s e t up between f i n i t e  l i f e are c l e a r l y  o n l y i n the s p e c i f i c s o f the c o n c r e t e  relation-  p r o v i n c e s o f meaning and the c o h e s i v e ,  ligible,  l i n g u i s t i c a l l y generated  and m a i n t a i n e d  everyday  e x i s t e n c e ( B e r g e r and Luckmann 1979:  i t s e l f as a r e a l i t y i n t e r p r e t e d by men  intel-  paramount r e a l i t y o f  39).  Everyday l i f e  presents  and s u b j e c t i v e l y meaningful  them as a c o h e r e n t w o r l d ; t h a t i s , the r e a l i t y o f everyday hended as an o r d e r e d r e a l i t y ( B e r g e r and Luckmann: 3 3 ) . r e a l i t y i s o r g a n i z e d around the here and now  life  to  i s appre-  T h i s paramount  o f the p r e s e n t ; the past  and the f u t u r e , and the ways i n which the grammatical  c a t e g o r y o f tense  d i s c r i m i n a t e s t h e i r v a r i e t i e s , no doubt e x i s t , but they e x i s t i n terms o f d i f f e r i n g degrees o f c l o s e n e s s and remoteness from the p r e s e n t . o t h e r words, the  'past' and the  In  ' f u t u r e ' are o n l y s u b - c a t e g o r i e s o f , o r  a t t i t u d e s b e l o n g i n g t o and d e r i v i n g from, the p r e s e n t , which are t h e r e f o r e , r a d i c a l l y c o n t i n g e n t upon the p r e s e n t .  T h i s may  seem t o be o n l y a s t a t e -  ment o f t h e o b v i o u s , but t o o . o f t e n f o r m a l i s m has t r e a t e d n o t i o n s o f the 'past' and the  ' f u t u r e ' as a b s o l u t e s - - u n c h a n g i n g ,  e s s e n t i a l l y incontes-  t a b l e t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s - - i n s t e a d o f the s o c i o - h i s t o r i c , s p e c i f i c , human, p r o d u c t i v e , c o n t e s t a b l e , q u o t i d i a n n o t i o n s they r e a l l y a r e . o f everyday  The  reality  l i f e f u r t h e r p r e s e n t s i t s e l f as an i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e w o r l d , a  w o r l d shared w i t h o t h e r s (Berger and Luckmann: 3 7 ) . o f t h i s s h a r i n g i s n a r r a t i v e (Havelock  1963:  The  primary  87-89; Jameson 1981:  modality 74-102),  a l t h o u g h w i t h the s p e c i a l i z a t i o n o f f u n c t i o n i n s o c i e t y c e r t a i n ways o f s h a r i n g the w o r l d are i n s c r i b e d by n o n - n a r r a t i v e means, f o r i n s t a n c e , the d i s c o u r s e s o f s c i e n c e .  Compared to the r e a l i t y of everyday  life,  42  other r e a l i t i e s  appear as f i n i t e  the paramount r e a l i t y experience. write,  "All  p r o v i n c e s o f meaning, enclaves  marked by c i r c u m s c r i b e d meanings and modes o f  finite  p r o v i n c e s o f m e a n i n g , " Berger  and Luckmann  "are c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a t u r n i n g away o f a t t e n t i o n  of everyday  within  from the  reality  1ife."  While t h e r e a r e , of c o u r s e , s h i f t s i n a t t e n t i o n within everyday l i f e , the s h i f t to a f i n i t e p r o v i n c e o f meaning i s Of a much more r a d i c a l k i n d . A radical change takes place in the tension of consciousness. In the c o n t e x t o f r e l i g i o u s e x p e r i e n c e t h i s has been a p t l y c a l l e d 'leaping . It is important to stress, however, that 1  the  reality  status  even  else,  language  available grounded  it  even  everyday such  me in  as  life  I  for  take  sure the  everyday employ  retains  'leaps'  makes  to  is  of as  of  this.  paramount If  The  to  and  of keeps  interpret  nothing  common  objectification life  it  its place.  language  my  pointing  experiences back  experiences  to  in  finite  Typically, therefore, I 'distort' the r e a l i t y of the l a t t e r as soon as I begin to use the common language i n i n t e r p r e t i n g them, t h a t i s , I ' t r a n s l a t e ' the non-everyday e x p e r i e n c e s back i n t o the paramount reality. T h i s may be r e a d i l y seen i n terms o f dreams, but i t i s a l s o t y p i c a l o f those t r y i n g to r e p o r t about t h e o r e t i c a l , a e s t h e t i c o r r e l i g i o u s worlds o f meaning. The t h e o r e t i c a l p h y s i c i s t t e l l s us t h a t h i s concept o f space cannot be conveyed l i n g u i s t i c a l l y , j u s t as the a r t i s t does with regard to the meaning of h i s c r e a t i o n s and the m y s t i c w i t h r e g a r d to h i s encounters w i t h the divine. Yet a l l these--dreamer, p h y s i c i s t , a r t i s t and m y s t i c - - a i s o l i v e i n the r e a l i t y o f everyday l i f e .  provinces  Indeed, the  of  one  meaning.  of  their  co-existence  enclaves  into  of which  important  problems  this  reality  they  have  with  is the  to  interpret reality  ventured.  (39-40, my emphasis) It  i s an assumption o f t h i s  writing  study t h a t the a e s t h e t i c  and r e a d i n g o f poetry f o r example, c o n s t i t u t e s j u s t  p r o v i n c e o f meaning s i t u a t e d w i t h i n As a f i n i t e subvert,  experience,  paramount r e a l i t y  p r o v i n c e o f meaning, a r t  and r e v i s e  paramount r e a l i t y  such a  finite  and a c t i n g upon  can comment o n , a t t a c k , symbolically.  the  support,  it.  4.3  The general  concept f o r our purposes here i s  world c o n s t i t u t e s the o r d e r o f us a c c e s s .  an e x p e r i e n c e o f a r e a l i t y  'things'  from  to which unmediated e x p e r i e n c e i s supposed to  give  at the elementary  sensory c o n t a c t with the m a t e r i a l i n the s o c i a l  which makes the c o n t a c t Materiality  around man and c r e a t e s  19).  i n the c o n t e x t o f paramount  1979a: 22-24).  u n i v e r s e o r g a n i z e s the  'world'  (Lotman and  Our making o f the common i n t u i t i v e  life  o c c u r s by  use o f language i n the c o n t e x t o f the need,  language i s a way o f opening us towards  the  social  the s i l e n c e and namelessness o f  things.  it  AIT e x p e r i e n c e , the i n s t a n t  is  socialized,  i s always  i n s c r i b e d w i t h meaning by p r i o r knowledge o f the words which encompass and envelope  to the r e l a t i o n o f t e x t  i n "Burnt N o r t o n " a c t u a l l y  kind"  is  potential  significant,  meaning t h a t i s  traditionally  concept o f tone as the c r i t i c a l  to c o n t e x t should here be p l a i n , f o r i t  'man-made' r e a l i t y  the common i n t u i t i v e  already  it.  The inadequacy o f R i c h a r d s '  uses a l a t e n t  the  1845-46, 1970:  universe, transforming, p r a c t i c a l l y ,  constructed,  As  life  o f i n t e r c o u r s e with o t h e r men (Marx and Engels  In o t h e r words,  reality.  r e a l i z e d common i n t u i t i v e  o f our i n d i v i d u a l  necessity,  immediate  u n i v e r s e except i n the envelope o f meaning  s i g n s , the s o c i a l  a fully  level,  world around u s , but each such c o n t a c t  intelligible  a system o f c o n s t i t u t i v e  virtue  physical  cannot evade s e m i o t i c a p p r o p r i a t i o n (Eco  Uspensky 1978: 213).  the  t h a t i s very d i f f e r e n t  We may e n j o y ,  has no e x i s t e n c e  that experience of  t h a t words l i k e  refer.  "reality"  They a c t u a l i z e  life.  Thus, E l i o t ' s  not because o f i t s  imagined by f o r m a l i s m to e x i s t  the  and "human k i n d " of  their  universe o f f e r s  use of a phrase l i k e abstract  i s to  i n the v a r i e t y  f o r meaning which the s o c i a l  access  denotation—a  as  "human positive  in a u n i v e r s a l , neutral  or  44  a b s o l u t e s p a c e — b u t because such a phrase e x i s t s i n s t e a d i n a semantic space whose c o n t o u r s a r e marked by a l l t h e phrases and f o r m u l a t i o n s w i t h which "human k i n d " s h a r e s , r e l a t i o n s o f synonymy, hyponomy, antimony, o r i n c o m p a t a b i l i t y , e t c . (Lyons i d e o l o g i c a l accumulations  1977: 270-335).  The phrase a l s o t r a i l s t h e  which usage o f a l l these p a i r s and s e t s o f  terms has i n s c r i b e d i n t h e paradigm they c o n s t i t u t e . s i g n i f i c a n c e of the p r e c i s e syntagmatic  S i m i l a r l y , the  p o s i t i o n i n g o f "human k i n d , "  i n t h i s case t h e c o u p l i n g , as a momentary b u t p o s s i b l y s i g n i f i c a n t o p p o s i t i o n , o f ". . . b i r d : human . . . "  (CP 190), i s e f f a c e d when t h e  a r r a y o f a r t i c u l a t i o n s and c o n j u n c t i o n s i n which i t appears a r e e n c l o s e d by c r i t i c a l e x p e c t a t i o n s and assumptions o f a b s o l u t e o r g e n e r a l i z e d r e f e r ence.  