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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Romanticism and the "dissociation of sensibility"; a study of Charles Baudelaire and T.S. Eliot Maeser, Angelika Maria 1972

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ROMANTICISM AND THE "DISSOCIATION OF SENSIBILITY" A STUDY OF CHARLES BAUDELAIRE AND T . S . ELIOT by ANGELIKA MARIA MAESER B . A . , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia , 1970 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of ENGLISH We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d s tandard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 19 72 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date fa^X* /f7t ABSTRACT T h i s s t u d y a t t e m p t s t o d e t e r m i n e what i s the b a s i c f e a t u r e o f R o m a n t i c i s m and i n what r e l a t i o n t o i t C h a r l e s B a u d e l a i r e and T. S. E l i o t s t a n d . S i n c e few terms a r e as m i s u n d e r s t o o d and as w e i g h e d down w i t h numerous and c o n t r a d i c t o r y meanings as R o m a n t i c i s m , t h i s t h e s i s b e g i n s by t r y i n g t o " r e c o n s t r u c t the Romantic s i t u a t i o n " and t u r n s t o i t s m a j o r a e s t h e t i c i a n , F r i e d r i c h S c h l e g e l , i n o r d e r t o d i s c o v e r i n what the r e v o l u t i o n a r y new o u t l o o k c o n s i s t e d . The f u n d a m e n t a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f R o m a n t i c i s m , t h a t w h i c h d i s t i n g u i s h e s i t from a l l o t h e r l i t e r a r y and c u l t u r a l movements, i s h e r e m a i n t a i n e d t o be the awareness o f f r a g m e n t a t i o n , o f d i v i s i o n , and o f chaos. The g r e a t i m p o r t a n t r e a l i z a t i o n o f R o m a n t i c i s m was o f the modern w o r l d ' s and man's f r a g m e n t a t i o n and d i s u n i t y i n c o n t r a s t t o the wh o l e n e s s and o r d e r o f the d i s t a n t p a s t . The t a s k w h i c h i t a s s i g n e d i t s e l f was to s t r i v e f o r a r e i n t e g r a t i o n o f the s e v e r e d f o r c e s — S p i r i t and N a t u r e — i n a new s y n t h e s i s t h a t w o u l d , i n t u r n , c r e a t e a new man and a new w o r l d . I n s e e k i n g t o a c h i e v e t h i s harmony, R o m a n t i c i s m t u r n e d t o symbol, myth, and r e l i g i o n . Two o f t h e most i m p o r t a n t and i n f l u e n t i a l p o e t s o f t h e modern age, B a u d e l a i r e and E l i o t , were d e e p l y e n t r e n c h e d i n the Romantic Weltanschauung and t r a d i t i o n , a l t h o u g h w h i l e t h e f o r m e r was c o n s c i o u s l y and p r o g r e s s i v e l y s o , the. l a t t e r was an u n c o n s c i o u s and r e a c t i o n a r y Romantic. B o t h p o e t s c o n t i n u e t h a t t r a d i t i o n by v i r t u e o f t h e i r e s s e n t i a l awareness o f the d u a l i t y o f man o r , i n E l i o t ' s i i p h r a s e , o f t h e " d i s s o c i a t i o n o f s e n s i b i l i t y " . The two f u n d a m e n t a l p r i n c i p l e s o f l i f e and a r t , S p i r i t and N a t u r e , a r e c o n t i n u a l l y o p e r a t i v e i n t h e i r work and s t r i v e f o r harmony i n t h e i r c o n f l i c t . The c o n c l u s i o n t o w h i c h t h i s t h e s i s comes, however, i s t h a t n e i t h e r p o e t f u l l y r e a l i z e d the Romantic g o a l : t h e harmony of S p i r i t and N a t u r e . The two f o r c e s c o - h a b i t i n t h e i r v e r s e , b u t n e v e r s u r p a s s c o n f l i c t i n a h i g h e r t h i r d s y n t h e s i s . The r e a s o n f o r t h i s f a i l u r e , i t i s m a i n t a i n e d , i s t h e i r m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of N a t u r e . B o t h p o e t s were h o s t i l e t o and b i a s e d a g a i n s t N a t u r e , p r e f e r r i n g the e x c l u s i v e n e s s o f the S p i r i t . As a r e s u l t , B a u d e l a i r e s o u g h t the way o f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f N a t u r e and E l i o t t h e way of s u b l i m a t i o n o f N a t u r e . W i t h E l i o t R o m a n t i c i s m came -to a dead end, d i s a v o w i n g i t s e l f c o n s c i o u s l y y e t t o r m e n t e d by i t s e v e r - p r e s s i n g v i s i o n o f t h e f r a g m e n t a r i n e s s of man and a r t . E l i o t , sought t o h e a l the Romantic agony i n a way w h i c h was n o t u n o r t h o d o x f o r Romantics — c o n v e r s i o n and c o n s e r v a t i s m . But t h e dilemma w h i c h t h e Romantic v i s i o n r e v e a l s so c l e a r l y — the d i s s o c i a t i o n o f S p i r i t and N a t u r e '•— has' n o t thus been s o l v e d f o r modern man. T h i s t h e s i s m a i n t a i n s t h a t N a t u r e must be re-examined and r e - u n d e r s t o o d f o r p o e t r y t o r e c e i v e a new l e a s e on l i f e i n our day. Only t h e r e b y w i l l R o m a n t i c i s m once a g a i n f i n d a new o p e n i n g f o r c r e a t i o n . . S u p e r v i s o r TABLE OF CONTENTS I n t r o d u c t i o n C h a p t e r I The " D i s s o c i a t i o n o f S e n s i b i l i t y " and Romantic A e s t h e t i c C h a p t e r I I B a u d e l a i r e and the R e v o l t A g a i n s t N a t u r e C h a p t e r I I I B a u d e l a i r e and t h e T r a n s f o r m a t i o n of N a t u r e C h a p t e r I V B a u d e l a i r e ' s D u a l i s m and C h r i s t i a n i t y C h a p t e r V T. S. E l i o t and the C o n f l i c t Between S p i r i t and N a t u r e C h a p t e r V I The Waste Land: "Chaos and E r o s " C h a p t e r V I I T. S. E l i o t and t h e C h r i s t i a n S o l u t i o n C h a p t e r V I I I The Poems: "The H o l l o w Men" t o -Four Q u a r t e t s P a r t I P a r t I I C h a p t e r I X C o n c l u s i o n S e l e c t e d B i b l i o g r a p h y I n t r o d u c t i o n The p l a n o f t h i s t h e s i s has changed g r e a t l y s i n c e I f i r s t c o n c e i v e d o f w r i t i n g about C h a r l e s B a u d e l a i r e and T. S. E l i o t . I had i n t e n d e d o r i g i n a l l y t o d i s c u s s t h e " d i s s o c i a t i o n o f s e n s i b i l i t y " as E l i o t c o i n e d i t i n terms o f t h e d u a l i s m between S p i r i t and N a t u r e , o r mind and m a t t e r , t h a t c o a l e s c e d i n t o a s y s t e m i n t h e s e v e n t e e n t h c e n t u r y . I was p e r f e c t l y p r e p a r e d a t t h a t t i m e t o a c c e p t E l i o t ' s judgement t h a t p r i o r t o t h a t age, t h e r e had e x i s t e d a u n i t y and wholeness i n a r t (and man) t h a t was a b s e n t f r o m the p r e s e n t . Then came the d e c i s i v e change i n p o i n t o f v i e w . W i t h t h e r e a d i n g o f F r i e d r i c h S c h l e g e l , p u r e l y by chance I m i g h t add, I r e a l i z e d t h a t I t o o had f a l l e n i n t o t h e 'Romantic f a l l a c y " o f b e l i e v i n g t h a t p r i o r t o a c e r t a i n p o i n t i n h i s t o r y . , t h e r e e x i s t e d u n i t y and w h o l e n e s s . As I . f o l l o w e d S c h l e g e l ' s development f r o m a y o u t h f u l n o s t a l g i c C l a s s i c i s t , I made w i t h h im the r e v o l u t i o n a r y change i n p o i n t o f v i e w t h a t t h e Romantic Anschauung c h a r a c t e r i z e d . The " d i s s o c i a t i o n o f s e n s i b i l i t y " , I t h e n saw, was n o t s i m p l y a modern r e a l i t y ; i t had e x i s t e d t h r o u g h o u t t i m e , o n l y p a s t t i m e h a d become i d e a l i z e d as a k i n d o f Golden Age t o w h i c h the modern Age o f I r o n c o u l d n e v e r compare. R a t h e r than f u t i l e l y r e b e l l i n g a g a i n s t t h a t r e a l i t y o f f r a g m e n t a t i o n and c h a o s , t h e Romantic came t o a c c e p t and t o a f f i r m i t . H i s t a s k l a y i n r e - s h a p i n g the chaos t h a t s t r e t c h e d out b e f o r e h i s gaze and i n s t r i v i n g f o r a r e c o n c i l i a -t i o n o f the s e v e r e d f o r c e s , S p i r i t - a n d N a t u r e . Of c o u r s e , e v e r y t h i n g f e l l i m m e d i a t e l y i n t o a new shape. E l i o t was c l e a r l y a Romantic 2 d e s p i t e h i m s e l f and B a u d e l a i r e one o f the most advanced o f the Romantic p o e t s . R a t h e r than c o n t i n u e t o base my t h e s i s on a f a l l a c y , I had no c h o i c e b u t t o r e - w r i t e t h e whole t h i n g , e x c e p t the a n a l y s i s of E l i o t ' s f i n a l poems. I n the f o l l o w i n g s t u d y t h e r e w i l l , I hope, emerge t h r e e t h i n g s : (1) the s i g n i f i c a n t new awareness t h a t was.the b a s i s of R o m a n t i c i s m . (2) the p l a c e o f B a u d e l a i r e and E l i o t i n . t h e Romantic t r a d i t i o n . and (3) t h e v i t a l i m p o r t a n c e o f a new c o n c e p t i o n o f N a t u r e . The l a t t e r , e s p e c i a l l y , seems i m p o r t a n t t o me, f o r a f t e r s t u d y i n g the development o f modern ( n i n e t e e n t h t o t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y ) p o e t r y and the two p o e t s who s t a n d as beacons i n t h a t dark n i g h t o f a r t , B a u d e l a i r e and E l i o t , i t becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y c l e a r t h a t the most c r i p p l i n g f a c t o r i n the modern s e n s i b i l i t y i s i t s s e v e r a n c e from N a t u r e ; as w i l l be seen i n the c o u r s e o f t h i s work, I v i e w N a t u r e i n i t s w i d e r s e n s e , t h a t i s n o t m e r e l y as e x t e r n a l n a t u r e , b u t as a p r i n c i p a l l i f e - f o r c e o p e r a t i v e w i t h i n the human b e i n g . N a t u r e , I have m a i n t a i n e d , i s one h a l f o f the p s y c h i c e q u a t i o n ; the o t h e r h a l f b e i n g S p i r i t . Now t h e s e two p r i n c i p l e s , as we s h a l l s e e , have l o n g been i n c o n f l i c t and open o r s e c r e t h o s t i l i t y t o one a n o t h e r . N a t u r e has so f a r been the d e f e a t e d p a r t y , b u t I do n o t b e l i e v e i t i s too l a t e t o r e s u s c i a t e t h e _ a b u s e d v i c t i m o r t o r e s u r r e c t t h e c o r p s e o f N a t u r e back t o new l i f e . But t h e s e o p i n i o n s w i l l a w a i t the C o n c l u s i o n where I have d e v e l o p e d them more f u l l y i n t o a p r o j e c t e d p o s s i b i l i t y f o r the f u t u r e o f Romantic a r t . 3 My t h e s i s i s d i v i d e d i n t o n i n e c h a p t e r s , i n c l u d i n g the C o n c l u s i o n , a c c o r d i n g to the f o l l o w i n g p l a n : The f i r s t chapter o u t l i n e s the s u b j e c t under d i s c u s s i o n and r e l a t e s the " d i s s o c i a t i o n of s e n s i b i l i t y " to Romantic a e s t h e t i c . The next three chapters d e a l w i t h B a u d e l a i r e — the r e v o l t a g a i n s t N a t u r e , the t rans forma- -t i o n of N a t u r e , and h i s d u a l i s m and C h r i s t i a n i t y . . Chapters f i v e to e i g h t concern T. S. E l i o t — the c o n f l i c t between' S p i r i t and N a t u r e , The Waste L a n d : "Chaos and E r o s " , and the C h r i s t i a n s o l u t i o n . Chapter e i g h t i s c o n s i d e r a b l y l o n g e r than the f o r e g o i n g , but I have found i t necessary to keep t h i s d i v i s i o n i n order to g ive the a t t e n t i o n m e r i t e d by E l i o t ' s l a s t poems. F i n a l l y , chapter n i n e sums up my c o n c l u s i o n s r e g a r d i n g the f o r e g o i n g m a t e r i a l and attempts to i n d i c a t e what s h o u l d be the f u t u r e d i r e c t i o n of a r t . CHAPTER I THE "DISSOCIATION OF SENSIBILITY" AND ROMANTIC AESTHETIC When T. S. E l i o t w r o t e , " I n the seventeenth century a d i s -s o c i a t i o n of s e n s i b i l i t y se t i n , from which we have never r e c o v e r e d . . . he was making an o b s e r v a t i o n about modern a r t which had a l ready been a n t i c i p a t e d by h i s Romantic p r e d e c e s s o r s . The " d i s s o c i a t i o n of s e n -s i b i l i t y " , t h a t mark of C a i n on the modern c o n s c i o u s n e s s , i s but a new term f o r the o l d d u a l i t y which the Romantics were the f i r s t t o n o t i c e and to emphasize as the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g f e a t u r e of t h e i r age. E l i o t d e s c r i b e d t h i s d i s s o c i a t i o n as the s e p a r a t i o n of " f e e l i n g " and " l a n g u a g e " , or substance and f o r m , and cons idered i t the aim of the poet to attempt a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of these two aspects of a r t . Whi le the choice of the seventeenth century f o r a m a r k i n g - o f f p o i n t does not seem to be an a r b i t r a r y and i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l one j u d g i n g from the h i s t o r y of i d e a s , i t n e v e r t h e l e s s i s not as impor tant to l o c a t e the exact time of the supposed d i s s o c i a t i o n as to note the b e l i e f t h a t i t has taken p l a c e . What we are here conf ronted w i t h i s the view that there has e x i s t e d at one time i n the p a s t — i t may be the Graeco-Roman, the M e d i e v a l , or the g e n e r a l l y pre-modern— a u n i t y , a wholeness , and a completeness tha t i s absent i n the p r e s -ent.' In c o n t r a s t to t h i s p r e v i o u s age, whose boundaries v a r y , the modern i s marked by a f a t a l dua l i sm which not only leaves i t s i m p r i n t on a r t but a l s o brands the a r t i s t w i t h i t s curse . I f we ask what 5 i s the s e c r e t of the pre-modern wholeness , E l i o t w i l l answer i n agreement w i t h the Romantics tha t i t i s a homogenous w o r l d - v i e w p r o v i d e d by r e l i g i o n , myth, or symbolism; u s u a l l y a l l three are found t o g e t h e r . Two ques t ions we must d e a l w i t h when we invoke the term Romantic i n t h i s context are does such a t h i n g as a Romantic aes-t h e t i c e x i s t , and does the consciousness of dua l i sm c o n s t i t u t e an e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e of Romanticism? Looking a t the E n g l i s h Romantic movement we may very w e l l deny the f i r s t p r o p o s i t i o n , f o r n o t h i n g even c l o s e l y resembl ing a p h i l o s o p h y of a r t , of Romantic a r t , appears . What we d i s c o v e r , as so many c r i t i c s i n search of a Romantic theory have a l r e a d y f o u n d , i s a se t of common f e a t u r e s a b s t r a c t e d from the w r i t i n g s of s e v e r a l major p o e t s : the pre faces of Wordsworth, the B i o g r a p h i a L i t e r a r i a of C o l e r i d g e , the Defense of P o e t r y of S h e l l e y , the l e t t e r s of Keats and B l a k e , p l u s the aphorisms of the l a t t e r . These a b s t r a c t e d f e a t u r e s — " c h a n g e , i m p e r f e c t i o n , growth, d i v e r s i t y , 2 the c r e a t i v e i m a g i n a t i o n , the u n c o n s c i o u s " , -according to M. Peckham— c o n s t i t u t e a s tock f e a t u r e of a r t i c l e s and books on the s u b j e c t b u t q u i c k l y degenerate i n t o p l a t i t u d e s and c a t c h - a l l p h r a s e s , as a look 3 at Jacques B a r z u n ' s c o m p i l a t i o n w i l l show us . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , f o r l a c k of any t a n g i b l e a e s t h e t i c to c o n s u l t such a process of deduct ive reasoning has had to supply the d e t a i l s of the Romantic t a b l e a u . The p o s i t i o n f i n a l l y a r r i v e d at by Peckham, a f t e r many thoughts on the s u b j e c t of Romantic t h e o r y , i s that a " c o n s t r u c t i o n of the Romantic s i t u a t i o n i s n e c e s s a r y ^ , but tha t he d e s p a i r s of l i v i n g " t o see i t " . The b a s i c problem that the c r i t i c of E n g l i s h Romanticism 6 has had to face i s the l a c k of a t h e o r e t i c i a n of the movement; as a r e s u l t , he has been thrown back upon h i s own i n g e n u i t y and w i t to c o n s t r u c t a theory that w i l l , h o p e f u l l y , cover t a l e n t s as d i v e r s e as B l a k e , Wordsworth, and B y r o n . With the t a b l e s so u n n a t u r a l l y t u r n e d , the c r i t i c has had to supply what—unless he i s a l s o a p o e t — i s not i n h i s power to do—provide a theory of Romantic a r t . Hap-p i l y , the s i t u a t i o n i s b r i g h t e r when we t u r n to Germany which i s , a f t e r a l l , the home of the movement. That c o u n t r y ' s s o i l turned up a p o e t - t h i n k e r who not only set the wheels of Romanticism moving but who a l s o p r o v i d e d the theory f o r i t , F r i e d r i c h S c h l e g e l . A c -c o r d i n g l y , i t i s t o that source where we must t u r n f o r a Romantic a e s t h e t i c . In h i s works we f i n d an e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y e a r l y a n t i c i p -a t i o n of f e a t u r e s which w i l l e v e n t u a l l y and v a r i o u s l y be p i c k e d up by d i f f e r e n t poets i n England and France . To our f i r s t q u e s t i o n , we can then answer: y e s , a Romantic a e s t h e t i c does e x i s t , but we must t u r n to Germany to f i n d i t t o t a l l y expressed . In S c h l e g e l ' s w r i t i n g s we can see the e v o l u t i o n of thought whose b e g i n n i n g i s the consciousness of d u a l i t y or f ragmenta t ion and whose end i s the r e -c o n c i l i a t i o n of d u a l i t y i n a r e l i g i o - m y t h i c a l - s y m b o l i c complex. By f o l l o w i n g h i s development we can perhaps r e c o n s t r u c t the "Romantic s i t u a t i o n " and d i s c e r n the importance of the concept of modern f ragmenta t ion i n the Romantic w o r l d - p i c t u r e . As e a r l y as 1794, F . S c h l e g e l complained of the d i s u n i t y of modern p o e t r y as c o n t r a s t e d w i t h the wholeness and beauty of Greek a r t . I m p o r t a n t l y , t o o , the d e f i c i e n c y of modern a r t had i t s p a r a l l e l i n the l i f e of m a n . ' 7 D i e s e r Zusammenharig gegen unsere Z e r s t u c k e l u n g , d iese r e i n e n Massen gegen unsere unendl ichen M i s c h -ungen, d iese e i n f ache Bestimmtheit--, gegen unsere k l e i n l i c h e Verworrenhe i t s i n d Ursache , dass d ie A l t e n Menschen im hohern S t y l zu seyn s c h e i n e n . . . . U n d eben i n der Kunst i s auch unsere Verworren-h e i t und Z e r s t u c k e l u n g am o f f e n b a r s t e n . . . . T r o s t l o s und ungeheuer s t e h t die Lucke y o r uns : der Mensch i s z e r r i s s e n , d i e Kunst und das L e b e n . s i n d g e t r e n n t . — U n d dies Gerippe war e i n s t Leben! Es gab e ine Z e i t , es gab e i n V o l k , wo das himmlische Feuer der K u n s t , wie d ie s a n f t e G l u t h des Lebens b e s e e l t e L e i b e r d u r c h d r i n g t , das A l l der regen Menschheit durchstromte !5 Al though S c h l e g e l was at t h i s time i n what i s known as h i s C l a s s i c a l p e r i o d and was soon to champion the modern which he here r e j e c t e d , he r e t a i n e d h i s sense of the d u a l i t y - o f modern man and a r t as i s seen from a,much l a t e r Athenaum fragment i n which he speaks of the " u n -b e g r e i f l i c h e r e angeborne g e i s t i g e D u p l i z i t a t des Menschen" .^ The i d e a l aim and task of Romantic a r t became f o r him the union of an-c i e n t and modern elements,- the p e r f e c t e d l e t t e r or " v o l l e n d e t e n Buchstaben" of the former and the e v o l v i n g s p i r i t or "werdenden G e i s t " of the l a t t e r . 7 Whi le i t i s i m p o s s i b l e here to g i v e a complete account of S c h l e g e l ' s Romantic a e s t h e t i c , s e v e r a l p o i n t s of i t may be touched upon to g ive an. i n d i c a t i o n of h i s p i o n e e r genius and the i n -debtedness which l a t e r w r i t e r s owe h i m . In the famous Athenaum • fragment #116, he s t a t e s the d e c i s i v e d i f f e r e n c e between modern, Romantic poet ry and that of the p a s t . Die romantische Poes ie i s e ine p r o g r e s s i v e U n i v e r -s a l p o e s i e . Ihre Bestimmung i s t n i c h t b i o ? , a l l e getrennte Gattungen der Poes ie wieder zu v e r e i n i g e n , und d i e P o s i e m i t der P h i l o s o p h i e und R h e t o r i k i n i n Beruhrung z u Setzen . S ie w i l l , und s o l i auch Poes ie und P r o s a , G e n i a l i t a t und K r i t i k , Kunstpoe-s i e und N a t u r p o e s i e b a l d mischen , b a l d verschmelzen , d ie Poes ie l e b e n d i g und g e s e l l i g , und das Leben und d ie G e s e l l s c h a f t p o e t i s c h machen, den W i t z p o e t i s -8 i e r e n , und d ie Formen der Kunst mi t gediegnem B i l d -u n g s s t o f f j e d e r A r t a n f u l l e n und s a t t i g e n , und durch d ie Schwingungen des Humors b e s e e l e n . S ie umfa/St a l l e s / was nur p o e t i s c h i s t , vom groPten wieder mehre "Systeme i n s i c h entha l tenden Systeme der K u n s t , b i s zu dem S e u f z e r , dem Ku0, den das dichtende K i n d caushaucftt j ' in k u n s t l o s e n Gesang. . . . Andre D i c h t a r t e n s i n d f e r t i g , und konnen nun v o l l s t a n d i g z e r g l i e d e r t werden. Die romantische D i c h t a r t i s t noch im Werden; j a das i s t i h r e i g e n t -l i c h e s Wesen, daPsie ewig nur werden, n i e v o l l -endet s e i n kann. S i e kann durch k e i n e Theor ie e r s c h o p f t werden, und nur e ine d i v i n a t o r i s c h e K r i t i k d i i r f t e es wagen, i h r I d e a l c h a r a k t e r i s i e r e n zu w o l l e n . S i e a l l e i n i s t u n d e n l i c h , wie s i e a l l e i n f r e i i s t , und das a l s i h r e r s t e s Gesetz anerkennt , da d ie W i l l k u r des D i c h t e r s k e i n Gesetz uber s i c h l e i d e . Die romantische D i c h t a r t i s t d ie e i n z i g e , d i e mehr a l s A r t , und gle ichsam d i e D i c h t k u n s t s e l b s t -i s t : denn i n einem gewissen S inn i s t oder s o i l a l l e Poes ie romant isch s e i n . II " L a t e r , i n the Gesprach Uber d ie P o e s i e , he p l a c e s h i s f i n g e r on the m i s s i n g element i n modern a r t that w o u l d , i f r e s t o r e d , enable a r e -u n i f i c a t i o n of the d i s s o c i a t i o n to o c c u r . Aus dem Innern h e r a u s a r b e i t e n das a l l e s muf der moderne D i c h t e r , und v i e l e haben es h e r r l i c h _ g e t a n , aber b i s j e t z t nur j e d e r a l l e i n , jedes Werk wie e ine neue Schopfung von vorn an aus N i c h t s . I ch gehe g l e i c h zum Z i e l . Es f e h l t , behaupte i c h , unsrer Poes ie an einem M i t t e l p u n k t , wie es d i e M y t h -o l o g i e f u r d ie [die P o e s i e ] der A l t e n w a r , und a l l e s W e s e n t l i c h e , w o r i n d ie moderne D i c h t k u n s t der a n t i k e n n a c h s t e h t , l a £ t s i c h i n d ie Worte zusammenfassen: Wir haben k e i n e M y t h o l o g i e . [ M y t h o l o g i e , k e i n e g e l t -ende symbol ische N a t u r a n s i c h t , a l s Q u e l l e der F a n -t a s i e , und lebendigen B i l d e r - U m k r e i s j e d e r Kunst und D a r s t e l l u n g . ] Aber se tze i c h h i n z u , w i r s i n d nahe daran e ine zu e r h a l t e n , [ e r h a l t e n , n i c h t blo£ jede a l t e Symbolik zu v e r s t e h e n , sondern eben dadurch auch e ine neue f u r uns w i e d e r zu gewinnen;] oder v i e l m e h r es w i r d Z e i t , da/5 w i r e r n s t h a f t dazu m i t -w i r k e n w o l l e n , e ine h e r v o r z u b r i n g e n . Denn auf dem ganz entgegengesetzten Wege w i r d s i e uns kommen, wie [ a l s ] d i e a l t e ehemal ige , u b e r a l l [welche u b e r a l l ] d i e e r s t e B l u t e der j u g e n d l i c h e n F a n t a s i e [ w a r ] , s i c h u n m i t t e l b a r ansch l ie^ehd " u h d ^ a n b i l d e n d an das N a c h s t e , Lebendigs te der s i n n l i c h e n W e l t . Die neue M y t h o l o g i e [Symbolik] mu£ im G e g e n t e i l 9 aus der t i e f s t e n T i e f e des G e i s t e s h e r a u s g e b i l d e t werden; es mvfi das k u n s t l i c h s t e a l l e r Kunstwerke s e i n , derm es s o i l a l l e andern umfassen, e i n neues B e t t e und Gefa£ f u r den a l t e n ewigen U r q u e l l der P o e s i e und s e l b s t das unendl iche G e d i c h t , welches d ie Keime a l l e r andern Gedichte v e r h u l l t . 9 The new " s y m b o l i c " a r t would be f o r i t s own time what Dante ' s was to the M i d d l e Ages ; i t would be both s y m b o l i c ( m y t h i c a l ) and r e a l i s t i c . The poet who attempts t h i s tremendous u n d e r t a k i n g w o u l d , l i k e Dante , have to have " o n l y One Poem i n h i s mind and h e a r t , and would o f t e n have to doubt whether i t were even p o s s i b l e t o a c c o m p l i s h . Were he to succeed , however, he would have done e n o u g h . " " ^ Even i n h i s l a t e w r i t i n g s , S c h l e g e l r e t a i n e d the n o t i o n of the f ragmenta t ion of modern man and, i n the P h i l o s o p h i e der Sprache, o u t l i n e d a theory of the f o u r - f o l d d i v i s i o n of consc iousness . W r i t e s Hans E i c h n e r , the e d i t o r of h i s c o l l e c t e d w o r k s : . T h i s d i v i d e d consciousness i s the r e s u l t of a d e t e r i o r a t i o n that f i r s t se t i n w i t h the F a l l of Man and has v i t i a t e d human thought and a c t i o n ever s i n c e . E a r l i e r . . . he had found a s i m i l a r imbalance and a s i m i l a r d i s s o c i a t i o n of the f a c u l t i e s to be c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the modern, " a r t i f i c i a l " c i v i l i z a t i o n as a w h o l e , and had advocated a s y n t h e s i s of s c i e n c e and a r t , p h i l o s o p h y and p o e t r y , of reason and i m a g i n a t i o n , t h a t would r e s t o r e the p r i m e v a l harmony s t i l l to be found w i t h the Greeks. As e a r l y as 1799, he had s i n g l e d out r e l i g i o n as the core and focus of such a s y n t h e s i s . H Much l a t e r i n France , B a u d e l a i r e ' s a e s t h e t i c was grounded on the same c o n v i c t i o n s . " I I e s t v r a i " , he w r i t e s , "que l a grande 12 t r a d i t i o n s ' e s t perdue, e t que l a n o u v e l l e n ' e s t pas f a i t e . " . And a g a i n , " L a d u a l i t e de l ' a r t est une consequence f a t a l e de l a d u a l i t e 13 de l 'homme." R e a l i z i n g that the a r t i s t c o u l d not r e t u r n t o the pas t and s t i l l be t r u e to h i s own epoch, but that i t l a c k e d the type of 10 a n c i e n t b e a u t y and c o m p l e t e n e s s , B a u d e l a i r e was c o m p e l l e d t o f o r m u l a t e a t h e o r y o f b e a u t y w h i c h took i m p e r f e c t i o n and r e l a -t i v i t y i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n ; moreover, w h i c h made i t t h e e s s e n t i a l  f e a t u r e o f Romantic o r modern a r t . And