T h i s i s n o t t o argue t h a t no statements  p e r m i s s i b l e ; c l e a r l y they a r e .  o f general r e f e r e n c e a r e  But what must be i n s i s t e d upon i s t h a t  c r i t i c i s m s h o u l d n o t be seduced i n t o t a k i n g f o r g r a n t e d t h e a b s o l u t e s t a t u s o f t h e r e f e r e n c e ; a g e n e r a l statement for  s h o u l d f i r s t be examined  the f u n c t i o n i t serves i n p a r t i c u l a r contexts of utterance:  literary, social, political,  linguistic,  ideological,etc.  These c o n t e x t s help c o n s t i t u t e t h e ' w o r l d ' , not t h e 'world' o f unmediated e x p e r i e n c e , n a t u r a l o b j e c t s , p h y s i o l o g i c a l e n t i t i e s and p r o c e s s e s  as  such  are meaningless,  processes;  those  b u t , s e t back i n s p e c i f i c  c o n t e x t s , they share i n t h e p l e n i t u d e o f meaning which t h e 'world' as a whole makes p o s s i b l e .  Thus, E l i o t ' s poems (and a l l poems) a r e n o t organ-  i z a t i o n s o f e x p e r i e n c e , but a r e , as i t were, o r g a n i z a t i o n s o f meaning, t h a t i s , forms t h a t a c t u a l i z e p o t e n t i a l meaning i n t h e common i n t u i t i v e life.  They make p l a i n E l i o t ' s own grasp o f and a t t i t u d e towards not  s i m p l y "audience,"  but t h e s p e c i f i c forms o f l i f e  i n which h i s poems and  45  h i s e x p e r i e n c e have t h e i r o r d e r s and h i e r a r c h i e s , of s i g n i f i c a n c e ,  its  its  historical  its  privileged  accumulations and c o n d e n s a t i o n s  l e g i t i m a t i n g s a n c t i o n s and c o n d i t i o n s , i t s  discourses, literatures, systematic,  s e n s e , an environment with a l l  cognitive  and s i g n i f i c a n t ,  styles,  'cooking'  possible  v o i c e s , and, f i n a l l y ,  of physical  its  nature:  Laughing s h o u l d , i f i t s e x p r e s s i o n does not come by n a t u r e , be c a r e f u l l y t a u g h t . Nor need there be any a r t i f i c i a l i t y i n t h i s , f o r , a f t e r a w h i l e , i t becomes as n a t u r a l as the c o r r e c t p r o n u n c i a t i o n o f words a f t e r a s e r i e s o f e l o c u t i o n l e s s o n s , a n d , as everybody knows, d i s t i n c t e n u n c i a t i o n does not come by n a t u r e . But who c o u l d d e s c r i b e i t as a r t i f i c i a l ? In the same, way the p r e t t y harmonious laugh i s a second nature w i t h many. The o n l y t h i n g to be guarded a g a i n s t i s t h a t the i n c u l c a t e d laugh i s apt to grow s t e r e o t y p e d , and few t h i n g s are more i r r i t a t i n g than to hear i t over and over a g a i n , begin on the same n o t e , run down the same s c a l e , and c o n s e q u e n t l y express no more m i r t h than the keys o f the p i a n o . (Humphrey 1897: 13)  Formalism d i r e c t s to the i n t e r n a l  our a t t e n t i o n  in a poem, no l e s s than i n a l a u g h ,  o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the t e x t ' s  p o s i t i v e form.  However, a  second and more important o r g a n i z a t i o n emerges i n the d i a l e c t i c a l a c t i o n between the work, common i n t u i t i v e  life  c o n c e i v e d o f as a s i g n i f y i n g p r a c t i c e ,  to which i t  poem, from t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e ,  is  And what the poem i s doing i s  refers  d e f i n e d by what i t  reality.  which e x p e r i e n c e s c a r r y society.  but the way e x p e r i e n c e s are  text generally,  life  e x p l o r e s the  i n the common i n t u i t i v e  The procedures i t  operates.  The  does i n t h a t a r e n a .  i n s c r i b e d , i n the common i n t u i t i v e  A poem, a l i t e r a r y  it  and the  f o r e g r o u n d i n g , not immediate e x p e r i e n c e as  some accounts o f p o e t r y would have i t , sented, that i s ,  and on which  inter-  employs to do t h i s  life  of a  repre-  o f paramount significations particular  are many and complex.  46  The uniqueness o f l i t e r a r y o r d i n a r y language.  the r e a l i t y  it  is  still  c l i c h e " which i t  but i t  is accurate  triumphantly d i s p l a c e s .  access  has  p r e c i s e l y because o f  The uniqueness o f  i n the work o f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n .  Eliot,  in the common i n t u i t i v e  i s negative  to  l o c u t i o n or literary  In t h i s  respect, often  to provoke a new v i s i o n of the  to r e s t o r e  life.  some o l d e r o r d e r o f  This d i a l e c t i c a l  because i t  world  signi-  a c t i o n produces  urges c r i t i c i s m to take n o t i c e o f  and t r a n s f o r m a t i v e  i n the l i n e s d i s c u s s e d e a r l i e r , d e n o t a t i v e meaning, but a c t i v e l y 'the general  the  matrix o f p o s s i b l e meanings,  some o f which are chosen and some o f which are r e f u s e d .  some one p a r t i c u l a r  the  structure.  environment as a f o r m a t i v e  'the m a s s e s ' , o r  it  accuracy.  r e l a t i o n s h i p between s i g n i f i e r and s i g n i f i e d i s  the poem's n e g a t i v e It  Rather  a c c u r a c y of e x p r e s s i o n  not because o f any i n t r i n s i c  as i n the case o f T. S.  fication  text rather w e l l .  as a kind of f e l i c i t o u s  subverted or o v e r t u r n e d so as e i t h e r or,  to d i g r e s s f o r a  p o w e r f u l , c r i t i q u e o f the c o n v e n t i o n a l  discourse, then, l i e s the c o n v e n t i o n a l  transforms  naming (remember how many such words and phrases  q u i c k l y become c l i c h e s ) , i m p l i c i t , yet  the way i t  we might now understand the nature o f i t s  is accurate  mot juste  view o f the l i t e r a r y  mot juste  snatched from the a i r ,  Le  in just  The d o c t r i n e o f i.e mot juste,  moment, underscores t h i s than t h i n k o f le  discourse l i e s  "Human k i n d , "  i s a phrase t h a t has both a p o s i t i v e , excludes i t s  public',  near synonyms, such as  'body p o l i t i c ' , e t c .  f o r m u l a t i o n i s an act both p o s i t i v e and  both an i n c l u s i o n and an e x c l u s i o n .  Choosing negative,  And the c h o i c e cannot be e x p l a i n e d  12 on f o r m a l i s t p r i n c i p l e s a l o n e . i m p l i e s an a t t i t u d e  To  choose  one  thing  over  another  towards those t h i n g s t h a t have been r e j e c t e d  and the  wider s o c i a l  meanings the r e j e c t e d  c a r r y with them.  That which  is  c l u d e d and the process o f e x c l u s i o n , c o n s c i o u s o r n o t , shape the form o f a work; speak about: on i t s  "the value o f [Jane] A u s t e n ' s f i c t i o n t h r i v e s insight:  novels cannot p o s s i b l y know t h a t they do" (Eagleton  because there  leans.  i s an e f f e c t  work,  To r e c a s t  relations  Richards'  between w r i t e r  (or speaker)  that  or  the  development,  earlier  and audience  formulation,  complex l i n k s ,  (Richards  audience  e x p e r i e n c e i n the p a s t , and  subject  s h i p to t r a n s p e r s o n a l collective  [representation  l o g i c of History"  more i n c l u s i v e l y  d e s c r i b e d as a w r i t e r ' s ,  it. is allows  relation-  s t r u c t u r e or  The a c t u a l  d e s c r i b e d c r u d e l y by Richards as an a t t i t u d e  used  = DARSTELLUNG] which  such as the s o c i a l  (1981: 3 0 ) .  the  ideology  to c o n c e i v e o r imagine h i s or her l i v e d realities  writer  I give  Basing h i s d e f i n i t i o n on Louis A l t h u s s e r , Jameson w r i t e s t h a t  the i n d i v i d u a l  links  1929, 1946: 182),  and the dominant d i s c o u r s e s by which the  structure  of  "tone,"  the sense i n which F r e d r i c Jameson has r e c e n t l y  "a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l  usually  s i g n a l s o n l y the e x i s -  and the dominant i d e o l o g y o f h i s o r her t i m e .  