h e r e i s , I t h i n k , a c l u e t o t h e s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h t h e Romantics f o u n d t h e m s e l v e s and w i t h w h i c h they e i t h e r had t o f i n d a way t o cope and move on, o r t o i g n o r e i t and remain d e v o t e d t o the p a s t whose a r t c o u l d n o t p o s s i b l y be r e - c r e a t e d i n the c o n d i t i o n s o f the p r e s e n t . L o v e r s o f b e a u t y , they had been enamoured o f the p e r f e c t i o n o f t h e a n c i e n t s and been e d u c a t e d by the c o n t r o l l i n g E n l i g h t e n m e n t t a s t e t o i m i t a t e t h o s e m a s t e r s . But how must a s e n s i t i v e mind, n o t t o say a g e n i u s , have s u f f e r e d and found h i m s e l f i n a dilemma when he b e h e l d t h e v a s t g u l f t h a t s e p a r a t e d the o l d e r ages f r o m the p r e s e n t ! The h i s t o r i c a l c o n d i t i o n s o f the a n c i e n t s were n o t h i s c o n d i t i o n s , t h e s e n s i b i l i t y o f Greece and Rome was n o t the s e n s -i b i l i t y o f Germany and F r a n c e . The E n l i g h t e n m e n t had t r i e d t o r e -c r e a t e s u c h a s i t u a t i o n , b u t i t rem a i n e d an a r t i f i c i a l and s i m u l a t e d one; and t h i s t he va n g u a r d o f i n t e l l i g e n c e s came t o r e a l i z e . "Now t h i s m i g h t y , s t a t i c m e t a p h y s i c , w h i c h had governed p e r i l o u s l y the t h o u g h t s o f men s i n c e t h e time o f P l a t o , c o l l a p s e d o f i t s own i n -t e r n a l i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s i n t h e l a t e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y — o r c o l l a p s e d 14 f o r some p e o p l e . " What we see i n the c o n v e r s i o n o f modernism o f a S c h l e g e l i s the coming t o terms w i t h a p r e s e n t h i s t o r i c a l and c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y . Such a s t e p was n o t h i n g l e s s than r e v o l u t i o n a r y and courageous because i t e n t a i l e d r e c a s t i n g an e n t i r e body o f v a l u e s . I f t h e p r e s e n t was i m p e r f e c t and f r a g m e n t e d when compared t o a n t i q u i t y , 11 and i f a n t i q u i t y was the model or i d e a l of beauty and p e r f e c t i o n , then what was demanded of the modern poet was n o t h i n g l e s s than the changing of h i s i d e a l . H e n c e f o r t h , i m p e r f e c t i o n and d i s u n i t y and chaos, even u g l i n e s s (compared to the o l d s t a n d a r d ) , had to be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the new a e s t h e t i c . This i s p r e c i s e l y what S c h l e g e l d i d , and what B a u d e l a i r e d i d a f t e r h im as w e i s h a l l see. Before Romanticism c o u l d get o f f the ground, a new i d e a l had to r e p l a c e the C l a s s i c a l and N e o - C l a s s i c a l one, an i d e a l which took the d u a l i t y of modem man and h i s a r t i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n and r a i s e d i t to the power of a f i r s t p r i n c i p l e ; but t h i s consciousness of f ragmenta t ion or " d i s s o c i a t i o n of s e n s i b i l i t y " c o u l d only come i n t o b e i n g because of the comparison, w i t h C l a s s i c a l a r t . H e l d up b e s i d e the a n c i e n t s , modern a r t seemed d e f i c i e n t , l a c k i n g i n u n i t y of b e i n g , and the on ly way i t c o u l d w i n acceptance was to re-make i t s v i c e s i n t o v i r t u e s . Thus We see how the f i r s t f o r m u l a t i o n of a Romantic a e s t h e t i c was i n t i m a t e l y a l l i e d w i t h the awareness of the i m p e r f e c t i o n and f ragmenta t ion of modern l i f e and a r t as opposed to the p e r f e c t i o n and i n t e g r i t y of the a n c i e n t s . * Was the " d i s s o c i a t i o n of s e n s i b i l i t y " , the consciousness of d u a l i t y , a Romantic f i c t i o n , t h e n , tha t s imply arose out of the unfor tunate comparison of the modern age w i t h a n t i q u i t y ? Was c l a s -s i c a l man t r u l y such a model of wholeness and u n i t y as the moderns have always b e l i e v e d , or d i d h i s t o r i c a l d i s t a n c e merely g i v e him the advantage of r e l a t i v e anonymity? Even i n p o s i n g t h i s q u e s t i o n S c h l e g e l has a n t i c i p a t e d u s , f o r i n h i s . p o s t - C l a s s i c a l , p o s t - " O b j e k t i v i t a t s w u t " , 12 he wondered: Hat man n i c h t b e i U n t e r s u c h u n g der a l t e s t e n g r i e c h i s c h e n M y t h o l o g i e v i e l z u w e n i g R u c k s i c h t auf den I n s t i n k t des m e n s c h l i c h e n G e i s t e s zu p a r a l l e l i s i e r e n und zu a n t i t h e s i e r e n genommen? . . .15-The C l a s s i c a l p e r i o d became f o r the European o f the s e v e n t e e n t h and e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s t h e n a i l on w h i c h t o hang h i s i d e a l o f u n i t y . N e o - C l a s s i c i s m was c o p y i n g and e m u l a t i n g an i d e a l i z e d a n t i q u i t y , and t h i s we must remember i f we a r e t o r e a l -i z e t h e n a t u r e o f \ t h e Romantic b r e a k - t h r o u g h . What a p i o n e e r o f t h o u g h t l i k e S c h l e g e l , and many p e r s o n s a f t e r h i m , f i r s t u n d e r s t o o d w i t h s u c h a s t a r t l i n g c l a r i t y i s t h a t d u a l i t y and f r a g m e n t a t i o n a r e n o t t h e h a l l m a r k s j u s t o f modern man, b u t of man o f e v e r y age. Not u n i t y and r e g u l a t e d oneness i s the r e a l s t a t e o f man, b u t d i v e r s i t y and m a h i f o l d n e s s ; and t o t h i s o b s e r v a t i o n the C l a s s i c a l w o r l d o f gods l e n t p r o o f . A t t h i s p o i n t , the N e o - C l a s s i c a l p r e t e n s e was b r o k e n t h r o u g h ; r e a l i t y d i d n o t a c c o r d w i t h the E n l i g h t e n m e n t c o n c e p t i o n o f man and b e a u t y . R a t h e r t h a n h a v i n g been a whole and p e r f e c t c r e a t u r e , t h e man o f a n t i q u i t y was j u s t as t o r n by p a s s i o n s and c o n t r a d i c t i o n s ; d i s u n i t y has always been the r e a l i t y w h i c h man has s o u g h t t o change, and w h o l e ness the g o a l t o w h i c h he has a s p i r e d . Now t h e Romantics c o u l d a f f i r m t h e i r c o n d i t i o n w i t h o u t shame and r e a l i z e t h a t man i s o n l y and always i n a s t a t e of "becoming". T h i s i s p erhaps t h e main f e a t u r e o f the new R o m antic a e s t h e t i c , t h a t i t combines the i d e a l w i t h r e a l i t y , b e i n g and becoming, i n a r e v o l u -t i o n a r y s y n t h e s i s and f r e e s man once and f o r a l l f r o m a f a l s e , i m -p osed u n i t y . The i d e a l o f w h o l e n e s s and p e r f e c t i o n i s n o t l o s t s i g h t o f , b u t i t i s now seen as o n l y a p o t e n t i a l , a h y p o t h e s i z e d x, 13 toward which man and a r t are always moving but which they can never complete ly a t t a i n i n t h i s l i f e . From the s k e l e t o n of t h i s Romantic a e s t h e t i c as I have sketched i t , we can see the i m p l i c a -t i o n s of t h i s new out look — a l l of which have not even yet been r e a l i z e d . Romantic a r t a l l o w s f o r an i n f i n i t e expansion and f o r many v a r i a t i o n s ; that i s the beauty of i t . We may h o n e s t l y say that Romantic a r t has not been exhausted a c c o r d i n g t o the a e s t h e t i c f o r m u l a t e d f o r i t by S c h l e g e l . What we do note/ . .however, i s that i t i s fundamenta l ly based on the consciousness of man's f r a g m e n t a r i n e s s , d u a l i t y , a n d . i m p e r f e c t i o n . T h i s i s i t s e v e r -r e f r e s h i n g h o l d on r e a l i t y ; t h i s i s what prevents i t from ever g e t t i n g too f a r away from l i f e . Rather than r e j e c t t h a t r e a l i t y when i t sees i t , Romantic a r t a f f i r m s i t — I w i l l not say g l a d l y , but at l e a s t courageously — and h o l d s b e f o r e i t the v i s i o n of the i d e a l p o t e n t i a l u n i t y . Not a l l the Romantic w r i t e r s were to s e i z e upon the r a d i c a l t r u t h of t h i s a r t ; few ever p e n e t r a t e d to i t s utmost depths or soared to i t s f a r t h e s t h e i g h t s . In the f o l l o w i n g chapters I hope to r e v e a l the manner i n which two of the most eminent poets of the modern age d e a l w i t h the " d i s s o c i a t i o n of s e n s i b i l i t y " and what p l a c e they occupy i n the Romantic t r a d i t i o n - . Needless to s a y , I cannot c o n s i d e r my s u b j e c t s — B a u d e l a i r e and E l i o t — o u t s i d e i t , but i f any doubts e x i s t at t h i s s tage they w i l l h o p e f u l l y be c l a r i f i e d i n the end. F o o t n o t e s C h a p t e r I 1. T.'S. E l i o t , "The M e t a p h y s i c a l P o e t s , " S e l e c t e d E s s a y s , 5 t h ed. (New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e & W o r l d , I n c . , 1 9 6 4 ) , p. 247. 2. Morse Peckham, "Toward a Theory of R o m a n t i c i s m , " The Triumph, of R o m a n t i c i s m : C o l l e c t e d E s s a y s , 1 s t ed. (South C a r o l i n a : U n i v e r s i t y o f South C a r o l i n a P r e s s , 1 970), p. 14. 3. J a c q u e s B a r z u n , C l a s s i c , R o m a n t i c , and Modern, 2nd ed. 1943, r e v . r p t . (New Y o r k : Doubleday & Co. I n c . , 1 9 6 1 ) , pp. 155-168. 4. Peckham, "Romanticism: the P r e s e n t S t a t e o f Theory," p. 83. 5. F. S c h l e g e l , "Uber d i e Grenzen des Sch'dnen," S e i n e P r o s a i s c h e n  J u g e n d s c h r i f t e n , ed. by J . M i n o r , 1 s t ed. (Wien: C a r l Konegen, 1906), pp. 21-23. 6. F. S c h l e g e l , "Athenaum Fragmente," no. 162, K r i t i s c h e F r i e d r i c h - S c h l e g e 1 - A u s g a b e , v o l 2:1, ed. by Hans E i c h n e r , 1 s t ed. ( P a d e r b o r n : F e r d i n a n d S c h o n i n g h , 1967), p. 190. 7. F. S c h l e g e l , "Lyceums Fragmente," no. 9 3 , K.A., p. 158. 8. F. S c h l e g e l , "Athenaums Fragmente," no. 116, K.^A. , pp. 182-3. 9. F. S c h l e g e l , "Gesprach Uber d i e P o e s i e , " K^A., p. 312, 10. F. S c h l e g e l , " G e s p r a c h . . . , " K.A. , p. 327. 11. Hans E i c h n e r , F r i e d r i c h S c h l e g e l , 1 s t ed. (New Y o r k : Twayne P u b l i s h e r s , I n c . , 1970), p. 138. 12. C. B a u d e l a i r e , " S a l o n de 1846,".Oeuvres, 1 s t ed. ( P a r i s : L i b r a i r i e G a l l i m a r d , 1954), p. 677. 13. B a u d e l a i r e , " L a P e i n t r e de l a V i e Moderne," Oeuvres, p. 883. 14. M. Peckham, "Toward a Theory o f R o m a n t i c i s m , " p. 9. 15. F. S c h l e g e l , "Athenaum Fragmente," no. 162, K.A., p. 190. German T r a n s l a t i o n s C h a p t e r I (The f o l l o w i n g t r a n s l a t i o n s a r e my own.) #5. T h i s c o h e s i o n i n c o n t r a s t t o o u r f r a g m e n t a t i o n , t h e s e p u r e forms i n c o n t r a s t t o our u n e n d i n g m i x t u r e s , t h i s s i m p l e p r e c i s i o n i n c o n t r a s t t o o u r t r i v i a l c o n f u s i o n a r e r e a s o n t o c o n s i d e r the a n c i e n t s as h a v i n g t h e h i g h e r s t y l e . ...And e s p e c i a l l y i n a r t i s our c o n f u s i o n and f r a g m e n t a t i o n t h e most o b v i o u s . ...Hopeless and t e r r i b l e t h e chasm s t a n d s b e f o r e us: man i s t o r n a p a r t , a r t and l i f e a r e d i v i d e d . — A n d t h i s s k e l e t o n was once l i f e ! There was a t i m e , t h e r e was a p e o p l e , when the g e n t l e glow o f l i f e , p e n e t r a t e d b o d i e s w i t h s o u l s , when the A l l f l o w e d t h r o u g h an' a n i m a t e d humanity. #6. more i n c o m p r e h e n s i b l e i n b o r n s p i r i t u a l d u a l i t y o f man #8. Romantic p o e t r y i s a p r o g r e s s i v e u n i v e r s a l p o e t r y . I t s p u r p o s e . i s n o t s i m p l y t o r e u n i t e a l l the s e p a r a t e d c l a s s e s o f p o e t r y and t o p u t p o e t r y once a g a i n i n t o u c h w i t h p h i l o s o p h y and r h e t o r i c . I t w a n t s , and s h o u l d a l s o , soon m i x , soon s m e l t , g e n i a l i t y and c r i t i c i s m , a r t - p o e t r y , n a t u r e - p o e t r y , make p o e t r y a l i v e and s o c i a l , and l i f e and s o c i e t y p o e t i c , p o e t i z e w i t , and f i l l and s a t i s f y t h e forms o f a r t w i t h the p u r e f o r m - s t u f f o f e v e r y a r t . I t encompasses e v e r y t h i n g t h a t i s p o e t i c , f r o m the l a r g e s t s y s t e m s - w i t h i n - s y s t e m s o f a r t , t o t h e s i g h , t h e k i s s , t h a t t h e p o e t i z i n g c h i l d e x h a l e s i n a r t l e s s song. ...Other p o e t i c s t y l e s a r e f i n i s h e d and can now be f u l l y d i s -membered. The Romantic p o e t i c a r t i s s t i l l i n t h e p r o c e s s . o f becoming; y e s , t h a t i s i t s e s s e n t i a l b e i n g , t h a t i t can e t e r n a l l y o n l y become, n e v e r be c o m p l e t e l y f i n i s h e d . I t can be c r e a t e d t h r o u g h no t h e o r y , and o n l y a d i v i n a t o r y c r i t i c i s m c o u l d dare t o w i s h t o c h a r a c t e r i z e i t s i d e a l . I t a l o n e i s un-e n d i n g , as i t a l o n e i s f r e e , and t h a t because i t r e c o g n i z e s as i t s f i r s t law t h a t t h e f r e e w i l l o f the p o e t t o l e r a t e s no law o v e r i t s e l f . The Romantic p o e t i c a r t i s the o n l y one t h a t i s more tha n a r t and t h a t a t t h e same t i m e i s p o e t i c a r t i t s e l f , f o r i n a c e r t a i n s ense a l l p o e t r y i s o r s h o u l d be Romantic. #9. The modern poet must c r e a t e o u t o f h i m s e l f , and many have done i t a d m i r a b l y , b u t u n t i l now each one o n l y a l o n e , e v e r y work b e i n g l i k e a new c r e a t i o n ex n i h i l o . I w i l l g e t r i g h t t o the p o i n t . There i s l a c k i n g , I m a i n t a i n , i n our p o e t r y a c e n t r e , s u c h as was m y thology f o r the a n c i e n t s , and e v e r y t h i n g e s s e n t i a l w h e r e i n the modern poet i s i n f e r i o r t o the a n c i e n t s ' can be summarized i n t h e s e words: We have no m ythology. [ M y t h o l o g y : no s i g n i f i c a n t s y m b o l i c v i e w of n a t u r e as s o u r c e o f the i m a g i n a t i o n and l i v i n g i m a g e - o r b i t of e v e r y a r t and r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . ] B u t , I add, we a r e n e a r t o r e c e i v i n g one [not s i m p l y the o l d s y m b o l i s m , t o be u n d e r s t o o d h e r e , b u t even to w i n f o r o u r s e l v e s a new o n e ] , o r i t w i l l i n c r e a s i n g l y become ti m e f o r us t o work t o g e t h e r e a r n e s t l y f o r one, t o b r i n g , one f o r t h . F o r i t w i l l come t o us on a w h o l l y o p p o s i t e way than the r e c e n t o l d one w h i c h was, moreover, t h e f i r s t b l o o m o f the;;.' y o u t h f u l i m a g i n a t i o n and w i l l i n c o m m u n i c a b l y c o n n e c t i t s e l f t o and r e f l e c t the n e x t most l i v i n g t h i n g o f the p h y s i c a l w o r l d . The new mythology [Symbolism] must on the c o n t r a r y be formed o u t o f the d e e p e s t depths o f the s p i r i t ; i t must be t h e most a r t i f i c i a l o f a l l works o f a r t , f o r i t s h o u l d encompass a l l o t h e r s , be a new c h a n n e l and c o n t a i n e r f o r t h e o l d e t e r n a l s o u r c e o f p o e t r y , and be i t s e l f the i n f i n i t e poem w h i c h c o n t a i n s the germ.of a l l o t h e r poems. (Note: The s q u a r e b r a c k e t s i n d i c a t e S c h l e g e l ' s own l a t e r appended comments.) Have we n o t i n t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the o l d e s t Greek'mythology t a k e n t o o l i t t l e c o n s i d e r a t i o n . o f t h e i n s t i n c t o f the human s p i r i t t o p a r a l l e l i z e and t o a n t i t h e s i z e ? CHAPTER I I BAUDELAIRE AND THE REVOLT AGAINST NATURE I t i s not the l e a s t of i r o n i e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h B a u d e l a i r e that the p o e t - c r i t i c who best comprehended the s p i r i t of Romantic-i s m and based h i s a r t upon i t s h o u l d have been h o s t i l e to the one p r i n c i p l e t h a t became i t s ens ign — N a t u r e . In order to understand B a u d e l a i r e ' s a n t i p a t h y toward N a t u r e , and I mean here not only the e x t e r n a l aspect of i t but a l s o i t s s y m b o l i c or i d e a l v a l u e , we must look at two t h i n g s : f i r s t l y , h i s own n a t i v e s e n s i b i l i t y which was u n d i v i d e d o n l y i n i t s t o t a l d i s p o s i t i o n toward the a b s o l u t e , and, s e c o n d l y , the meaning, or e m o t i o n a l - i n t e l l e c t u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of the concept of Nature i n the F r a n c e . ( a n d , u l t i m a t e l y , Europe) of the e i g h t e e n t h and n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s . When we have e x p l o r e d these two p o i n t s there w i l l emerge, I t h i n k , not a p i c t u r e of an a n t i -Romantic (as E l i o t assumed) but of an a r t i s t who was the f i r s t to see the c o n t r a d i c t i o n w i t h i n the Romanticism of h i s . time and who, p a r a d o x i c a l l y , i n denouncing Nature 5 remained an a b s o l u t e l y l o g i c a l Romantic . " I f once one-has a love a f f a i r w i t h the A b s o l u t e and cannot r e f r a i n from i t , then there remains no way out but c o n s t a n t l y t o c o n t r a d i c t o n e s e l f and to u n i t e oppos i te extremes.""'" So wrote S c h l e g e l and amazingly a n t i c i p a t e d the dilemma that was to be B a u d e l a i r e ' s throughout h i s l i f e t i m e . S e n s i b i l i t y i s such a p r i v a t e and unique a t t r i b u t e t h a t even psychology cannot s u c c e s s f u l l y e x p l a i n 15 i t , a l t h o u g h i t may seek i n p e r s o n a l h i s t o r y t h e c a u s a l l i n k s t h a t f o r g e d the mature b e i n g . I p r e f e r , however, t o t h i n k o f s e n s i b i l i t y as t h e u n i q u e s e e d o f the i n d i v i d u a l t h a t , w h a t e v e r s o i l i t i s p l a c e d i n and w h a t e v e r c a r e i t g e t s o r does n o t g e t , w i l l d e s p i t e a l l c o n d i t i o n s grow e i t h e r i n t o a pansy o r a r o s e o r w h a t e v e r i s i t s i n n e r n a t u r e t o - b e . F o r t h i s r e a s o n , a t t e m p t s t o e x p l a i n B a u d e l a i r e ' s " s p l e e n " and n a t u r e a n t i p a t h y by p s y c h -o l o g i c a l methods l e a d i n g i n t o the l a b y r i n t h s o f an Oedipus Complex 2 a n d . o t h e r d i s o r d e r s t e l l b u t a p a r t i a l s t o r y and cannot u l t i m -a t e l y a c c o u n t f o r t h e e s s e n t i a l germ o f the s u b j e c t . B a u d e l a i r e ' s e n t i r e s e n s i b i l i t y was p u r e l y s p i r i t u a l , a f a c t t h a t no one can f a i l t o n o t i c e who has g i v e n h i m a t t e n t i o n . From the v e r y b e g i n -n i n g t h e r e i s p r e s e n t i n h i s c h a r a c t e r a s e a r c h , a l o n g i n g , f o r the i d e a l , f o r the A b s o l u t e . . I n c h i l d h o o d , t h i s a l r e a d y m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f as t h e p r o p e n s i t y t o day-dream and t o seek r e f u g e from the u g l i e r u n p l e a s a n t r i e s o f d a i l y l i f e : i n t h e m a g i c a l and e x o t i c 3 dreams o f the i m a g i n a t i o n . As J . Melancon has r i g h t l y p o i n t e d o u t : " L ' e s p r i t ne l u t t e done pas c o n t r e l e r e v e , comme l e pense l e p h i l o s o p h e , mais c o n t r e l a c h a i r , 1 ' a c t i o n e t . l a r e a l i t e , 4 e x t e r i e u r e . I I s'oppose au n a t u r e l . " B a u d e l a i r e ' s i n t e n s e s p i r -i t u a l d i s p o s i t i o n , t h a t o n l y e n t r e n c h e d i t s e l f more f i r m l y and made l i f e l e s s t o l e r a b l e as time went on, was bound t o c a l l up i t s con-t r a r y , and hence ensued t h a t b i t t e r s t r u g g l e w i t h i n h i m between s p i r i t and n a t u r e o r , as he was always t o r e f e r t o i t i n Les F l e u r s  du M a i , " e n t r e D i e u ou S a t a n " , " e n f e r ou c i e l " . E v e r y t h i n g i n t h o s e poems speaks o f p o e t i c e v a s i o n , o f ^ r i s i n g on the w ings of t h e s p i r i t 16 above the earthbound or n a t u r a l . To take but one e x c e l l e n t example of t h i s p r o p e n s i t y toward the A b s o l u t e and the a t t e n d -ant p o l a r i z a t i o n of o p p o s i t e s , " E l e v a t i o n " 5 d e s c r i b e s the p o e t ' s i m a g i n a r y , s p i r i t u a l f l i g h t above the f a r t h e s t reg ions of the cosmos, and how at home h i s s p i r i t i s i n t h i s e t h e r a l element. Au-dessus des e tangs , au-dessus des v a l l e e s , Des montagnes, des b o i s , des nuages, des mers, P a r d e l a l e s o l e i l , par d e l a l e s e t h e r s , Par d e l a l e s c o n f i n s des spheres e t o i l e e s , Mon e s p r i t , t u te meus' avec a g i l i t e , e t , comme Un'bon nageur, q u i se p a W dans l ' o n d e , t u s i l l o n n e s Gaiement 1 ' immensite profonde avec une i n d i c i b l e E t ' m a l e ' volupte ' . H i s d e s i r e i s to be f a r from "Ces miasmes m o r b i d e s " , the n a t u r a l a n t i t h e s i s t o h i s s p i r i t u a l f l i g h t . D e r r i e r e l e s ennuis et l e s vas tes chagr ins Que chargent de l e u r po ids 1 ' e x i s t e n c e brumeuse, Heureux c e l u i q u i peut d'une a i l e v igoureuse S ' e l a n c e r vers l e s champs lumineux et s e r e i n s ! The c o n c l u s i o n of the poem i s r e m i n i s c e n t of K e a t s ' "Ode to a N i g h t i n g a l e " and S h e l l e y ' s "To a S k y l a r k " , the b i r d - - i n t h i s case a swal low — i s c o n s i d e r e d l u c k y by B a u d e l a i r e because i t can take f r e e f l i g h t from the e a r t h and yet comprehend i t f a r b e t t e r than man. Qui plane sur l a v i e , et comprend sans e f f o r t L a language des f l e u r s et des .choses muettes ! F . W. Leakey i n h i s comprehensive s tudy of the p l a c e of e x t e r n a l nature i n B a u d e l a i r e ' s works t h i n k s that the y o u t h f u l poet had a " f e e l i n g f o r n a t u r e " , but t h a t " the s t r a i n q u i c k l y d ies out i n B a u d e l a i r e , never aga in to r e c u r save i n p u r e l y r e m i n i s c e n t c o n t e x t s . " 0 He accounts f o r t h i s change, which he dates at around 17 1852, by t h r e e r e a s o n s : (1) "The B o n a p a r t i s t coup d ' e t a t o f 2 December 1851 [which] had i n d u c e d a r e v u l s i o n from p o l i t i c s o r at l e a s t from a l l p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n . . . ", (2) " p r e p a r a t i o n o f h i s l o n g a r t i c l e o f M a r c h - A p r i l 1852.on Edgar A l l e n Poe, s a v i e e t s e s o u v r a g e s , [which] w i l l have i m p e l l e d h im t o po n d e r , and t o b e g i n t o a s s i m i l a t e t o h i m s e l f , Poe's f i r m l y a n t i - d i d a c t i c and a n t i - u t i l i t a r i a n t h e o r i e s . . . ", and (3) " i n March 1852 he r e s o l v e d t o b r i n g t o an end h i s l o n g and chequered r e l a t i o n -s h i p w i t h Jeanne D u v a l . • • ".^ However, B a u d e l a i r e ' s " f e e l i n g f o r n a t u r e " n e v e r amounted t o much, and the poems i n w h i c h Leakey sees t h i s s e n t i m e n t e x p r e s s e d a r e a d o l e s c e n t p i e c e s and h a r d l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the r e a l p o e t . I am more i n c l i n e d t o b e l i e v e t h a t a t t h e a d o l e s c e n t s t a g e h i s t h o u g h t s were o n l y i n t h e p r o c e s s o f f o r m i n g and t h a t the b u l k o f the .evidence f o r B a u d e l a i r e ' s n a t u r e a n t i p a t h y . i s t o be f o u n d i n h i s n a t i v e s e n s i b i l i t y w h i c h was always h i g h l y s p i r i t u a l and w h i c h l e d t o an a v e r s i o n f o r any-t h i n g n a t u r a l o r e a r t h y . As C h a r l e s du Bos h a d s a i d : " S p i r i t -u a l i t y i s n o t o n l y B a u d e l a i r e ' s peak b u t a l s o h i s b e d r o c k . E v e r y g r e a t man uses c e r t a i n words so p e r s o n a l l y t h a t h i s whole b e i n g p a s s e s i n t o them and charges them w i t h t h e i r utmost meaning. S p i r i t i s t he word f o r i m p e r i o u s g e n i u s t h a t B a u d e l a i r e ' s stamped above 8 a l l o t h e r s . " S e n s i b i l i t y a l o n e , n e v e r t h e l e s s , cannot be made t o b e a r t h e whole b r u n t ' o f an e x p l a n a t i o n o f B a u d e l a i r e ' s r e v o l t a g a i n s t N a t u r e . W h i l e i t goes f a r t o a c c o u n t f o r the e m o t i o n a l d i s p o s i t i o n o f the p o e t , t h e r e i s one more p r i n c i p a l f a c t o r t o be t a k e n i n t o a c c ount and t h a t i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r s h a p i n g h i s a e s t h e t i c . 18 " L a p l u p a r t des e r r e u r s r e l a t i v e s au b e a u n a i s s e n t de e s \ l a f a u s s e c o n c e p t i o n du X V I I I s i e c l e r e l a t i v e a l a m o r a l e . L a n a t u r e f u t p r i s e dans ce temps- l a comme b a s e , s o u r c e e t t y p e de 9 t o u t b i e n e t de t o u t beau p o s s i b l e s . " I n t h e s e words of B a u d e l a i r e are t o be f o u n d , I t h i n k , the key t o h i s a e s t h e t i c r e v o l t . To u n d e r s t a n d what i t e n t a i l e d , we must r e v i e w what the word N a t u r e meant t o the E n l i g h t e n m e n t and, a l i t t l e l a t e r , t o t h e e a r l y R o m a n t i c s . F r a n c e was, i f we remember, the c r a d l e o f the European N e o - C l a s s i c movement and i n no o t h e r c o u n t r y d i d i t s s p i r i t l i n g e r so l o n g and t e n a c i o u s l y . That R o m a n t i c i s m s h o u l d even have s u c -ceeded i n b r e a k i n g down t h e B a s t i l l e o f E n l i g h t e n m e n t o p i n i o n , e n -t r e n c h e d f i r m l y i n t h e Academy, was r o u n d l y c o n s i d e r e d a t r i u m p h t h e n and o n l y a p a r t i a l s u c c e s s by l a t e r s c h o l a r s . L a r g e l y , t h e Romantic i n f l u e n c e — c o m i n g f r o m . E n g l a n d i n t h e f o r m o f S h a k e s p e a r e , O s s i a n , S t e r n e , A d d i s o n , Pope, Young, F i e l d i n g , R i c h a r d s o n — was s t r o n g l y r e s i s t e d and.the word Romantic was n o t even used u n t i l the b e g i n n i n g o f the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y . Of the German i n f l u e n c e n o t h i n g i s f e l t u n t i l Madame de S t a e l ' s book De 1'Allemagne a p p e a r s , and t h e n o n l y a few w r i t e r s r e c e i v e n o t i c e , p r i n c i p a l l y G o e t h e . 