term ' i d e o l o g y '  form  negative  tend to de-form  internal  f o r m , of s e v e r a l  inscribed intersubjective  (or speaker)  relations,  o f the way a poem c o n c r e t e l y  the a r t i c u l a t e d  has a l r e a d y  i s so much the  a c t i o n o f a dominant t h e o r y and p r a c t i c e  t e n c e , but not  (or speaker)  q u i t e as much  know what they d o , and i n the  symmetries towards which a work's  literature,  writer  they  is  p r o v i d e s access to the e x t e r n a l  a r r a y e d by the g e n e r a t i v e  then,  it  to  1976: 71).  s t r u c t u r e , o f the l i t e r a r y abstract  overall  they are o f t e n the t h i n g s a t e x t c a n n o t , o r r e f u s e s ,  ignorance as on i t s  'Tone'  ex-  the  form o f these  links,  towards an a u d i e n c e , can be  and a t e x t ' s ,  attitude  towards  48 that  i n the environment which the t e x t f a c e s , and beyond t h a t ,  complex r e l a t i o n s  i n t o which a work e n t e r s  r a i s e d to a h i g h e r power, as a s o c i a l words, to use our e a r l i e r comment ( g e n e r i c , objects,  events  i n the r e a l i t y form t h i s  ("our  as a s i g n i f y i n g a c t i v i t y ,  or p o l i t i c a l  practice.  t e r m i n o l o g y , the l i t e r a r y about, the way c e r t a i n  f i r s t world")  o f everyday  comment takes  has a l r e a d y which,  modal)  is  life  the  text  In  other  i s a kind of  particular  experiences,  have been or are normally  inscribed  (Berger and Luckmann: 152-153).  But  not the simple r e - e x p e r i e n c i n g o f t h a t  been i n s c r i b e d ; i n s t e a d , i t  or  the  which  takes the form o f a r e v i s i o n ,  i n the case o f modernism, i n c o r p o r a t e s the r h e t o r i c a l  strategy  o f p r e s e n t i n g the r e v i s i o n as g i v i n g access to the seed e x p e r i e n c e s obscured o r p e r v e r t e d by the o r i g i n a l revision  i n the p a s t . is  The form of  the w r i t e r  chooses to take  i s determined by the a t t i t u d e  the way e x p e r i e n c e i s  It  inscription.  being o r has been  The s i t e o f t h i s  revision  important to n o t e , and t h i s  a writer's  or t e x t ' s . a t t i t u d e  is  i n paramount  a finite  the common i n t u i t i v e  always an a t t i t u d e  towards  towards  reality  study, life  is  that always  to an environment always a l r e a d y o r g a n i z e d ,  d e n s e l y i n s c r i b e d with meaning and s t r u c t u r e d i n d e p t h . example, an a t t i t u d e  towards  p r o v i n c e o f meaning.  i s an assumption o f t h i s  towards  to be understood as an a t t i t u d e  'cooked'  the  "reality"  So t h a t ,  or "human k i n d " or " t r u t h "  the way these s i g n s a l r e a d y e x i s t  for is  i n the w o r l d .  49  Notes t o Chapter One  * The most i n f l u e n t i a l approaches to l i t e r a r y following:  attacks  on h i s t o r i c i s t  c r i t i c i s m i n our e r a  Ransom 1972; L e a v i s  and c o n t e x t u a l  ( s i n c e 1940) are  the  1962: 182-194 and 195-203; Welleck and  Warren 1973: 71-135; Wimsatt 1954; Frye 1968; 1973; C u l l e r 1975; de Man 1979; R i f f a t e r r e  1978.  But see E a g l e t o n  1983: 51-53 on W i l l i a m Empson.  2 By Anglo-American f o r m a l i s m I mean the text-based c r i t i c i s m widely  p r a c t i c e d i n the academies o f the North A t l a n t i c  from the 1940s to the 1970s, although i t s l a i d two decades e a r l i e r . its  and c a t e g o r i c a l  f o r m a l i s m , now c a l l e d  world  f o u n d a t i o n s were in America,  base came under  by a new g e n e r a t i o n o f f o r m a l i s t s and a more s y s t e m a t i c  rule-governed) its  theoretical  In the 1960s and 1970s, p r i m a r i l y  unevenly developed conceptual  scrutiny  literary  intense (i.e.  " s t r u c t u r a l i s m , " was proposed i n  place. 3 The p r i n c i p a l  has been i t s think  conceptual  reticence  'intention'  i n h i b i t i o n f o r Anglo-American f o r m a l i s m  i n d e a l i n g with  'intention  1  in a t e x t .  We cannot  as a semantic o r formal element of a t e x t w i t h o u t some  n o t i o n o f an a c t i v e s i g n i f y i n g c o n t e x t .  Formalism's  myopia on t h i s q u e s t i o n can be c o r r e c t e d i f edges l a n g u a g e ' s i n s e p a r a b i l i t y no matter t o what s p e c i a l  self-inflicted  our view of language acknowl-  from the semantics o f the s o c i a l  uses language i s  put.  process,  "An i n t e n t i o n can o n l y  be deduced by a hearer o r reader from language and s i t u a t i o n , and moreover i t  cannot s i m p l y be assumed t h a t i n t e n t i o n s  are always f u l l y  known  50  to a speaker h i m s e l f , even when i t intention"  (Turner  1973: 147).  rather  not h i s i n t e n t i o n to conceal  The whole d i s c u s s i o n o f c o n t e x t  c h a p t e r f i v e o f T u r n e r ' s book i s literary,  is  particularly  the area o f semantics John Lyons'  l u c i d and w r i t t e n from a  (1978: 570-635). views o f  In  r e c e n t summaries and d i s c u s s i o n s of  For an e x c e l l e n t  'intention'  Of  l i n g u i s t i c discussions of context.  the n o t i o n are now the best i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the c o m p l e x i t i e s of  literary  in  than a l i n g u i s t i c or p h i l o s o p h i c a l , p e r s p e c t i v e .  c o u r s e , there are many e x c e l l e n t  issue  his  the  b r i e f summary o f the contemporary  see Chandler 1982: 4 6 4 - 4 6 5 n . i l .  4 Since  'tone  as a c r i t i c a l  within  a developed l i t e r a r y  orient  interpretation  on i n t e r p r e t a t i v e features.  rarely  t h e o r y by p r a c t i c a l  silently.  It  discussed e x p l i c i t l y  critics,  continues  provides i m p l i c i t c r i t i c a l  The most i n t e r e s t i n g examples o f the s i l e n t  criticism,  it  judgements seemingly d e r i v e d from a survey o f  through the concept o f  in  concept i s  'tone'  and C l e a n t h Brooks  are F.  R.  Leavis,  i n most o f h i s , but e s p e c i a l l y  "The Case o f Miss A r a b e l l a F e r m o r , "  in  control intrinsic  reading of  i n most o f h i s  to  context  practical  visibly  so  (1947: 80-104).  5 Lodge 1970: 367; and see a l s o E l i o t ' s i n sw 24-32, but c o n t r a s t C h a r l e s Whibley,  whose r e l i g i o u s  own, i n SE 439-440 et g I literary  seq.  remarks on another  gentleman-amateur,  sentiments were more congenial  his  Victorian  scene and s i t u a t i o n from many primary and secondary  a s e n i o r undergraduate.  to  Stead 1967: 52-53.  have d e r i v e d my knowledge o f the l a t e and post  over a number o f y e a r s ,  still  Eliot's  comments on George Wyndham  having f i r s t However,  sources  s t u d i e d the e a r l y modern p e r i o d as  C. K.  S t e a d ' s The New Poetic  seems to me to assemble an a c c u r a t e  account of the  (1967)  literary  51)  environment o f the time and the common i n t u i t i v e their  publics shared.  on t h i s  landscape and o f t h e i r  from r e a d i n g two e x c e l l e n t period:  The crisis  of  intellectual  social  imperialism,  this  Revolution  I have a l s o p r o f i t e d  1868-1914  1865-1915 culture  (1961)  and moral commitment to  and p o l i t i c a l  Donald Read's England  chapters o f Raymond W i l l i a m s ' and The Long  which w r i t e r s and  His account o f the p l a c e o f the Georgian poets  l i b e r a l i s m remains unsurpassed (86-87).  this  life  first  h i s t o r i e s o f England  (1979)  (1974).  greatly  and R i c h a r d  The r e l e v a n t  and society,  Shannon's  s e c t i o n s and  1780-1950  spurred my i n t e r e s t ,  in  (1958,  1961)  years ago,  in  period. ^ The pre-romantic view o f a poem's f u n c t i o n , t h a t i t  instruct,  is  logically  consequent o r i e n t a t i o n  l i n k e d to p o e t r y ' s towards  rhetorical  d e l i g h t and  b a s i s and  its  the author-audience r e l a t i o n s h i p .  See  Stone 1967: 16-17. 8 It  is  i n t e r e s t i n g to note t h a t when the  "new c r i t i c i s m "  became the r e i g n i n g orthodoxy i n the 1950s and 1960s i t critical  approaches i t  had c h a l l e n g e d to r e - v i t a l i z e  and i n some cases d i s c r e d i t e d , methods. example, r e p r e s e n t , to some e x t e n t ,  forced  visible  Deconstruct!"ve p r a c t i c e s ,  the renewal  1979: 19.  