1 0 The r e m a r k a b l e p o i n t about F r a n c e i s t h a t when R o m a n t i c i s m d i d w i n a c c e p t a n c e , i t d i d so by m o d i f y i n g i t s e l f , i n t o C l a s s i c a l f e a t u r e s . " F r e n c h R o m a n t i c i s m . . . i s i n many ways a c l a s s i c phenomenon, a p r o d u c t o f c l a s s i c F r e n c h r h e t o r i c , " 1 1 w r i t e s George B r a n d e s ; and V i c t o r K l e m p e r e r adds t o t h i s : . . . a l s s i e [ d i e Romantik] i n v o l l e r d e u t s c h e r und e n g l i s c h e r E n t f a l t u n g a u f F r a n k r e i c h u b e r t r a g e n wurde, e r h i e l t s i e d o r t e i n c h a r a k t e r i s t i s c h r o m a n i s c h e s Geschenk: F o r m b e r e i c h e r u n g . D i e 19 Franzosen sehen i n der Romantik e i n e r l e i , ob s i e i h r a l s e i n e r germanischen Trubung romanischer k l a r h e i t f e i n d l i c h oder a l s einem Wesenzuwachs f r e u n d l i c h gegenuberstehen — , von s i c h aus sehen s i e zu Recht i n i h r f a s t aussschliePlich e i n e n Kampf des S u b j e c t i v i s m u s um neue Formen den f e s t - a u s g e b i l d e t e n k l a s s i s c h e n Formregeln gegenuber. Nun beantwortet s i c h auch d ie F r a g e , warum s i e i h r e romantische Schule t r o t z Chateaubriand und Lamart ine e r s t von 1830 d a t i e r e n . S ie l a s s e n eben f o l g e r i c h t i g i h r e e i g e n t l i c h e Romantik e r s t dort beg innen , wo V i c t o r Hugo programmatisch f u r e ine neue Dichtungsform e i n t r i t t und s i c h der r e p r a s e n t a t i v s t e n f r a n z o s i s c h e n D i e h t u n g s -g a t t u n g , des Dramas, bemacht ig t . Es i s t mi t der Cromwell - Vorrede wie mit der Defense Du B e l l a y s . Die neue Form w i r d s t a r k e r u n t e r s t r i c h e n und w i r k t s t a r k e r a l s der neue G e i s t . - ^ D e s p i t e the f a c t that B a u d e l a i r e was w r i t i n g i n the m i d -n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r yj he l i v e d i n a l i t e r a r y m i l i e u tha t had always been p r i m a r i l y t i n g e d w i t h C l a s s i c i s m . What was, t h e n , the Neo-c l a s s i c a l concept ion of Nature? I t was of Nature as the norm, the i d e a l , o f v i r t u e , b e a u t y , and p e r f e c t i o n . I t was a P l a t o n i z e d Nature of which there was more i d e a l i z a t i o n than r e a l i t y . The d o c t r i n e of " l a b e l l e n a t u r e " a l l o w e d f o r on ly one a b s o l u t e , one s tandard of b e a u t y , and one common denominator. : When the Romantics took over t h i s word and emblazoned i t on t h e i r - b a n n e rj they denied that there was one un i form s tandard f o r l i f e or a r t but they d i d not change t h e i r o p i n i o n about the e s s e n t i a l goodness and benevolence of N a t u r e . In a d i f f e r e n t way, Nature was s t i l l r e t a i n e d as an i d e a l and made the focus of a c u l t of w o r s h i p . Here was a c o n t r a d i c t i o n f o r the C h r i s t i a n Romantic tha t B a u d e l a i r e saw: on the one hand, Romanticism was based' on the t e n s i o n between r e a l i t y and the i d e a l ; i t was an a r t w i t h w i d e -"open eyes t h a t dared to c o n f r o n t r e a l i t y w i t h a l l i t s i m p e r f e c t i o n s and h o r r o r s but that p o s t u l a t e d f o r . i t s e l f an i n f i n i t e g o a l , an A b s o l u t e toward which i t would f o r e v e r s t r i v e though never a t t a i n . 20 Hence, p e r f e c t i o n and w h o l e ness were no t h e r e , i n N a t u r e , b u t i n the e v e r - b e y o n d , i n t h e S p i r i t . T h i s a c c o r d e d p e r f e c t l y w i t h the C h r i s t i a n dogma w h i c h saw man and n a t u r e n o t as p e r f e c t b u t as f a l l e n , and w h i c h h e l d out the p r o m i s e of p e r f e c t i o n i n a f u t u r e s p i r i t u a l s t a t e . ( S c h l e g e l h i m s e l f s a i d t h a t Romantic a r t was a C h r i s t i a n a r t . ) But what the N e o - C l a s s i c i s t s and the m a j o r i t y o f R omantics m a i n t a i n e d was t h a t N a t u r e was the i d e a l , was the s o u r c e o f a l l goodness and p e r f e c t a b i l i t y . ( C o n s e q u e n t l y , t o o , the p r o b l e m o f e v i l was one t h a t t h e y c o u l d n o t come t o terms w i t h . ) J . W. Beach has made some i l l u m i n a t i n g comments on t h e c o n n e c t i o n between the R o m a n t i c s ' i d e a o f N a t u r e and s c i e n t i f i c p o s i t i v i s m t h a t may throw l i g h t on B a u d e l a i r e ' s p o s i t i o n o f r e v o l t . " I t i s t o be ob-s e r v e d , " he w r i t e s , t h a t t h i s concept o f a harmonious and p u r p o s i v e n a t u r e was most o f t e n - h e l d by w r i t e r s who were n o t o r t h o d o x C h r i s t i a n s ; t h a t , however r e l i g i o u s i t might be i n i t s e s s e n c e , i t c a r r i e d more o r l e s s o f a l a t e n t p r o t e s t a g a i n s t the p r e v a i l i n g d ogmatic r e l i g i o n . . .. H i s t o r i c a l l y c o n s i d e r e d , t h e f a i t h b a s e d on t h i s c o n cept o f n a t u r e amounted, f o r t h e l i t e r a r y mind, t o a k i n d of s u b s t i t u t e f o r t h e -C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n . I t was C h r i s t i a n i t y , f r e e d f r o m v a r i o u s s u p e r s t i t i o n s , i r r a t i o n a l and, so t o speak, p a r o c h i a l e l e m e n t s , and y e t r e t a i n i n g enough e m o t i o n a l f o r c e t o s a t i s f y man's c r a v i n g f o r a m o r a l and i n t e l l i g i b l e u n i v e r s e . That i t a c t u a l l y d i d c o n s t i t u t e s u c h a s u b s t i t u t e r e l i g i o n i s shown by t h e f a c t t h a t the poets, who h a r b o r e d t h i s con-c e p t i o n were a l m o s t i n v a r i a b l y n o t " f u n d a m e n t a l i s t s " , and by t h e f a c t , r o u g h l y t r u e i n a g e n e r a l s u r v e y , t h a t t h e i r e n t h u s i a s m f o r n a t u r e was i n a l m o s t i n v e r s e r a t i o ^ t o the h o l d , o f C h r i s t i a n dogma upon t h e m . 1 3 B a u d e l a i r e ' s r e v o l t a g a i n s t N a t u r e was t h e n a g a i n s t the N e o - C l a s s i c a l and s u b s e q u e n t l y Romantic c o n c e p t i o n s of t h a t term. 21 U n l i k e them, he d i d n o t see i n N a t u r e the i d e a l o f b e a u t y o r o f goodness. F o r B a u d e l a i r e , t h e h o r r o r o f r e a l i t y was c o n t a i n e d i n N a t u r e , and t h e i d e a l b e l o n g e d t o t h e d i s t a n t r e a l m o f s p i r i t . What can be so c o n f u s i n g about t h i s r e v o l t i s t h a t t h e r e a r e two ty p e s o f R o m a n t i c i s m coming i n t o c o n f l i c t . From what I have s a i d o f the f i r s t and comprehensive Romantic a e s t h e t i c o f F. S c h l e g e l , i t i s p l a i n t h a t B a u d e l a i r e a c c o r d s w i t h t h a t c o n c e p t i o n . The i d e a l i s i m p l i c i t i n Romantic a r t , t h e p e r f e c t i o n o f f o r m and c o n t e n t i s i t s g o a l , b u t t h e s e b e l o n g t o the " G e i s t " o r s p i r i t , 14 and can o n l y be r e a l i z e d i n t h e s p i r i t , n o t i n t h e l e t t e r . B a u d e l a i r e s e i z e d on the s p i r i t o f R o m a n t i c i s m and, t h u s , on the s p i r i t o f C h r i s t i a n i t y , and f o u n d n o t goodness i n N a t u r e , b u t e v i l . To the e v i l i n N a t u r e , most o f t h e E n g l i s h R o m a n t i c s , we w i l l n o t e , d i d n o t f i n d an answer. B a u d e l a i r e was perhaps the f i r s t t o see the c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n R o m a n t i c i s m so c l e a r l y ; t o h i m N a t u r e c o u l d n o t be r e c o n c i l e d w i t h goodness and i d e a l i t y u n l e s s one were b l i n d t o t h e r e a l i t y of e v i l . " S i t o u t e f o i s nous consentons a en r e f e r e r simplement au f a i t , v i s i b l e a 1 ' e x p e r i e n c e de t o u s l e s ages e t a l a G a z e t t e des T r i b u n a u x , " he w r o t e , nous v e r r o n s que l a n a t u r e n ' e n s e i g n e r i e n , ou p r e s q u e r i e n , c ' e s t - a - d i r e q u ' e l l e c o n t r a i n t l'homme a d o r m i r , a b o i r e , a manger, e t a se g a r a n t i r , t a n t b i e n que m a l , c o n t r e l e s h o s t i l i t e s de 1'atmosphere. C'est e l l e a u s s i q u i pousse l'homme a t u e r son s e m b l a b l e , a l e manger, a l e s e q u e s t r e r , a l e t o r t u r e r ; c a r , s i t o t que nous s o r f o n s de l ' o r d r e des n e c e s s i - t e s e t des b e s o i n s pour e n t r e r dans c e l u i du l u x e e t des p l a i s i r s , nous voyons que l a n a t u r e ne peut c o n s e i l l e r que l e c r i m e . . . . C'est l a p h i l o s o p h i e ( j e p a r l e de l a b o n n e ) , c ' e s t l a r e l i g i o n q u i nous ordonnent de n o u r r i r des p a r e n t s p a u v r e s e t i n f i r m e s . L a n a t u r e ( q u i n ' e s t pas a u t r e chose que l a v o i x de n o t r e i n t e r e t ) nous commande de l e s assommer. 22 . . . Le mal se f a i t sans e f f o r t , n a t u r e l l e m e n t , p a r f a t a l i t e ; l e b i e n e s t t o u j o u r s l e p r o d u i t d' un a r t . 1 5 The a n t i - n a t u r a l , t h e i d e a l o f s p i r i t u a l i t y , became th e h a l l m a r k o f B a u d e l a i r e ' s a r t , and t h e r e v o l t a g a i n s t N a t u r e a p e r f e c t l y l o g i c a l C h r i s t i a n - R o m a n t i c answer t o the p r o b l e m o f e v i l w h i c h the E n l i g h t e n m e n t and e a r l y Romantic c u l t o f N a t u r e - w o r s h i p i g n o r e d . * • What were the a r t i s t i c " i m p l i c a t i o n s and r e s u l t s of Baud-e l a i r e ' s r e v o l t a g a i n s t N a t u r e ? T h i s i s a q u e s t i o n we can answer by a l o o k at h i s p o e t r y and c r i t i c i s m ; t h e r e we w i l l f i n d r e v e a l e d a new f e a t u r e of Romantic a r t never, b e f o r e e x p l o r e d : t h e e x a l t a -t i o n o f a r t i f i c i a l i t y . T h e o p h i l e G a u t i e r , the "poete i m p e c c a b l e " of t h e F l e u r s du M a l d e d i c a t i o n page, speaks o f " l e gout p a r t i c u l i e r du p o e t e p o u r 1' a r t i f i c i e l " , and adds "Tout ce q u i e ' l o i g n a i t l'homme e t s u r t o u t l a femme de l ' e t a t de n a t u r e l u i p a r a i s s a i t une i n v e n t i o n h e u r e u s e . " 1 d T h i s i s perhaps n o t too s u r p r i s i n g when we remember t h a t S c h l e g e l had d e s i g n a t e d t h e modern age as an " a r t i f i c i a l " one i n c o n t r a s t t o t h e " n a t u r a l " epochs o f a n t i q u i t y and had d e c l a r e d t h a t modern p o e t r y must be " t h e most a r t i f i c i a l o f a l l works o f a r t " . 1 7 B a u d e l a i r e ' s emphasis on c o n s c i o u s a p p l i c a t i o n and on the e l i m i n a t i o n o f chance i n a r t has always been c o n s i d e r e d by c r i t i c s a mark o f h i s " c l a s s i c i s m " and, t h e r e f o r e , p r o o f o f an a n t i - R o m a n t i c t e n d e n c y . C a m i l l e M a u c l a i r i n Le Genie de B a u d e l a i r e compares our p o e t t o R a c i n e and speaks o f " l a l a n g u e c l a s s i q u e , s t r i c t e , t r e s p i c t u r a l e , des F l e u r s  du M a l " : Les p i e c e s l e p l u s h a r d i e s , l e s p l u s s p e c i a l e m e n t e m p r e i n t e s de p e r v e r s i t e m o rbide au jugement des 23 detracteurs de l'immortalisme b a u d e l a i r i e n n e , demeurent superbement c l a s s i q u e s par 1'expression, et ce c l a s s i c i s m e , " l o i n d'etre d i s p a r a t e avec l e s u j e t , l u i confere une s o r t e de purete hautaine.18 Taking a s i m i l a r p o s i t i o n i s F. L. Doudet i n Charles Baudelaire et L ' e s p r i t C l a s s i q u e : Sa condamnation des systemes n'empeche pas q u ' i l a f f e c t i o n n e l e s r e g i e s , et q u ' i l l e s juge n e c e s s a i r e s , indispensables a l'a ' r t . A i l l e u r s , i l s'avou convaincu — et jusqu' a 1'evidence — que "rhetoriques et prosodies ne sont pas des t y r a n n i e s " mais que c'est " o r g a n i s a t i o n meme de l ' e t r e s p i r i t u e l " qui en a, au cours des'.ages, reclame l ' i n v e n t i o n . "Jamais, a f f i r m e - t - i l , e l l e s n'ont empeche l ' o r i g -i n a l i t e de se produire distinctement. Le c o n t r a i r e , a s a v o i r q u ' e l l e s ont aide l ' e c l o s i o n de 1 ' o r i g i n a l i t e , s e r a i t i n f i n i m e n t plus v r a i . - 9 B a f f l e d by Baudelaire's i n c o n s i s t e n c y and vexing d u a l i t y , a c r i t i c such as Henri Peyre has simply contented h i m s e l f to l i s t a l l the features wherein the poet i s Romantic and those wherein he i s C l a s s i c . Another, Gustave Kahn, has taken the complete reverse p o s i t i o n and declared Baudelaire to have been " p e r f e c t l y i n d i f f e r e n t " to the C l a s s i c s : "Baudelaire p e r f e c t i o n n e l a l i g n e du romantisme q u ' i l 21 augmente d'un vaste t e r r o i r . I I n|est nullement c l a s s i q u e . " Many more examples of the c r i t i c a l controversy surrounding t h i s matter could be c i t e d , but I w i l l content myself to conclude w i t h P a u l Valery's examination of Baudelaire's c l a s s i c i s m and what i t e n t a i l s . " I I y a une i n f i n i t e des manieres de d e f i n i r , " he w r i t e s , ou de c r o i r e d e f i n i r l e c l a s s i q u e . Nous adopterons aujourd'hui c e l l e - c i : c l a s s i q u e est l ' e c r i v a i n q u i porte un c r i t i q u e en soi-meme, et q u i l ' a s s o c i e intimement a ses travaux. Tout c l a s s i c i s m e suppose un romantisme a n t e r i e u r . Tous l e s avantages que l'on a t t r i b u e , toutes l e s o b j e c t i o n s que l'on f a i t a un a r t " c l a s s i q u e " sont r e l a t i f s a cet axiome. L'essence du c l a s s i c i s m e est de v e n i r apres. La purete est l e r e s u l t a t d'operations i n f i n i e s sur 24 l e langage, et l e s o i n - d e l a forme n ' e s t autre chose que l a r e o r g a n i s a t i o n meditee des moyens 1'express ion . Le c l a s s i q u e i m p l i q u e done des actes v o l o n t a i r e s et r e f l e c h i s q u i m o d i f i e n t une p r o d u c t i o n " n a t u r e l l e " , conformement a une concept ion c l a i r e e t r a t i o n e l l e de l'homme et de l ' a r t . 2 2 I b e l i e v e i t i s i n a c c u r a t e to c o n s i d e r B a u d e l a i r e ' s s c rupulous a t t e n t i o n to form as a mark of c l a s s i c i s m or P a r n a s s i a n -ism — i f that term i s used to i n d i c a t e f e a t u r e s o p p o s i t e to or i r r e c o n c i l a b l e w i t h Romantic ism. As we have seen, S c h l e g e l ' s Romantic a e s t h e t i c s t r i c t l y f o r m u l a t e d an a r t tha t would r e t a i n the p e r f e c t i o n of form a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c l a s s i c i s m but tha t would have an i n f i n i t e or s p i r i t u a l content . I t t h e r e f o r e seems to have been a l o n g - s t a n d i n g m i s c o n c e p t i o n of c r i t i c s to c o n s i d e r Romantic ism as e x p r e s s l y e x c l u d i n g s o - c a l l e d " c l a s s i c a l " e lements . (This m i s c o n -c e p t i o n was, I t h i n k , not one of the l e a s t about Romanticism h e l d by T. S. E l i o t . ) V i c t o r Klemperer makes a good p o i n t i n regard to t h i s problem: Denn das Reden von der " F o r m l o s i g k e i t " der Romantiker mu£ genauso i n die I r r e f u h r e n , wie das Reden von der A u s s c h l i e ^ l i ^ h k e i t i b i h r e s F i i h l e n s . S i e f u h l e n n i c h t n u r , sondern s i e denken auch; und was s i e f u h l e n und denken, formen s i e auch ^ - sonst kamen k e i n e Kunstwerke zustande. Das i s t e ine S e l b -s t v e r s t a n d l i c h k e i t — aber e ine von denen, auf d ie n a c h d r u c k l i c h hingewiesen werden mu|9, w e i l gegen s i e gesundigt w i r d . N i c h t formlos i s t der ^3 Romantiker , sondern er hat s e i n e n eigenen Ausdruck . P a u l V a l e r y ' s d e f i n i t i o n of a c l a s s i c i s t as "one who c a r r i e s a c r i t i c w i t h i n h i m s e l f " can c e r t a i n l y be a p p l i e d to the t r u e Romantic ; but we have become so accustomed to t h i n k i n g of the l a t t e r as one t o t a l l y unmindful of form and so w i l d l y o v e r f l o w i n g w i t h p a s s i o n — and those not the b e s t — that we have made a very s e r i o u s and f a l s e d i s t i n c t i o n between these two t y p e s . D o u b t l e s s , many Romantic a r t i s t s have them-s e l v e s c o n t r i b u t e d to s t r e n g t h e n i n g t h i s misconcept ion so that when a 25 poet who mastered the r i g o r s of form d i d come a long he was i n -s t a n t l y h a i l e d as the " f i r s t counter -Romant ic " and taken i n t o the bosom of the s e l f - s t y l e d c l a s s i c i s t s . H o p e f u l l y , t h i s e r r o r w i l l soon be c l e a r e d up and c r i t i c i s m w i l l cease to c o n s i d e r Romantic a r t as cont rary to the C l a s s i c a l p e r f e c t i o n of form. This b r i n g s up the i n t e r e s t i n g q u e s t i o n whether any a r t i s t can ever be a c l a s s i c i s t i n the modern age, but I w i l l postpone comment upon t h i s u n t i l l a t e r . Another m a n i f e s t a t i o n of B a u d e l a i r e ' s a r t i f i c i a l i t y (meaning conscious or s p i r i t u a l c o n t r o l of matter) a r i s i n g from the r e v o l t a g a i n s t Nature i s i n the realm of l i f e . Here we have the " d a n d y " , the " c i t o y e n s p i r i t u e l de l ' u n i v e r s " , the "homme q u i comprend l e monde e t l e s r a i s o n s myster ieuses et l e g i t i m e s de tous 24 ses usages" . B a u d e l a i r e ' s concept ion of the dandy a r i s e s out of a sense , an i n t u i t i o n , of the decadence of the modern w o r l d , of the new s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n of humanity . I f we t h i n k of the m i d - n i n e t e e n t h century and i t s p o s i t i v i s t , m a t e r i a l i s t t r e n d , the r a p i d i n d u s t r i a l -i z a t i o n , the new f a i t h i n s c i e n c e and progress to h e r a l d i n a Golden Age, then we r e a l i z e that the b u c o l i c i s m of the f i r s t - w a v e Romantics was no l o n g e r p o s s i b l e f o r a B a u d e l a i r e , j u s t as i t became i n c r e a s -i n g l y i m p o s s i b l e f o r h i s E n g l i s h c o u n t e r p a r t s . The new man was t r u l y b r e a k i n g out of the p a r o c h i a l i s m and p r o v i n c i a l i s m of a r u r a l s o c i e t y and would have to become a " u n i v e r s a l c i t i z e n " . W r i t e s Gustave Kahn: B a u d e l a i r e , en e f f e t , se separe et se d i s t i n g u e du Romantisme par une recherche v o l o n t a i r e , a b s o l u e , i n t r a n s i g e a n t e , du modernisme. Ce q u ' i l a r e s o l u de p e i n d r e , c ' e s t non seulement l'homme moderne, 26 mais l'homme des grandes v i l l e s e l o i g n e de tout bucolisme, p r i s par de soucis de v i e angoissants, l'homme des f o u l e s ; mais cet homme des f o u l e s , c'est dans sa conscience et sa me n t a l i t e q u ' i l l e veut etuder.25 This was the beginning of the era of the Massenmensch, and f o r t h i s reason I do not agree f u l l y w i t h M. Peckham's a n a l y s i s of the dandy as an a f f r o n t to the a r i s t o c r a c y . . . . The r o l e of the highest s t a t u s i n European s o c i e t y i s that of the a r i s t o c r a t i c gentleman of l e i s u r e . By w i l l f u l l y p l a y i n g t h i s r o l e b e t t e r than those born and. t r a i n e d to i t , the Dandy reveals the p o i n t l e s s n e s s of the s o c i a l l y adapted. He makes a mode of l i f e designed to symbolize s o c i a l s t a t us i n t o a work of a r t designed to symbolize nothing at a l l , or nothing that s o c i e t y values . . . . This was the time of the break-down of s o c i a l c l a s s e s , of the l o s s of power of the a r i s t o c r a c y , and of the homogenization of humanity. Rather than being an " a n t i - r o l e " as M. Peckham sees i t , I would say the dandy i s a very p o s i t i v e r o l e to assume i n a s o c i e t y that i s becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y f a c e l e s s and c o l o r l e s s . I t i s j u s t because the a r i s t o c r a c y i s v i r t u a l l y n o n - e x i s t e n t , because the pageantry of the past has departed, that the dandy must take i t s place. The dandy i s a p r o t e s t against s o c i e t y ' s power to swallow up the i n d i v i d u a l and to render him v o i c e l e s s , f a c e l e s s , and powerless. I t i s the a s s e r t i o n of the uniqueness of the human s p i r i t i n an age of democratic tend-endy toward c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n . Baudelaire's own remarks on the dandy. would support t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n : Le dandysme apparait s u r t o u t aux epoques t r a n s i t o x r e s ou l a democratie n'est pas encore t o u t - p u i s s a n t e ; ou 1 ' a r i s t o c r a t i e n'est que p a r t i e l l e m e n t chancelante et a v a l i e . . . '. Le dandysme est l e d e r n i e r e c l a t d'heroisme dans l e s decadences . . . .27 That l a s t l i n e i s a very t e l l i n g one — "the l a s t f l a s h of heroism". 27 The dandy i s the man who r e v o l t s a g a i n s t N a t u r e , a l l t h a t tends to reduce the i n d i v i d u a l to a norm, and who " r e p r e s e n t s a l l that i s best i n human p r i d e , the need — too r a r e among those of today — 2 8 to combat and to d e t r a c t from t r i v i a l i t y . " Because the environment of the modern a r t i s t i s the c i t y and not the c o u n t r y , e x t e r n a l nature i t s e l f i s n o t i c a b l y absent from B a u d e l a i r e ' s p o e t r y . The dandy i s p r i m a r i l y the man of the l a r g e , i m p e r s o n a l , modern m e t r o p o l i s which c o u l d be London, New Y o r k , or Rome, as w e l l as P a r i s . - A c c o r d i n g l y , we f i n d e x t e r n a l nature appear ing o n l y as a r e f l e c t i o n of the p o e t ' s mood which i s g e n e r a l l y one of d e p r e s s i o n , d e s p a i r , or s p l e e n . Nature i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h death , and the s p i r i t with"' l i f e ; b u t , u n f o r t u n a t e l y , the realm of the s p i r i t i s u s u a l l y f a r - o f f , , e i t h e r i n the i d e a l which i s never r e a l i z e d save i n i m a g i n a t i o n or i n an e x o t i c c l i m e . Nature becomes a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the dreary and c o r r u p t l i f e of the c i t y or w i t h the f a t a l laws of time and space t h a t i m p r i s o n man i n h i s unhappy c o n d i t i o n w i t h o u t hope of escape. Barbara Meyer i n h e r e x t e n s i v e d o c t o r a l study of the f e e l i n g f o r nature i n the French l y r i c of the e a r l y t w e n t i e t h century says of B a u d e l a i r e t h a t he " a v o i d e d e v e r y t h i n g connected w i t h a s e n t i m e n t a l na ture - f e e l i n g " and "saw i n Nature an enemy who of i t s e l f seeks no empathy w i t h the human , ..29 s o u l . Sonnenuntergang, Nachthimmel, und das Meer bee indrucken i h n v o r a l l e m durch d ie zauberhaf ten L i c h t - u n d Farb - wirkt ingen. E r hat demnach vom M a l e r i s c h e n h e r , a l s o aus einem k i i n s t l e r i s c h  a s t h e t i s c h e n Standpunkt h e r a u s , Zugang z u r N a t u r e . Die L a n d s c h a f t e n , d i e B a u d e l a i r e h e r a u f -beschwort , s i n d entweder ode, v e g e t a t i o n s l o s 28 und l e b e n s f e i n d l i c h oder von beriickender phantas-ms ch u n w i r k l i c h e r Schonheit, wie aus einem Opiumtraum entstiegen.30 The p r i n c i p a l image p a t t e r n connected w i t h e x t e r n a l nature that I would l i k e to emphasize because of i t s enormously t e l l i n g character i s coldness or frozenness. E x t e r n a l nature has come under an i n f e r n a l curse; i t has been c r u e l l y s t e r i l i z e d by the i c y hand of death. To give but a few examples from Les Fl e u r s  du Mai: "De Profundis Clamavi" opens w i t h a cry of despair f o r p i t y from an u n s p e c i f i e d " T o i " , presumably God or perhaps h i s m i s t r e s s . He has plunged i n an abyss where there i s no warmth, only i c y c o l d -ness. Un s o l e i l sans chaleur plane au-dessus s i x mois, Et l e s s i x autres mois l a n u i t couvre l a t e r r e ; C'est un pays plus nu que l a t e r r e p o l a i r e ; — N i betes, n i ruisseaux, n i verdure, n i b o i s ! Or i l n'est pas d'horreur au monde qui surpasse La f r o i d e cruante de ce s o l e i l de glace Et cette immense n u i t semblable au vi e u x Chaos; The image of the i c y sun returns again i n "Chant d'Automne" and i s combined w i t h the sense of approaching w i n t e r or death. The mood of the poem reaches a t e r r i f y i n g climax as the approaching steps of winter/death are heard by the poet coming e v e r - c l o s e r l i k e " f u n e r a l shocks". In the l a s t stanza, he f e e l s h i m s e l f already-n a i l e d i n t o a k i n d of c o f f i n . B i e n t o t nous plongerons dans l e s f r o i d e s tenebres; Adieu, v i v e c l a r t e de nos etes trop courts! J'entends deja tomber avec des chocs funebres Le b o i s r e t e n t i s s a n t sur l e pave des cours. Tout l ' h i v e r va r e n t r e r dans mon e'tre: c o l e r e , Haine, f r i s s o n s , h o r r e u r , labeur dur et f o r c e , E t , comme l e s o l e i l dans son enfer p o l a i r e , Mon coeur ne ser a plus qu'un b l o c rouge et glace. 