This  Deconstruction, in  might be c h a r a c t e r i z e d as p h i l o l o g y ' s revenge on c l o s e r e a d i n g . of reading scattered  by "new c r i t i c i s m " have a l s o  from a p e r i o d o f s e l f - e x a m i n a t i o n . has r e - s u r f a c e d i n the l a s t  Rhetorical  for  of a c o n c e p t u a l l y more  i n the work o f those t r a i n e d at Yale i n the l a s t  decades; s e e , f o r example, Parker  traditions  the  t h e i r own d i s r u p t e d ,  d a r i n g and p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y a g g r e s s i v e p h i l o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n . especially  itself  analysis,  is two  fact, Other  profited  f o r example,  decade o r so and won back, to some c o n s i d e r a b l e  52  extent,  its  pre-formalist v i r i l i t y ,  b o l s t e r e d by the e m p i r i c a l  o f modern and post-modern p e r c e p t u a l this  r e s p e c t , Angus F l e t c h e r ' s  methodological  Rhetoric's  discursive affects  c o n t r o l apparatus  attention  study o f a l l e g o r y  interest  stylistics,"  in a text  (1964) of i t s  in a reader's  has been p o w e r f u l l y  the name o f " a f f e c t i v e  figurative  and c o g n i t i v e p s y c h o l o g i e s .  importance equals the b r i l l i a n c e  d i s c u r s i v e mode.  recast  i s a work whose analysis of a  reception of  as a phenomenology o f the  aspects o f the r h e t o r i c a l  In  by S t a n l e y F i s h , under  (1972: 383-427).  reception  Renewed i n t e r e s t  tradition  has a l s o  to schematic processes i n f i g u r e and t r o p e .  1976; de Man, 1971; White, 1973.  authority  in  the  directed See Barthes 1971;  Indeed the o l d b i o g r a p h i c a l a p p r o a c h ,  which bore so much o f the weight of E l i o t ' s ,  and f o r m a l i s m ' s , t o n g u e ,  has a l s o been renewed i n a number o f f o r m s , n o t a b l y as p s y c h o b i o g r a p h y , say S a r t r e on F l a u b e r t ,  o r , as what can o n l y be c a l l e d e c o b i o g r a p h y , o f  which the s o l e exemplar so f a r Marxist c r i t i c a l criticism,"  practice  i s Hugh Kenner's  The  Pound  Era  (1971).  has a l s o p r o f i t e d from the c h a l l e n g e s o f  challenges f i r s t  taken up by an I t a l i a n ,  d e a l t e x t e n s i v e l y with Anglo-American l i t e r a r y  "new  though h i s work  and c r i t i c a l  practices:  D e l i a Volpe 1960, 1978. g The standard d i s c u s s i o n i s Abrams 1958: 235-241, but see Kant's  own comments i n  Human R e a s o n , " Smith, Hegel's ^ century  in his  "The F i n a l critique  1929, 1968: 549-570. The  Science  of  Logic  of  Purpose o f the Natural Pure  Reason  See a l s o the f i r s t  practice  Dialectic  translated  p a r t , on B e i n g ,  of  by Kemp in  (1929: 79-197).  Henry F i e l d i n g acknowledges t h i s legal  (1781),  Immanuel  new a u t h o r i t y  as a 'modern' o p i n i o n .  See  Joseph  in mid-eighteenthAndrews,  1742,  53  1980: 85. ^  John H o l l a n d e r has suggested t h a t s p e c i f i c a l l y  personal  p r a i s e o f the a c t u a l  the seventeenth  century  i n the  My p o i n t about Beethoven  o f the  "musical  visible  and  at the end o f  odes" o f John Dryden (1970:  i s t h a t by 1800 the s h i f t o f a t t e n t i o n  H o l l a n d e r d e s c r i b e s can c a l l tradition  musician is c l e a r l y  professional  f o r support on an a c h i e v e d  422).  that  philosophical  Subject.  12 Eliot  understood very w e l l  F u n c t i o n o f C r i t i c i s m , " i n SE  the semantics o f  14-15.  choice . 1  See  "The  54  Chapter Two: The d e s t r u c t i o n o f " l i t e r a t u r e "  T. S. E l i o t ' s e a r l y prose and p o e t r y a r e e n t i r e l y  devoted t o t h e  t r a n s f o r m i n g o f t h e common i n t u i t i v e l i f e o f t h e Anglo-American geoisie. Eliot's --his  This p r o j e c t , o f course, d i d not s p r i n g f u l l y forehead.  bour-  formed from  I t g a t h e r e d f o r c e s l o w l y i n s e v e r a l areas o f endeavour  p h i l o s o p h i c a l s t u d i e s , l i t e r a t u r e , c r i t i c i s m , and l a t e r , h i s s o c i o -  cultural Eliot's  criticism.  Remarkably, i t began t o take shape v e r y e a r l y i n  l i f e , as e a r l y as 1910-1911, t h e w i n t e r he spent i n P a r i s as a  s t u d e n t and f i r s t encountered  the formative ideas o f Charles  Maurras,  the w i n t e r o f t h e f i r s t v e r s i o n o f "The Love Song o f J . A l f r e d P r u f r o c k " ( K o j e c k y 1971: 58-62; Gordon 1977: 54). c e r t a i n r e c u r r i n g themes, which chapters.  I will  This renovatory project focussed be examining  i n t h e next few  But e q u a l l y as i m p o r t a n t as these themes a r e i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g  h i s e a r l y work i s t h e audience t o whom t h i s work i s addressed and which must be kept c o n s t a n t l y i n mind.  I will  be a r g u i n g t h a t E l i o t spoke t o  and f o r an i m p o r t a n t segment o f s o c i e t y , b r i e f l y t h e Anglo-American b o u r g e o i s i e , and through them t o t h e w i d e r b o u r g e o i s c u l t u r e o f Europe ( H a r r i s o n 1967: 27, 159-160; Kojecky 1971: 47-52, 117-120; E a g l e t o n 1976:  145-146; G l o v e r s m i t h 1980: 36).  I t i s f o r the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f  the common i n t u i t i v e l i f e o f t h a t c l a s s t h a t E l i o t ' s work has i t s p r i m a r y social  significance.  The f a c t t h a t he c a s t h i s thought i n u n i v e r s a l i s t  terms i n d i c a t e s c l e a r l y  the proximity of this social  region to authority  and power, a p r o x i m i t y t h a t g i v e s t o b o u r g e o i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h e n o t i o n  55  that i t  occupies a p r i v i l e g e d point-of-view  over the s o c i a l  o r d e r as a whole  In s h o r t , E l i o t ' s  (Miliband  in c a s t i n g a d i r e c t i v e  1977: 49-65; Lowe 1982: 28-29).  work gains i n p o i n t and f o r c e through i t s  work on the a f f e c t i v e  life  o f the s o c i a l  detailed  c l a s s t h a t came to occupy the  commanding h e i g h t s o f s o c i e t y d u r i n g the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y . c o n c e i v e d and executed as a war on the hearts this  It  i n the f i r s t  was  and minds, as i t were,  c l a s s d u r i n g , what seemed to him, to be the moment o f i t s  crisis,  eye  decades o f the p r e s e n t c e n t u r y .  After  of  deepest  1930,  Eliot  devoted more and more o f h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l  energy to the l a r g e r debate on  culture  the b o u r g e o i s i e as the  and s o c i e t y t h a t developed w i t h i n  intensified  i n the i n t e r w a r  However, found t h e i r  y e a r s b e f o r e the sea-change a f t e r  i t was in h i s e a r l y  first  expression.  literary  Very e a r l y  he saw as the moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l  made i n t e l l e c t u a l l y etiolated just the  Pound 1917: 6-7).  i n which Anglo-American l i t e r a t u r e  stewards  socio-political situation  'softheaded p a l l i a t i v e s '  of l i b e r a l  authority the  push from below i n the form o f a v a r i e t y  o f m a i n t a i n i n g a symbolic canopy o f v a l u e s ,  s a c r a m e n t a l i z e d by a n a t i o n a l work,  i n which  r e f o r m , through  democratic t e n d e n c i e s , through the e v a s i o n of the i d e o l o g i c a l  literary  He r e c o i l e d  o f s t a t e power were d r i b b l i n g away t h e i r  s u r r e n d e r to the p o l i t i c a l  bility  was  moribund by the p e r s i s t e n c e of a p a l l i d r o m a n t i c i s m ,  as v i g o r o u s l y from a p a r a l l e l  through the  elites  He r e c o i l e d ,  i n theme, i n t e c h n i q u e , i n p o i s e , i n s e n s i b i l i t y .  'natural'  concerns  was a p p a l l e d by what  weakening o f the d i r e c t i v e  i n t o which he h i m s e l f had been born ( c f . f o r example, from a s i t u a t i o n  1945.  work t h a t those l a t e r on, E l i o t  crisis  of  responsi-  b e l i e f s , and customs  church (Berger 1969: 134).  His  early  t h e n , was aimed at the d e s t r u c t i o n o f what he saw as  the  56  t a i n t e d l e g a c y o f t h e immediate l i t e r a r y p a s t .  