29 J'ecoute en f r e m i s s a n t chaque buche q u i tombe; L ' e c h a f a u d qu'on b a * t i t n'a pas d'echo p l u s s o u r d . Mon e s p r i t e s t p a r e i l a l a t o u r q u i succombe Sous l e s coups du b e l i e r i n f a t i g a b l e e t l o u r d . I I me semble, b e r c e p a r ce choc monotone, Qu'on c l o u e en grande h a t e un c e r c u e i l q u e l q u e p a r t , P o u r q u i ? — C ' e t a i t h i e r l ' e t e ; v o i c i l'automne! Ce b r u i t m y s t e r i e u x Sonne comme un d e p a r t . The sun a l s o appears a s s o c i a t e d w i t h b l o o d — a n o t h e r image o f v i o l e n t d e a t h — i n "Harmonie du S o i r " ("Le s o l e i l s ' e s t noye dans son sang q u i se f i g e " ) . I n "Un Fantome", he speaks o f t h e "caves o f f a t h o m l e s s sadness/Where d e s t i n y has a l r e a d y r e l e g a t e d me", and "Ou j a m a i s n ' e n t r e un r a y o n r o s e e t g a i " . " L a C l o c h e F e l e e " g i v e s us t h e image o f "Au b o r d d'un l a c de san g " , and " L a F o n t a i n e de Sang" d e s c r i b e s the b l o o d o f the p o e t ' s h e a r t " f l o w i n g i n waves/ L i k e a f o u n t a i n o f r h y t h m i c s o b s " . . . " c o l o r i n g n a t u r e r e d " . When n a t u r e i s n o t c o v e r e d w i t h i c e o r b l o o d , i t i s r a i n i n g . Two o f the most o u t s t a n d i n g poems d e s c r i b i n g the d e p r e s s i o n b r o u g h t on by the r a i n a r e " S p l e e n L X X V I I " w h i c h b e g i n s w i t h t h e i r o n i c l i n e : "Je s u i s comme l e r o i d'un pays p l u v i e u x " , and " S p l e e n L X X V I I I " w h i c h i s one o f h i s b e s t poems and opens w i t h : "Quand l e c i e l bas e t l o u r d pese comme un c o u v e r c l e " . The o t h e r p r i n c i p a l n a t u r e image o f Les  F l e u r s . du M a i i s , o f c o u r s e , t h e s e a . Here t o o , we d e t e c t always t h e s a d , m e l a n c h o l y sense o f s u f f e r i n g h u m a n i t y t h a t reminds me, p e r -s o n a l l y , o f Mathew A r n o l d and o f T. S. E l i o t i n "The Dry S a l v a g e s " . The l a s t s t a n z a o f "Les P h a r e s " s e t s the tone f o r the o t h e r . a p p e a r a n c e s o f the image. Car c ' e s t v r a i m e n t , S e i g n e u r , l e m e i l l e u r temoinage Que nous p u i s s i o n s donner de n o t r e d i g n i t e Que c e t a r d e n t s a n g l o t q u i r o u l e d'age en age E t v i e n t m o u r i r au b o r d de y o t r e e t e r n i t e ! 30 In "L'Homme et l a Mer", Baudelaire contemplates the sea as "man's m i r r o r " , r e f l e c t i n g the " e t e r n a l s t r u g g l e s " , " l e carnage et l a mort", of the " s i e c l e s innombrabies". And "Moesta et Errabunda" contrasts the " n o i r ocean de l'immonde c i t e " w i t h "un autre ocean ou l a splendeur e c l a t e " . I t i s to t h i s imaginary sea that the poet asks to be tran s p o r t e d , to " t h i s sea, the vast sea, [ t h a t ] consoles our labours". From t h i s b r i e f survey of the appearance of e x t e r n a l nature i n Baudelaire's poems, we can see that the p o e t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n was not only the outcome of h i s o r i g i n a l r e v o l t against the Nature p r i n c i p l e but a l s o of the u r b a n i z a t i o n and s p i r -i t u a l s u f f e r i n g of modern man. E x t e r n a l nature becomes the r e f l e c t i o n of h i s i n n e r despair and spleen. One f u r t h e r and f i n a l consequence of Baudelaire's r e v o l t against Nature was the denouncement of woman. This phenomenon i s not too d i f f i c u l t to understand when we pause to consider t h a t " l a femme" has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the n a t u r e - p r i n c i p l e and man w i t h the s p i r i t . That t h i s p o l a r i z a t i o n leads to unfortun-ate consequences i n periods of nature antipathy or worship i s evident from h i s t o r y , and only proves of what fundamental importance a c o r r e c t concept of Nature i s . Woman has had to s u f f e r both the extremes of i d o l i z a t i o n and misogyny, and Baudelaire's m i s t r e s s was no exception. That i t i s not woman h e r s e l f that he r e a l l y despises but ra t h e r what she represents — the N a t u r e - p r i n c i p l e — i s made c l e a r i n s e v e r a l contexts. In Mon Coeur Mis' a Nu, Baudelaire w r i t e s : La femme est l e c o n t r a i r e du dandy. Done e l l e d o i t f a i r horreur. La femme a faim et e l l e veut manger; s o i f , e t e l l e veut b o i r e . 31 E l l e e s t en r u t e t e l l e v e u t e e t r e f o u t u e . Le b e a u me'rite! L a femme e s t n a t u r e l i e , c ' e s t - a - d i r e abominable. A u s s i e s t - e l l e t o u j o u r s v u l g a i r e , c ' e s t - a - d i r e l e c o n t r a i r e du dandy.31 H i s p r o s e poems, Le S p l e e n du P a r i s , and Les F l e u r s du M a l p r o v i d e a r e p e r t o i r e o f images w h i c h s e r v e t o emphasize the woman-nature a s s o c i a t i o n . A l w a y s , t h e s e a r e the images o f extreme c o l d — w i n t e r i c e , snow, o f i n f l e x i b l e h a r d n e s s — m i n e r a l s and m e t a l s , of i n -d i f f e r e n c e o r i n s e n s i t i v i t y , and o f s t e r i l i t y — d e s e r t s o r i n f e r n o s Some o f woman's more s t r i k i n g e p i t h e t s a r e : "o b e t e i m p l a c a b l e e t c r u e l l e " , "Femme impu r e " , "Machine a v e u g l e e t s o u r d e " , " v i i a n i m a l " , " b i z a r r e d e i t e " , "demon sans p i t i e " , " l a v a m p i r e " , " i g n o r a n t e " , and "_me t o u j o u r s r a v i e " . Venus i s always r e p r e s e n t e d as b e i n g h a r d and c o l d t o the p o e t - v i c t i m and, i n s t e a d o f a goddess o f l o v e , ". . . es 32 une des formes s e d u i s a n t e s du D i a b l e " . The prose-poem "Le Fou e t l a Venus" g i v e s us a b e t t e r d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h i s e m o t i o n a l complex. Amid a scene o f u n i v e r s a l r e j o i c i n g , the p o e t p e r c e i v e s an a f f l i c t e d b e i n g , a f o o l , at t h e f e e t o f a c o l l o s a l Venus. H i s eyes a r e l i f t e d p l e a d i n g l y t o w a r d h e r , b e g g i n g f o r p i t y and mercy f o r " t h e l e a s t and most s o l i t a r y o f b e i n g s " : "Ah! Deesse! ayez p i t i e " de ma t r i s t e s s e e t de mon d e l i r e ! " W i t h one f i n a l s e n t e n c e B a u d e l a i r e c h a r a c t e r i z e s what t o him i s t h e e s s e n c e n o t o n l y o f Venus b u t o f N a t u r e and o f woman as w e l l . M a i s l ' i m p l a c a b l e Venus r e g a r d e au l o i n j e ne s a i s q u o i avec ses yeux de marbre.33 We may sometimes l a u g h a t B a u d e l a i r e ' s e x t r e m i s t v i e w s , e s p e c i a l l y when th e above q u o t a t i o n s a r e s e t i n c o n t r a s t t o t h e f o l -l o w i n g i d e a l i z a t i o n t h a t a l m o s t — b u t n o t q u i t e — r i n g s t r u e . 32 S p e a k i n g o f woman a g a i n , b u t u s i n g the pronoun " i t " f o r the more p e r s o n a l "she", he w r i t e s : . . . C'est p l u t o t une d i v i n i t e , un a s t r e , q u i p r e s i d e a t o u t e s l e s c o n c e p t i o n s du c e r v e a u male . . . . C'est une espece d ' i d o l e , s t u p i d e p e u t - e t r e , mais e b l o u i s s a n t e , e n c h a n t e r e s s e , q u i t i e n t l e s d e s t i n e e s e t l e s v o l o n t e s . suspendues a ses r e g a r d s . 3 4 Rene V a l e y n e s i n h i s l i t t l e book B a u d e l a i r e e t l e s Femmes documents t h e s e two c o n t r a r y o p i n i o n s o f r e v u l s i o n ' , and i d o l i z a t i o n and con-c l u d e s t h a t "Envoute' p a r s a p r e m i e r e p a s s i o n , B a u d e l a i r e a e t e i n -c a p a b l e de s a t i s f a i r e a c e l l e s q u ' i l a pu e p r o u v e r p a r l a s u i t e . L a s e u l e femme q u ' i l a i t v r a i m e n t aimee a ete' s a mere." 3"' True as t h a t may be, I do n o t b e l i e v e i t e x p l a i n s h i s a t t i t u d e t o woman; r a t h e r , i t seems t o me t o be t h e l o g i c a l outcome o f h i s r e v o l t a g a i n s t N a t u r e . We have seen i n t h i s c h a p t e r how B a u d e l a i r e ' s r e v o l t l e d — symbol-i c a l l y — t o t h e death o f N a t u r e . I r o n i c a l l y , God was v e r y much a l i v e t o h i m ! E x t e r n a l n a t u r e and woman a r e b o t h i n c l u d e d i n t h e i d e a l o r g e n e r a l concept o f N a t u r e and t h e r e f o r e must s u f f e r t h e consequences o f w h a t e v e r a t t i t u d e o r o r i e n t a t i o n man has toward t h a t p r i n c i p l e . Opposed t o t h e N e o - C l a s s i c a l and e a r l y Romantic c o n c e p t i o n o f N a t u r e , w h i c h we have a l r e a d y l o o k e d a t , B a u d e l a i r e was l e d t o r e j e c t N a t u r e a l t o g e t h e r and t o make i t t h e d e p o s i t o r y o f the p r i n c -i p l e o f E v i l , t h a t p e r e n n i a l bugbear t h a t no one knows j u s t what t o do w i t h o r where t o p l a c e . I n the n e x t c h a p t e r we s h a l l see how B a u d e l a i r e d i d n o t s i m p l y remain i n a p o s i t i o n o f i d l e r e v o l t b u t how he s e t about t o t r a n s f o r m N a t u r e . Footnotes Chapter I I 1. F . S c h l e g e l , " B l u t e n s t a u b , " K . A . , p . 164. 2. See P a u l C. J . Bouget, E s s a i s de p s y c h o l o g i e corttemporaine, ( P a r i s : P l o n - N o u r r i t , et a l . - , 1908); and Rene L a f o r g u e , L ' e c h e c de B a u d e l a i r e : e s s a l p s y c h a n a l y t i q u e s u r l a neVrose de Char les B a u d e l a i r e , (Geneve: E d i t i o n s du M o n t - B l a n c , 1964). 3. See h i s l e t t e r s to h i s b r o t h e r and p a r e n t s . B a u d e l a i r e , L e t t e r s  from h i s Y o u t h , t r a n s , by Simona M o r i n i and F r e d e r i c Tuten (New Y o r k : Doubleday & C o . , I n c . , 1970). 4. Joseph Melancon, Le S p i r i t u a l i s m e de B a u d e l a i r e ( M o n t r e a l : F i d e s , 196 7)* p . 111. 5. B a u d e l a i r e , "Les F l e u r s du M a l , " Oeuvres, p . 86. A l l subsequent quat ions w i l l be taken from t h i s s o u r c e . 6. F . W. Leakey, B a u d e l a i r e and Nature (Manchester : Barnes & N o b l e , I n c . , 1969), pp . 10-11. 7. Leakey , p . 103. 8. Char les du Bos , " M e d i t a t i o n s on the L i f e of B a u d e l a i r e , " B a u d e l a i r e : A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l E s s a y s , e d . by H e n r i Peyre (New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1962), p . 48. 9. B a u d e l a i r e , "Le P e i n t r e de l a V i e Moderne , " Oeuvres, p . 911. 10. See Rene C h e v a l , " D i e deutsche Romantik i n F r a n k r e i c h , " Romantik: E i n Z y k l u s Tubinger V o r l e s u n g e n , e d . by Theodor S t e i n b u c h e l (Tubingen':- Ra iner Wunder l i ch V e r l a g , 1948), pp. 258-260; and George Brandes , "The Romantic School i n F r a n c e , " Main Currents i n N i n e t e e n t h Century L i t e r a t u r e , v o l . 5 (London: W i l l i a m Heinemann, 1904), p . 54. 11. Brandes , p . 23. 12. V i c t o r Klemperer , "Romantik und f r a n z o s i s c h e Romant ik , " Begr i f f sbes t immung der Romantik, e d . by Helmut Prang (Darmstadt: W i s s e n s c h a f t l i c h e B u c h g e s e l l s c h a f t , 1968), p . 69. 13. Joseph Warren Beach, The Concept of Nature i n N i n e t e e n t h Century E n g l i s h P o e t r y , 2nd. ed"! (1956; r p t . , New Y o r k : R u s s e l & R u s s e l , 1966), pp . 4-5. 14. F. S c h l e g e l , " G e s p r a c h . . . , " K.A. , p. 353.' 15. B a u d e l a i r e , ' " L e P e i n t r e de l a V i e Moderne," Oeuvres, pp. 911-12. 16. T h e o p h i l e G a u t i e r , p r e f a c e t o Les F l e u r s du M a l ( P a r i s : Colmann-L e v y , n . d . ) , p. 26. 17. S c h l e g e l , " G e s p r a c h , " K.A. , p. '312. • • i / 18. C a m i l l e M a u c l a i r , Le Genie de B a u d e l a i r e ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s de l a N o u v e l l e Revue c r i t i q u e , 1933), p. 88. 19. . F. L. Doudet, C h a r l e s B a u d e l a i r e e t L ' e s p r i t C l a s s i q u e ( P a r i s : de 1 ' i m p r i m e r i e T a n c r e d e , 1 9 4 6 ) , p.. 23. 20. See H e n r i . P e y r e , " B a u d e l a i r e : R o m a n t i c a r i d C l a s s i c a l , " B a u d e l a i r e : A C o l l e c t i o n o f C r i t i c a l E s s a y s , ed. by P e y r e , pp. 20-29. 21. Gustave Kahn, C h a r l e s B a u d e l a i r e : Son Oeuvre ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s de l a N o u v e l l e Revue C r i t i q u e , 1 9 25), p. 9. 22. P a u l Vale'ry, i n t r o d . t o 2nd ed. o f Les F l e u r s du M a l ( P a r i s : A y o t , 1926), p. x v i i . 23. V i c t o r K l e m p e r e r , "Romantik und f r a n z o s i s c h e Romantk," B e g r i f f s b e s t i m m u n g d e r Romantik, p. 67. 24. B a u d e l a i r e , " L a P e i n t r e de l a V i e Moderne," Oe u v r e s , p. 887. 25. Gustave Kahn, p r e f a c e t o Les F l e u r s du M a l ( P a r i s : L i b r a i r i e des B i b l i o p h i l e s , n . d . ) , p. x x i i . 26. Morse Peckham, "The Dilemma o f a C e n t u r y : t h e F o u r Stages o f R o m a n t i c i s m , " The Triumph o f R o m a n t i c i s m , p. 44. 27. B a u d e l a i r e , " L a P e i n t r e . . . , " O e u v r e s , p. 908. 28. B a u d e l a i r e , Oeuvres, p. 908. 29. B a r b a r a Meyer, Das N a t u r g e f u h T i n a e r f r a n z o s i s c h e n L y r i c des  b e g i n n e d n e n XX J a h r h u n d e r t s , PhD d i s s . , L u d w i g - M a x i m i l i a n s -U n i v e r s i t & t zu Munch en (Miinchen, Notovny & S o l l n e r , 1 9 6 5 ) , p. 15. 30. Meyer, p. 15. 31. B a u d e l a i r e , "Mon Coeur M i s a Nu," Oeuvres, p. 1207. 32. B a u d e l a i r e , "Mon C o e u r " Oeuvres, p. 1221. 33. B a u d e l a i r e , "Le S p l e e n de P a r i s , " Oeuvres, p. 289. 34. B a u d e l a i r e , " L a P e i n t r e . . . , " Oeuvres, p. 910. 