The c r i t i q u e o f t h i s  l e g a c y can be seen a t work i n one o f h i s g r e a t e s t e a r l y "The  Love Song o f J . A l f r e d P r u f r o c k . "  poem, I want t o make a f i r s t approach  achievements,  But b e f o r e I l o o k a t t h i s  signal  t o the l i t e r a r y romanticism  Eliot  helped t o r o u t i n these e a r l y y e a r s . W i l l i a m Wordsworth's  The  Prelude  closes i n the f i n a l  books by t u r n i n g  back on t h e t e r r a i n i t has c r o s s e d i n o r d e r t o s i t u a t e i t s e l f as a whole w i t h i n a g r e a t e r encompassing t o t a l i t y , a t o t a l i t y t h a t v e r i f i e s t h e u l t i m a t e and programmatic c o n n e c t i o n o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s and Nature s t r e n u o u s l y won repose  in a  (Abrams 1965: 558; Hartman 1966: 148-149;  Wasserman 1968: 2 1 8 ) . The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c movement which d e f i n e s The i s t h a t o f d i s t a n c i n g , o f g a i n i n g p e r s p e c t i v e (hence t h e impor-  Prelude  tance o f m o u n t a i n s ) , by s i t u a t i n g i n t e n s e l y e x p e r i e n c e d p a r t i c u l a r s i n the p h i l o s o p h i c a l t o t a l i t y t h a t a u t h e n t i c a t e s them. ' s o l u t i o n ' was, o f c o u r s e , no s o l u t i o n a t a l l .  This philosophical  By t h e m a t i z i n g t h e  f r a m i n g t o t a l i t y as t h e c o n n e c t i o n between c o n s c i o u s n e s s and N a t u r e , Wordsworth helped put i n p l a c e t h e c o n d i t i o n s which  brought about what  Robert Langbaum has c a l l e d t h e " p o e t r y o f e x p e r i e n c e " (1963:  35-36).  The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c p s y c h i c movement o f t h i s k i n d o f p o e t r y , as i n The Prelude,  tial  i s the f i n a l  surmounting  by access t o t h e m e t a p h y s i c a l  o f the i n t e n s e l y experienced  existen-  frame t h a t r a i s e s t h e ' a c c i d e n t s ' o f  e x p e r i e n c e t o a n o t h e r plane where e x p e r i e n c e , now recoded  to a higher,  u n i v e r s a l i z i n g s e m i o t i c , can be a s s i m i l a t e d t o an a c c u m u l a t i n g t r a n s c e n d e n t a l wisdom (Abrams 1958: 131-132).  store of  What i s ' l e f t b e h i n d ' i n  t h i s a s c e n t i s a w o r l d o r r e a l i t y t h a t t h e languages  of philosophical  i d e a l i s m cannot make sense o f , except through t h e d o c t r i n e o f t h e r e a l  5Z  as i l l u s i o n . In t h i s  d i s j u n c t i o n between the r e a l  and the i d e a l , the n o t i o n o f  the world as an irredeemable c h a o s , born i n P l a t o ' s work, romanticism (Durrant  1969: 1 0 1 ) , but c a r r i e s  shaped by the s o c i a l  and economic f a c t s  form i n the l a t e e i g h t e e n t h and e a r l y and p o l i t i c a l  thematics which t h i s  subsumes the l i n k e d a t t i t u d e s ' m a s s e s ' , the "lower  "Strange  a contemporary  o f an i n d u s t r i a l i s m t a k i n g mature  nineteenth c e n t u r i e s .  The s o c i a l  p h i l o s o p h i c a l i d e a l i s m helps  inscribe  ensnared i n the heavy c h a i n s o f  first  e r a o f mechanical  1975:  155-156, 174; Hobsbawm 1962: 296, 321).  and e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l  production is  ideological  b o u r g e o i s i e to a v e r t i t s  It  i n the context o f  1800s a n d , c o n s e q u e n t l y , to widen the s o c i a l and the new wage s l a v e s  allows  the managerial  gaze from the s o c i a l  d i s t a n c e between  s t a n d i n g by the machines. . It  relations  irretrievably  themselves  a l s o served to  social  t h a t e x i s t e d i n them, were d i s r u p t e d a n d , i n some  smashed.  The w e l l  known e f f e c t  was the displacement o f a r u r a l  T h i s i s what makes the  i n 1838 u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y  condi-  communities, and the l i v e d d e n s i t y o f the  o f the great m i d - V i c t o r i a n c o n u r b a t i o n s 93).  catas-  early  v i t i a t e the bad c o n s c i e n c e o f those who had helped to s e t up the t i o n s by which a n c e s t r a l  the  ( W i l l i a m s 1961: 48-64;  trophe t h a t the long adjustment to i n d u s t r i a l i s m caused i n the  adjustments'  the  Profession.""''  The ' s o l u t i o n ' p h i l o s o p h i c a l i d e a l i s m o f f e r s  cases,  the  to use the n e o - p l a t o n i s t terms o f Malcolm Lowry's  Comfort A f f o r d e d by the  and c u l t u r a l  in  content,  o f contempt and p i t y towards t h o s e ,  'mob, 'human k i n d ' ,  prison,"  re-appears  'liberal'  ironic.  o f these  'structural  people to the mob s o c i e t i e s  (Deane 1967: 260; Hobsbawm 1970: a b o l i t i o n of slavery  i n the  Empire  58  Of c o u r s e , i n t h i s  process romantic poetry and i t s  i d e a l i s m played an important i d e o l o g i c a l spheres.  It  role  underlying  i n the s o c i a l  and  cultural  helped l i n k t h r e e s k e i n s o f thought t h a t smoothed the way  f o r the bourgeois mind to surmount the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s economic p r a c t i c e s and l i b e r t a r i a n  i n t o which  d u r i n g i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n had p l a c e d i t s  rhetoric.  its  emancipatory  The high value placed on Nature both as an  o b j e c t o f e x p e r i e n c e and as a metaphysical 1967; Abrams 1958: 105-106; L i t z  abstraction  ( W i l l e y 1940,  1977: 470-488) combined with a second  development, namely the socio-economic c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the atomic vidual  i n the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y  (Tawney 1922, 1977: 179-196; Lukes 1971:  6 5 ) , complemented by the n o t i o n o f the e x p e r i e n c i n g s u b j e c t essential  indi-  as  the  u n i t o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s (Lukacs 1923, 1971: 124-125; Horkheimer  and Adorno 1944, 1972: 82-83).  However,  the l o g i c o f t h i s  conjunction  tends towards an encompassing m a t e r i a l ism which bourgeois thought was not e n t i r e l y practices  ready to f o r m u l a t e to i t s e l f ,  were i r r e v o c a b l y  nature o f s o c i e t y .  although bourgeois economic  based on m a t e r i a l i s t  assumptions about  the  Why bourgeois thought f e l t compelled to hold on to  the n o t i o n o f the transcendence o f the m a t e r i a l  i n the d e - s a c r a l i z e d  form o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l i d e a l i s m makes f o r an i n t e n s e l y  interesting  i n the i d e o l o g i c a l demands put on the new governors o f the c i v i l by the o l d (Goldmann 1973: 4 3 ) .  For the b o u r g e o i s i e , i d e a l i s t  episode world  philosophy  was to do the work o f l e g i t i m a t i o n t h a t r e l i g i o n had accomplished f o r the  ancien  definitive  regime.  T h i s i d e o l o g i c a l episode was t r a n s l a t e d  into a third  development i n the making o f romantic a e s t h e t i c s .  d i s t a n c i n g o f e x p e r i e n c e helped p r e s e r v e abyss towards which i t s  political  romanticism from the  and economic p r a c t i c e s  The  idealist  materialist  seemed to  59;  'condemn' i t . Thus, t h e movement o f the e x p e r i e n c i n g s u b j e c t towards Nature was r e v e r s e d by a r e c i p r o c a l d i s t a n c i n g o f t h e s u b j e c t , accomp l i s h e d by t h e a b s t r a c t i o n from t h e c o n c r e t e c o n t a c t o f and Nature o f t h e i d e a l form o f t h a t c o n t a c t .  consciousness  T h i s move i n s t a l l s t h e  i d e a l as t h e g r e a t e r encompassing t o t a l i t y , t h e t o t a l i t y t h a t a u t h e n t i cates experience  and, u l t i m a t e l y , r e j e c t s i t .  In r e a c t i o n t o t h i s c o n j u n c t i o n o f i d e a s , e a r l y m o d e r n i s t  poetry,  the p o e t r y o f t h e s c r u p u l o u s l y and c l o s e l y observed p a r t i c u l a r ,  delib-  e r a t e l y r e f u s e d t o so d i s t a n c e i t s e l f by heading f o r t h e ' h i g h e r of the kind  The  Prelude  endorses.  ' s u b j e c t ' had dwindled  ground  I t a l s o refused to i n f l a t e the value  o f ' p e r s o n a l i t y ' (the c l i c h e ' i n t o which t h e m e t a p h y s i c a l the K a n t i a n  1  abstractions of  a t t h e end o f t h e romantic  epoch  [Hobsbawm 1962: 296]) and, f i n a l l y , r e f u s e d t o f i n d s a l v a t i o n i n Nature or t h e n a t u r a l by s i t i n g i t s e l f i n t h e urban and man-made. The marks o f those r e f u s a l s can be found i n most e a r l y m o d e r n i s t 2 poems.  "The Love Song o f J . A l f r e d P r u f r o c k , " f o r example, i s an  i n t e n s e l y r e a l i z e d poem t h a t from i t s f i r s t r e f u s a l whelming q u e s t i o n " t o i t s f i n a l  t o ask t h e "over-  p l a c i n g r e f u s a l : "No! I am not P r i n c e  Hamlet, nor was meant t o be" d e f e r s t h e q u e s t i o n o f t h e l a r g e r framework. The  poem does n o t l o c a t e i t s semantic and i t s s y n t a g m a t i c  orderliness i n  the benign c l o s u r e s o f some h i g h e r realm through t h e o p e r a t i o n o f a master code, l i k e a t h e o l o g y , t h a t both s i t u a t e s t h e m a t t e r and manner o f t h e t e x t and encourages a p a r t i c u l a r a t t i t u d e towards i t .  Instead,  the s p e c i f i c coherences o f E l i o t ' s poem a r e l o c a t e d i n t h e a c t i o n o f a f u l l y realized social  speech t h a t l e a d s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t o t h e common  i n t u i t i v e l i f e of a particular social  scene.within  the wider  bourgeois  60  ethos, rather  than a t t e n u a t i n g  o r o t h e r forms o f i d e a l i s m . towards  mystery.  i n o r d e r to p r e s e r v e "Prufrock"  compositional  is  the poem's p o s i t i v e tonal  structure  the l e v e l  structure.  speech o f a p a r t i c u l a r "Prufrock"  takes  this  origin  social  Hugh Kenner hears t h i s  speech.  deliberately  Formalist  (8),  Tennysonian " f a t u i t y "  however,  i n those  and  (10).  literary  terms,  (1966: 6-8).  The  the forte  Kenner w r y l y  in i t "  pedal-point" . .  the  literary  (9),  voice asserts,  thus  The poem, a c c o r d i n g to  "reverberates  mere s o n o r i t y "  it,"  the  (Edwards 1976: 44-45).  is clearly  to t h i n k  (8).  presses out a "monotonous emotional  tousness o v e r l a y s  This  poem's  c r i t i c i s m of  displaces  "He l e a r n e d to use  s e c t i o n on Time (CP 14) simply  hesitation.  sound-shape of  speech i n almost e n t i r e l y  "he never made the mistake o f t r y i n g the e s p e c i a l  finally,  The r e s u l t i n g p r o d u c t i o n o f a p l a c i n g  as a s o r t o f duet between Tennyson and Edward Lear  i n the P r u f r o c k  which  between a s p e c i f i c communal l i f e  community.  "Tennysonian medium" or "norm"  step  i n some n o n - s o c i a l ,  step without  has tended to pursue i t  p l a c e s which the poem i t s e l f  the  impenetrable  process, and,  us to r e c o g n i z e the p a r t i c u l a r  sound, however,  as an  where we become aware o f the  as a r e l a t i o n  allows  directed  "ministering frost"  the myth o f i t s  non-human e s s e n c e .  structure,  are  p r o c e d u r e s , and thus creation  the nature o f the i m a g i n a t i v e  level  devices  essences  at M i d n i g h t " c o u l d o n l y take t h i s  through the metaphor o f the  both i l l u m i n a t e s  negative  "Prufrock's"  notion of a r t i s t i c  Coleridge in "Frost  symbolically,  it  Further,  u n v e i l i n g the poem's own c o m p o s i t i o n a l  s u b v e r t i n g o f the Romantic  veils  the poem i n terms o f a e s t h e t i c  (10). . while  escaping Kenner,  The famous long .  .  . porten-  6(1)  What "murder and c r e a t e " may mean we cannot t e l l , though i t i s p l a i n what the phrase can do; the words have l o s t t h e i r connexion with the a c t i v e w o r l d , l o s t i n f a c t e v e r y t h i n g but t h e i r p o t e n t i a l f o r n e u r a s t h e n i c shock. "Time f o r you and time f o r me" i s as h y p n o t i c and as meaningless as a phrase on the ' c e l l o s . (10)  In many ways t h i s  account o f the P r u f r o c k  the c r i t i c i s m and i s s t i l l (7).  sound remains unsurpassed i n  extremely p e r s u a s i v e  in i t s  phonic "embryology"  Y e t , though p e r s u a s i v e , t h i s account cannot say why E l i o t  i n the f i r s t  place.  When Kenner suggests we know what a phrase  "murder and c r e a t e "  can do, even though we may not know what i t  we can h a r d l y agree t h a t what we take away from t h i s the sense t h a t If  "the words have l o s t t h e i r  by knowing what a phrase  to understand how  'can d o ' within  from a t e x t ' s  something distinct  But  if  from a l l  a particular  text,  s e n s e , then i t  'doing'  phrases, c l a u s e s , syntax,  pauses, e t c .  that is  is  world." is,  rather  can be d i s t i n g u i s h e d  a phrase or u t t e r a n c e those  means,  of a f f a i r s  i n t r i n s i c meaning, u n l e s s we want to separate  from "meaning f u n c t i o n . " 'do'  sort of  this  like  connexion with the a c t i v e  do something i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the t e x t ' s difficult  state  bothered  "meaning"  can be s a i d  to  'meaning f u n c t i o n s ' which words, 'do'  i n c o n s t r u c t i n g something  t h a t might be c o n s t r u e d as i n t r i n s i c meaning, and thus making a phrase like  "murder and c r e a t e " m e a n i n g f u l , then such a phrase must  t h i n g beyond the t e x t ' s m a r g i n s , in away from i t .  Indeed,  bothered i n the f i r s t  i f we b e l i e v e place,  the it  legitimate  "active is  century that  suggested to E l i o t  that  w o r l d , " not as a t u r n i n g  legitimate  to ask why  to ask what s o r t o f  Tennyson o r Lear or C o l e r i d g e o r Swinburne  ' d o ' some-  had i n the l a t e  Eliot  privilege nineteenth  " P r u f r o c k " was f o r some reason worth  62  d o i n g , we might have the b e g i n n i n g s o f an answer to how the t e x t  connects  with the a c t i v e w o r l d . Indeed j u s t  such a c r i t i c a l  tion of " P r u f r o c k . " and Swinburne this  project  is  implicit  i n Kenner's d e s c r i p -  While speaking o f the world o f words t h a t Tennyson  bequeathed to the younger g e n e r a t i o n o f p o e t s , he makes  general  'structuralist'  point:  Coherence was o b t a i n e d by e x p l o i t i n g the sounds o f the words and the i m p l i c a t i o n s c o n c e a l e d i n t h e i r sounds; "A c r y t h a t s h i v e r e d to the t i n g l i n g s t a r s " would be a s t r i k i n g l y impoverished l i n e i f the E n g l i s h language c o u l d be suddenly purged o f the words " t w i n k l i n g " and " t i n k l i n g . " (7)  No doubt i t would.  But  i s the s t r i k i n g n e s s o f the l i n e  the sound e q u i v a l e n c e s or " i m p l i c a t i o n s " t h a t e x i s t paradigm which Kenner a l e r t l y  constructs?  i n the sound-image  Doesn't t h i s  too narrow a sense to h i s word " i m p l i c a t i o n s " ?  simply based on  give,  Substituting  however, "twinkling"  o r " t i n k l i n g " i n the p l a c e o f " t i n g l i n g " makes suddenly a l i n e by Brooke.  Doesn't  the p l a s t i c i t y "tinkling"  " t i n g l i n g " carry  its  major semantic c h a r g e , not from  o f common phoneme paradigms, but  and the way they are used i n t e x t s ,  were p e r c e i v e d , b e f o r e modernism's a t t a c k a c e r t a i n social  privilege  in Edwardian  England; a f t e r  it  carries,  users'  a l l , who did  o f the Edwardian middle c l a s s ? effect;  against  like  "twinkling" the G e o r g i a n s ' ,  on Georgian p o e t i c s , as  and p r e s t i g e , perhaps even a p r e s t i g e  to them as a consequence o f t h e i r  negatively  Rupert  and that  having clinging  and consumers' p r o x i m i t y to power make Rupert Brooke the  "Tingling"  darling  i s more than a r e f i n e d musical  i n the r e j e c t i o n s  from o u t s i d e the Edwardian p o e t i c and v e r b a l  and r e f u s a l s  it  norms, a statement  makes, about  63  those norms and the  " a c t i v e w o r l d " f o r which these words a c t as metonyms.  In o t h e r words, to use a word l i k e margins o f the l i n e like  "twinkling"  towards  an a t t i t u d e  settle  major c r i t i c . an i d e n t i t y  c o m f o r t a b l y i n the c o l l o c a t i o n a l  the  linguistically At l e a s t  subtle description is  for a character  of  identity  the  named P r u f r o c k ;  she c a l l s  'Prufrock'  persona f o r P r u f r o c k ,  still  at best  the best by a  spends s e v e r a l  is a  pages o f her TSE:  i n the t e x t some s t a b l e  i s to be l o c a t e d .  persona i n t h i s  'Prufrock'  actualize  Gertrude P a t t e r s o n , who quotes  t r y i n g to show where  poems  What she adopts as a  c o n t e x t d e f i n e d as a set o f  " c o n f l i c t i n g emotions" which are given  ' " a name p l u s a v o i c e , ' "  to quote  Kenner a g a i n , i s a f o r m u l a t i o n which she borrows from Yvor W i n t e r s , term Winters uses i n '"Prufrock,"' Qualitative "Qualitative  m  Defense  Patterson w r i t e s ,  to a t t a c k  in short,  'Prufrock'  the a r t i c u l a t i o n s  pared to a C u b i s t p a i n t i n g  is  (117).  For  Winters,  sequencing almost lower on (Winters 1947:  o f the poem i t s e l f  gaps and d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s t h a t c o n s t i t u t e  identity;  E l i o t ' s modernism.  (1971: 116).  s o p h i s t i c a t i o n than l i s t i n g is  a  " i s more s p e c i f i c a l l y an assembled  P r o g r e s s i o n " means a p a r a t a c t i c  What P a t t e r s o n means by i t its  Reason  P r o g r e s s i o n , heightened by i r o n y "  the s c a l e o f syntagmatic  all  of  like  norms ( F i r t h 1957:  Kenner does not waste h i s time t r y i n g to  passage i n Kenner a p p r o v i n g l y ,  making  attitude  c u l t u r e o f those r e g i o n s .  " p o s s i b l e zone of c o n s c i o u s n e s s " (35). this  c o n t e x t s , but a l s o an  and the r e g i o n s t h a t v a l o r i z e them, where words  194-196) t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e the verbal Kenner's  out beyond the  towards not o n l y the aptness of words  i n the same l i n g u i s t i c  those t e x t s  "twinkling"  "tingling" carries  Prufrock's  31ff.). in  elusive  the poem, the poem's form being comPatterson's  laborious  formalism  64  obscures f o r her the more p r o d u c t i v e way o f a s k i n g the q u e s t i o n about the  'Prufrock'  persona.  What d i d i t  mean i n 1911 and 1917, when the  poem was w r i t t e n and p u b l i s h e d r e s p e c t i v e l y  (Gordon 1977: 45), to do  the persona o f a speaker i n a poem i n t h i s way? be s p e c i f i e d between the e l u s i v e l y  constituted  s t r e n u o u s , male speakers o f Henry Newbolt's From where does such a ' p e r s o n a l i t y ' privilege  does i t  carry  What r e l a t i o n s h i p 'Prufrock'  imperial  derive?  be compared to the norms o f p o e t i c v o i c e ,  and the  trumpet  blasts?  And what kind of  i n the environment where i t identity  can  social  c o u l d not help but c o n d e n s a t i o n , and  3 even gender s p e c i f i c a t i o n ? subject  With the p r i v i l e g i n g o f the e x p e r i e n c i n g  i n the t h e m a t i c s o f romanticism and with the f u r t h e r  of  the  'voice'  as access to the substance o f personal  it  mean, i n the p e r i o d o f the a p p r o p r i a t i o n and thus the  i z a t i o n of romanticism, that E l i o t 'Cubist'  persona?  Pound's Homage  'done' like  to  identity,  what does  institutional-  should p r e s e n t — o f a l l  things-- a  The q u e s t i o n has been w e l l asked o f the persona Propertius,  sextus  in deliberate  Vergil  valorization  contrast  where the  to the  (Pound 1926, n . d . :  historical  Propertius  ' h o n k i n g ' o f Imperial  228, 230).  The r e l e v a n c e  in is  apologists,  o f the  Propertius  p e r s o n a , as done by Pound, would not have been l o s t on the a p o l o g i s t s of the B r i t i s h to the  imperium, which helps e x p l a i n the harsh contemporary  'translation'.  It  would have been more p r o d u c t i v e , p e r h a p s ,  approach the i s s u e o f the i d e n t i t y of  a s o c i o s e m i o t i c a p p r o a c h , at  as Anton E h r e n z w e i g ' s uates  all  creative  c o n s t i t u t e d by a t e x t ,  least  (Ehrenzweig  But even Gertrude P a t t e r s o n ' s  if  not i n  to terms  p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y by some such schema  "ego rhythm" t h a t he b e l i e v e s  work  reaction  u n d e r l i e s and i n d i v i d -  1976: 120-121). ponderous f o r m a l i s m i s more  interesting  than Ann B r a d y ' s c l a u s t r o p h o b i c g e n e r i c schemata. Tennyson and Lear  Where Kenner  hears  i n the P r u f r o c k sound, Brady n o t i c e s a b l e n d i n g o f  satire  and l y r i c .  For h e r , the s a t i r e  by the  "use of rime" and the l y r i c  (1978:  13).  i s almost e n t i r e l y  by the use of  These terms are so general  substantiated  "rime and r e f r a i n "  in reference  that i t  is  difficult  to d i s c r i m i n a t e e x a c t l y what sounds they are supposed to convey. when Brady  identifies  music h a l l  phonics o f " p l a t t e r - m a t t e r , "  crisis,"  the " s a t i r i c  As v a r i e d , are,  in alertness they do a l l  influences cataract  or r h e t o r i c a l  object  this  poem  in  another.  these  They c o n c e i v e  i n t o which  from the a p p r o p r i a t e , l i t e r a r y  identity,  the  certain  contexts.  These o r d e r s  Whether  the  The v a r i a b i l i t y  "Prufrock,"  seen p r i n c i the and  f u n c t i o n as a kind o f cinema  are r e s o l v e d i n some more or l e s s  standards o f i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y  c r i t i q u e of  g e n r e , mode,  by Jakobson as o r d e r s o f formal  o f the mimesis e f f e c t  c o n c e p t i o n o f the work o f a r t  historical  i n f l u e n c i n g process i s  [1964: 358-359])  screen where the p r o j e c t i o n s  specific  p r o j e c t i o n s on the formal o r d e r s o f  (characterized  l i n g u i s t i c equivalences  and c u l t u r a l l y  or o f a p a r t i c u l a r  r o u t i n e , the e x t e r n a l  p a l l y as a system o f i n t e r n a l  ventional  o f r e s p o n s e , as  share one t h i n g i n common.  p r e c i p i t a t i o n of h i s t o r i c a l l y  notions of personal  form.  and " i c e s -  i n one breath and " l y r i c a l "  and s e n s i t i v i t y  the  i s o f a p a r t i c u l a r w r i t e r or style--Tennyson say--or a p a r t i c -  ular textual  work.  by p o i n t i n g to  "flicker-snicker,"  t e x t as a d i s c r e t e , autonomous, and s t a t i c  influence  (13)  one can h a r d l y expect to make much sense o f them i n  by s i m p l y c a l l i n g them " s a t i r i c "  critiques  use o f r i m e "  Even  mimetic  i s c o n t r o l l e d by the  i n a given s o c i e t y .  This  u n d e r l i e s a l s o the most i m p o r t a n t ,  i n which a f o r m a l i s t account o f the  contacit recent  Prufrock  66  sound as s o c i a l  speech i s  attempted.  A. D. Moody's account o f the sound-shape o f some l i n e s are a c o n v e n i e n t p l a c e to b e g i n . t h a t "a m e t r i c a l l a i d by n a t u r a l the phrase i s settles  substructure  He d i s c e r n s , as o t h e r s  [mainly iambic i n p u l s e ]  from the poem  have b e f o r e him,  . . . .  is  over-  speech rhythms, which f o l l o w the p h r a s i n g , and i n which  shaped by i t s  i n on the famous  pattern of stresses"  (1979:. 3 1 ) .  Then he  refrain:  In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo. (CP 14) For Ann Brady the r e f r a i n lyrical  grace"  primarily offers  i n the poem (13).  evidence of the "touches o f  Moody's a n a l y s i s  o f the two l i n e s  is  c o n s i d e r a b l y more s o p h i s t i c a t e d . In the f i r s t l i n e , the f i r s t and l a s t phrases match, and the middle one i s a v a r i a t i o n . The second l i n e , though a p p a r e n t l y l i g h t e r i n w e i g h t , i s i n f a c t p r e cisely equivalent. The long phrase ' o f M i c h e l a n g e l o has the same d u r a t i o n and s t r e s s - p a t t e r n as the l a t t e r two phrases o f the same l i n e , which i t a c c u r a t e l y echoes. Thus we have a perfectly correct couplet, e l e g a n t , l a n g u i d l y d r a w l e d , and with the form i n m i n i a t u r e o f i t s s o c i a l scene and e t h o s . One h a r d l y n o t i c e s the presumption o f i t s being so much at ease with M i c h e l a n g e l o : r h y t h m i c a l l y , i n s e n s i b i l i t y , he seems p e r f e c t l y subdued to the drawing-room. 1  ( 3 1 , my emphasis)  No one can s e r i o u s l y d i s p u t e Moody's c o n c l u s i o n , but what t h a t c o n c l u s i o n has to do with the p r e c e d i n g p r o s o d i c a n a l y s i s p o i n t about the i n t e r p l a y  of metrical  phrase and c l a u s e s t r u c t u r e o f the most  'regular'  is d i f f i c u l t  to s e e .  p a t t e r n and the l a n g u a g e ' s  can be made about any p i e c e o f p o e t r y ,  His  'natural' even  c o u p l e t s turned by the poets of Queen Anne's r e i g n .  67,  Why the l i n e s may be " e l e g a n t "  or  ically  long phrase  to do w i t h whether  "the  " l a n g u i d l y drawn" has nothing  d u r a t i o n and s t r e s s - p a t t e r n as the l a t t e r which.it  accurately  is a distinctive languid. least  feature  of  There i s  an arguable one (the  .  really  support i t .  .)  f o r an e m p i r i c a l  analysis  the at  they ought to be l a n g u i d l y  t h a t on c l o s e r i n s p e c t i o n does not  but o f i t s  c o n c l u s i o n to  negative,  maps, h e a r i n g s i l e n t l y  do i f we s h a r e , or l e a r n a b o u t , t h i s  signifies  social  the s a r d o n i c weariness  fragment  in his  head,  c o n t e x t , the o f the drawl  preand  i n which h i s name i s embedded  the acknowledged emptiness of s a l o n c h a t t e r - - a l l  this,  and more,  Moody's competence to make any sense o f these l i n e s  Yet at the same t i m e , he i s poetic t e x t ,  struc-  i n the r e p r e s e n t e d c o n t e x t o f s i t u a t i o n , the c h o i c e o f  M i c h e l a n g e l o h i m s e l f and o f the syntax  constitutes  we  r e f e r e n c e which the poem's tone s i g n a l s .  "Prufrock"  c i s e a c c e n t i n g o f the v o w e l s ,  committed e x p l i c i t l y  79).  at  to the autonomy o f  an i s o l a t e d o r d e r o f words t h a t generates  own meaning (Moody:  actions  as i f  Moody's c o n c l u s i o n here i s the a c t u a l  o f Anglo-American s o c i e t y  analysis  t h a t echoing  so f a m i l i a r with the s o c i o s e m a n t i c environment of the  as we a l l  line,  t h a t an a c c u r a t e judgement, or  r e a d i n g not o f the poem's p o s i t i v e ,  Moody i s  within  no reason to b e l i e v e  l i n e s do f e e l  that structure of external  what i t  two phrases of the f i r s t  suddenly pops out and i s presented as the c o n c l u s i o n [Thus  have .  a silent  has the same  " e l e g a n c e " or the unmistakeable s i g n of  What has happened here i s  drawled),  ture,  echoes."  'of Michelangelo'  specif-  and c o n t a i n s  T h u s , he imagines an i r r e l e v a n t  to cover s a y i n g something he knows t a c i t l y  all. the its  empirical  from h i s own  inter-  i n the world and h i s a c q u i r e d knowledge o f the Edwardian  social  milieu that  "Prufrock"  enacts.  68  His actually  intimate  knowledge o f the P r u f r o c k w o r l d , however  been won, i s an u n d e c l a r e d given o f h i s r e a d i n g .  going through the g e s t u r e s o f  'deriving'  171) t h a t v a l o r i z e s split  plays  it.  i n t o two p a r a l l e l  may have  He may be  the knowledge, i n the proper  p o s i t i v i s t mode, but t h a t i s an empty e x e r c i s e with l i t t l e beyond the f u n c t i o n i t  it  i n the i n t e r p r e t a t i v e  real  community ( F i s h 1980:  In e s s e n c e , Moody's r e a d i n g o f E l i o t critical  activities.  The c r i t i q u e  seems to  slips  one to the o t h e r as need r e q u i r e s , at one moment doing v a r i o u s i n d u c t i o n as a necessary  (because  judgements d e r i v e d s i l e n t l y u n d e r l i n e s the t e x t ' s  from elsewhere.  literariness,  from o r d i n a r y d i s c o u r s e , i t s the s o c i a l  relations  critical tacit social  features  This c r i t i c a l  interactions.  as s p e c i f i c s o c i a l  local  But  social  culture  selves all  of  o p e r a t i o n widens  the  verse-specific  universalist  e m b a r r a s s i n g l y , c o n t i n g e n t on  context a r t i c u l a t e d  by s p e c i f i c  it  i s a ' r e a d i n g ' of those i n t e r a c t i o n s  enacted  relations  i n the poem, now s e t back, s i l e n t l y ,  in  h i s t o r y where they make s e n s e , t h a t provokes h i s c o n c l u s i o n . particular  for  difference  c o n t e x t by emphasizing the  r e g i s t e r or idiom t h a t i s n ' t ,  of  His c o n c e n t r a t i o n on prosody  o f the t e x t and p r o v i d e s him with a  knowledge o f t h i s  feats  emphasizing the poem's  the poem mimes.  from  p r e l u d e and c o n t e x t  disengagement from the verbal  d i s t a n c e between t e x t and s o c i a l distinctive  valorized)  meaning  It  the  is a  s e l f - i n f l i c t e d b l i n d n e s s t h a t has prevented f o r m a l i s t s them-  from s e e i n g the i l l e g i t i m a c y o f a somnabulist c r i t i c i s m t h a t walks  around the neighbourhood w h i l e i n s i s t i n g i t  chaste bed. primarily  At bottom, t h i s  from a l i t e r a r y  has never l e f t  peculiar contradiction results,  training  I  its  own  think,  i n r e c e n t pedagogical t r a d i t i o n s  r e f u s e s to pursue language beyond the no-man's-land of the l i t e r a r y  that and  68  to i n v e s t i g a t e  it  i n the p l a c e s where  a g a i n s t the w o r l d .  In t h i s  its  magic powers run up hard  r e s p e c t , the methods of the Greek  are i n advance o f the r e i g n i n g f o r m a l i s m . way o f l i s t e n i n g to men and back a g a i n .  least,  had found a  w h i l e walking from the Academy to the  talk  And the a c t u a l  not a s e l f - c o n t a i n e d o r a l  They, at  rhetoricians  talk  text,  agora  they h e a r d , they soon r e a l i z e d , was  a simply o r e l a b o r a t e l y  ornamented c o n -  t a i n e r of information plus e f f e c t s ,  but "a s t r a t e g y  situation"  (Burke 1941, 1961: 9 7 ) .  In o t h e r words, when speaking about  a poem (or  any t e x t f o r t h a t matter)  an o b j e c t ,  but to an a c t i v i t y  and i n t e r a c t s t a i n e d by  we are not r e f e r r i n g p r i m a r i l y  i n the w o r l d .  This a c t i v i t y  with the world as s o c i o s e m i o t i c r e a l i t y ,  ' t e x t s ' , which i n s c r i b e common i n t u i t i v e  125; Berger  f o r encompassing a  and Luckmann 1979: 172-173; Jameson  life  is  to  semantic  a reality (Halliday  main1978:  1982: 7 4 ) .  Nor i s t h i s verbal a c t i o n a l l there i s to i t . For a l l these words are grounded i n what Malinowski would c a l l ' c o n t e x t s o f s i t u a t i o n ' . And very i m p o r t a n t among these ' c o n t e x t s o f s i t u a t i o n ' are the kind o f f a c t o r s c o n s i d e r e d by Bentham, Marx, and V e b l e n , the m a t e r i a l i n t e r e s t s (of p r i v a t e o r c l a s s s t r u c t u r e ) t h a t you s y m b o l i c a l l y defend or s y m b o l i c a l l y a p p r o p r i a t e or s y m b o l i c a l l y a l i g n y o u r s e l f with i n the course o f making your own a s s e r t i o n s . These i n t e r e s t s do not ' c a u s e ' your d i s c u s s i o n ; . . . . But they g r e a t l y a f f e c t the Idiom i n which you speak, and so the idiom by which you t h i n k . (Burke 1941, 1961: 96)  The words o f " P r u f r o c k " situation,  a social  context that  which the poem r e f e r s its  assumptions.  of thought:  are grounded i n a p a r t i c u l a r  in i t s  is  historically  content,  The c r i t i c a l  task,  1) the kind of a t t i t u d e  in i t s  context of  r e c u p e r a b l e and to  formal  p r o c e d u r e s , and i n  t h e n , i s to c o n j o i n s e v e r a l the t e x t  in i t s  compositional  lines  70  procedures d i r e c t s of i t s  d a y ; 2)  subjectivity,  us to have towards  the l i t e r a r y  conventions and norms  the use the t e x t makes o f the idioms i n which  identity,  and e x p e r i e n c e are d i s c u s s e d , t h a t i s , a s s i g n e d a p l a c e  and a v a l u e i n a s o c i o - e t h i c a l  o r d e r ; 3)  groups i n which these s p e c i f i c  idioms o r i g i n a t e ; and 4)  forms o p p o s i t i o n to the system o f s o c i a l  the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f  social  the range of  norms takes at d i f f e r e n t  of society.  For example, i n a s o c i e t y p o w e r f u l l y  'aristocracy  of the s w o r d ' , what form does o p p o s i t i o n take to i