35. . Rene V a l e y n e s , B a u d e l a i r e e t l e s Femmes ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s N i l s s o n , 1 932), p. 118. T r a n s l a t i o n Chapter I I #12. . . a s [Romanticism] i n i t s f u l l German and E n g l i s h d e v e l -opment became t r a n s m i t t e d to France i t r e c e i v e d there a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c Roman g i f t : form enr ichment . The French see only one t h i n g i n Romantic ism, whether they s tand h o s t i l e toward i t as Germanic b e c l o u d i n g of Roman c l a r i t y or f r i e n d l y as an e s s e n t i a l i n c r e a s e of subs tance ; from t h e i r p o i n t of view they r e g a r d i t r i g h t f u l l y as almost e x c l u s i v e l y a b a t t l e of s u b j e c t i v i s m f o r new forms i n o p p o s i t i o n to the h i g h l y developed c l a s s i c f o r m - r u l e s . Now there i s a l s o answered the q u e s t i o n why they date the Romantic s c h o o l , d e s p i t e Chateaubriand and L a m a r t i n e , only from 1830. True to n a t u r e , they only a l l o w t h e i r t rue Romanticism to b e g i n where V i c t o r Hugo programmat-i c a l l y i n t e r c e d e s f o r a new p o e t i c form and masters the most r e p r e s e n t a t i v e French p o e t i c genre, the drama. I t i s w i t h the Cromwell p r e f a c e as w i t h the Defense of Du B e l l a y . The new form i s more s t r o n g l y emphasized and works more p o w e r f u l l y than the new s p i r i t . #23. For the d i s c u s s i o n r e g a r d i n g the " f o r m l e s s n e s s " of the Romantics must e q u a l l y l e a d i n t o e r r o r as the d i s c u s s i o n about the e x c l u s i v e n e s s of t h e i r f e e l i n g . They not on ly f e e l but they a l s o t h i n k ; and what they f e e l and t h i n k they a l s o form — o t h e r w i s e no.works of a r t would a r i s e . That i s an obvious statement — but one t h a t must be e m p h a t i c a l l y s t r e s s e d because i t i s c o n t i n u a l l y s i n n e d a g a i n s t . Not formless i s . the Romantic , r a t h e r he has h i s own e x p r e s s i o n . #30. S u n - s e t , n i g h t s k y , and the sea impress h im above a l l through the m a g i c a l l i g h t and c o l o r e f f e c t s . He has access to Nature through the p i c t u r e s q u e and from an a r t f u l a e s t h e t i c s t a n d p o i n t . The landscapes tha t B a u d e l a i r e evokes are e i t h e r b l e a k , v e g e t a t i o n l e s s and l i f e - h o s t i l e , or touched w i t h u n r e a l f a n t a s t i c beauty as i f a r i s i n g out of an opium-dream. CHAPTER I I I BAUDELAIRE AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF NATURE Had B a u d e l a i r e remained i n a p o s i t i o n o f o p p o s i t i o n t o N a t u r e w i t h o u t b e i n g a b l e t o put so m e t h i n g i n p l a c e o f what he had r e j e c t e d , he w o u l d have remained as so many V i c t o r i a n s d i d , s p i r i t u a l l y b a n k r u p t knowing n o t where t o t u r n f o r c o m f o r t — s c i e n c e o r r e l i g i o n . B o t h o f t h e s e p r o v e d t o be l e s s s p i r i t u a l homes than d e s p e r a t e r e f u g e s f o r the torme n t e d minds of t h a t p e r i o d . We must be c a r e f u l t o d i s t i n g u i s h between t h e d e s p a i r o f B a u d e l a i r e and t h a t o f the V i c t o r i a n s . B o t h responded t o the "mal de siecle" b u t i n d i f f e r e n t ways. The d e s p a i r o f t h e V i c t o r i a n s was b a s e d on. the l o s s o f t h r e e f a i t h s , i f I may so c a l l them: t h e f a i t h i n o r t h o d o x , r e v e a l e d r e l i g i o n , t he f a i t h i n N a t u r e , and t h e f a i t h i n s c i e n c e . Of c o u r s e , most o f the p e o p l e c l u n g i n v a r i o u s , measure t o one o r more o f t h e s e f a i t h s s t i l l ; t he n i n e t e e n t h ' c e n t u r y was an age o f b e l i e f i n the i n -f i n i t e p r o g r e s s of"man, m o s t l y o f p r o g r e s s a l o n g m a t e r i a l l i n e s . However, t o t h e s e n s i t i v e minds o f t h a t t i m e , even the l a s t f a i t h became i n c r e a s i n g l y shaken as they saw the p r i c e o f p r o g r e s s . There i s no need o r o p p o r t u n i t y h e r e t o e n t e r i n t o t h e V i c t o r i a n dilemma, b u t s u f f i c e i t t o say t h a t t h e i r d e s p a i r i s s u e d from the l o s s o f t h r e e f a i t h s . B a u d e l a i r e ' s d e s p a i r , on the o t h e r , hand, a r o s e o u t o f c o m p l e t e l y d i f f e r e n t c a u s e s , n o t t h a t n i n e -t e e n t h c e n t u r y F r a n c e was so s o c i a l l y d i f f e r e n t f r o m E n g l a n d ; the 34 same b e l i e f i n the p e r f e c t a b i l i t y and bet terment of humanity e x -i s t e d there i n e q u a l measure. But B a u d e l a i r e never l o s t the f i r s t f a i t h — the f a i t h i n God — and the other two f a i t h s — i n Nature and s c i e n c e — he never had to b e g i n w i t h . So whence arose h i s despai r? To answer t h i s q u e s t i o n we must f i r s t look a t B a u d e l a i r e ' s attempt to t r a n s f o r m N a t u r e . R e j e c t i n g an .unpleasant r e a l i t y does not make i t go away; B a u d e l a i r e was too sober to deny t h a t . N e i t h e r would he w i l l f u l l y b l i n d h i m s e l f t o . i t by what he c a l l e d " f a l s e " means, as we s h a l l l a t e r see. No; Nature was the e v e r - p r e s e n t r e a l i t y , the v e s s e l of e v i l , that cou ld not be i g n o r e d but that cou ld be t ransformed. Here l a y the s e c r e t of man's l i b e r a t i o n and freedom — i n the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of. N a t u r e . This was, moreover, the s p i r i t u a l task of the poet and of every man. T h e r e i n l a y " p r o g r e s s " , not i n the a c q u i s i t i o n of new i n v e n t i o n s and gadgets , but i n what he c a l l e d " l a d i m i n u i t i o n des t races du peche o r i g i n e l " . B a u d e l a i r e ' s n o t i o n of p r o g r e s s , needless to s a y , s tood and s t i l l stands i n complete o p p o s i t i o n to the democrat ic tendency of c o l -l e c t i v e improvement. " I I ne peut y a v o i r de progres ( v r a i , c ' e s t -a - d i r e moral) que dans l ' i n d i v i d u et par l ' i n d i v i d u lui-meme. Mais l e monde es t f a i t des gens q u i ne peuvent penser qu 'en commun, en 2 bandes . . . . " Each man had the means to b r i n g about t h a t t r a n s -format ion of Nature w i t h i n h i m s e l f , and that agent was the Imagin-a t i o n , " l a Reine des f a c u l t e s " . S i l e poet e s t , en premier l i e u , un homme n a t u r e l parce q u ' i l est p r i s o n n i e r de son corps — et i l on s o u f f r e t r o p , a c e r t a i n s moments, pour l ' i g n o r e r — i l e s t , en second l i e u , "un homme i m a g i n a t i f " parce q u ' i l comprend " l a morale des choses" . . . 35 E l l e [ 1 ' i m a g i n a t i o n ] e s t un o e i l i n t e r i e u r q u i ne s ' a r r e t e pas a l a s u r f a c e de l a n a t u r e e x t e r i e u r e , comme l ' o e i l n a t u r e l , mais q u i p e n e t r e j u s q u ' a 1 ' i d e a l e t p e r c o i t d i r e c t e m e n t " l a m o r a l e des c h o s e s " . I t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o u n d e r r a t e the immense i m p o r t a n c e and t h e c e n t r a l p l a c e o f the i m a g i n a t i o n i n B a u d e l a i r e ' s a e s t h e t i c . The i n n e r eye t h a t p e n e t r a t e s t o " t h e m o r a l o f t h i n g s " , t o t h e i r s p i r i t u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e , c o u l d t r a n s f o r m "mud i n t o g o l d " . I n o r d e r t o t o u c h upon the b a s i c p o i n t s o f t h a t a e s t h e t i c we must r e v i e w some of B a u d e l a i r e ' s own w r i t i n g s on t h e s u b j e c t w h i c h w i l l then i n d i c a t e t o us how d e e p l y s u f f u s e d w i t h s p i r i t u a l i t y o r i d e a l i s m was h i s a r t . I n t h e S a l o n de 1859>he sums up h i s f o r m u l a o f the t r u e a e s t h e t i c : . . . l a f o r m u l e p r i n c i p a l e , ou e s t , p o u r a i n s i d i r e , c o n t e n u t o u t l e f o r m u l a i r e de l a v e r i t a b l e e s t h e t i q u e , e t q u i p e u t e t r e exprime a i n s i : Tout l ' u n i v e r s v i s i b l e n ' e s t qu'un magasin d 1images e t de s i g n e s a u x q u e l s 1 ' i m a g i n a t i o n donnera une p l a c e e t une v a l e u r r e l a t i v e ; c ' e s t une espece de ^ p a t u r e que 1 ' i m a g i n a t i o n d o i t d i g e r e r e t t r a n s f o r m e r . Thus, t h e d o c t r i n e of " C o p i e z l a n a t u r e " i s the "ennemie de l ' a r t " ^ b ecause i t r e q u i r e s v e r y l i t t l e o r no i m a g i n a t i o n t o do, and a r t p r e s u p p o s e s t h e o r d e r i n g and s h a p i n g o f m a t t e r i n t o a new and p l e a s -i n g form. "Ceux q u i n'ont pas d ' i m a g i n a t i o n c o p i e n t l e d i c t i o n n a i r e . / N / 6 I I en r e s u l t e un t r e s - g r a n d v i c e , l e v i c e de l a b a n a l i t e . . .." A c c o r d i n g l y , the p o e t must become th e s e e r , the " d e c i p h e r e r " , o f t h e d e e p l y h i d d e n s y m b o l i c meanings c o n t a i n e d i n n a t u r e . I n h i s e s s a y on V i c t o r Hugo, B a u d e l a i r e w r i t e s : Or, q u ' e s t - c e qu'un p o e t e ( j e prends l e mot dans son a c c e p t i o n l a p l u s l a r g e ) , s i ce n ' e s t un t r a d u c t u e r , un d e c h i f f r e u r ? Chez l e s e x c e l l e n t s p o e t e s , i l n'y a pas de metaphore, de c o m p a r i s o n , ou d ' e p i t h e t e q u i ne s o i t d'une a d a p t i o n math-ematiquement e x a c t e dans l a c i r c o n s t a n c e a c t u e l l e , 36 parce que ces comparisons, ces metaphores e t c e s e p i t h e t e s sont puisees dans 1' i n e p u i s a b l e fonds de 1'u n i v e r s e l l e a n a l o g i e , e t q u ' e l l e s ne peuvent e t r e puisees a i l l eurs._7 In the same a r t i c l e , he mentions the names of F o u r i e r , Swedenborg, and L a v a t e r , Goethe, B y r o n , and Shakespeare (and Poe seems most c e r t a i n l y t o be i m p l i e d i n the phrase "an exact mathemat ica l adap-t i o n " ) , i n d i c a t i n g h i s sources of i n f l u e n c e . The P l a t o n i c and N e o - P l a t o n i c o r i g i n s of t h i s view of na ture as a storehouse of symbols i n t i m a t i n g a deeper r e a l i t y or i d e a l are e v i d e n t . I t i s e s p e c i a l l y marked i n B a u d e l a i r e ' s famous sonnet , "Correspondances" , which presents the view of nature t ransformed by the i m a g i n a t i o n . •La nature e s t - u n temple ou de v i v a n t s p i l i e r s L a i s s e n t p a r f o i s s o r t i r de confuses p a r o l e s ; L'homme y passe a t r a v e r s des forests de symboles Qui l ' o b s e r v e n t avec des regards f a m i l i e r s . Comme de longs echos q u i de l o i n se confondent Dans une tene'breuse et profonde u n i t e , Vaste comme l a n u i t et comme l a c l a r t e , Les parfums, l e s couleurs et l e s sons se repondent . I I es t des parfums f r a i s comme des c h a i r s d ' e n f a n t s , Doux comme l e s h a u t b o i s , v e r t s comme l e s p r a i r i e s , — Et d ' a u t r e s , corrompus, r i c h e s et t r i o m p h a n t s , Ayant 1'expansion des choses i n f i n i e s , Comme l ' a m b r e , l e muse, l e b e n j o i n et l ' e n c e n s , Qui chantent l e s t r a n s p o r t s de 1'e s p r i t et des sens . Here B a u d e l a i r e has captured the mood of i n f i n i t e expansion and depth ; i t seems that time and space themselves have ceased to e x i s t . There i s on ly the pregnant s i l e n c e of mystery and of a r e v e l a t i o n a t hand but not ye t f u l l y b e h e l d . Man walks through a nature transformed by h i s i m a g i n a t i o n and l i s t e n s to the "unheard mus ic " of the spheres . How b e a u t i f u l l y B a u d e l a i r e expresses the s o l i t a r i n e s s of the human 37 s p i r i t as i t makes i t s way t h r o u g h t h i s i d e a l i z e d n a t u r e , w a i t i n g f o r a "word" t o be spoken t o h i m by the "choses m u e t t e s " — t h e s i l e n t t h i n g s , as he had c a l l e d n a t u r e ' s phenomena i n " E l e v a t i o n " ! But n o t e t h a t the "words" o f n a t u r e are h a r d t o r e c e i v e and h a r d t o u n d e r s t a n d by man; n a t u r e l e t s them e s c a p e , as i t were, and they a r e o b s c u r e . I t i s e x t r e m e l y f a s c i n a t i n g t o n o t e t h a t F. S c h l e g e l had a l r e a d y spoken of suc h a " h i e r o g l y p h i c " i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n o f n a t u r e and had a d v o c a t e d a " s y m b o l i c " o r " i d e a l " v i e w o f i t i n Gesprach Uber d i e P o e s i e and i n Athenaum Fragmente. To quote b u t two v e r y b r i e f examples: Und was i s t j e d e schone M y t h o l o g i e anders a l s e i n h i e r o g l y p h i s c h e r A u s d r u c k der umgebenden N a t u r i n d i e s e r V e r k l a r u n g von F a n t a s i e und L i e b e ? 8 Ehedem wurde u n t e r uns d i e N a t u r , j e t z t w i r d das I d e a l a u s s c h l i e p end g e p r e d i g t . Man vergi0t z u o f t , da/3 d i e s e Dinge i n n i g v e r e i n b a r s i n d , d a ^ i n d e r schonen D a r s t e l l u n g d i e N a t u r i d e a l i s c h und das I d e a l n a t u r l i c h s e i n s o l i . 9 I n B a u d e l a i r e ' s a r t we have the c o m b i n a t i o n o f the i d e a l and o f r e a l i t y . Here we have j u s t w i t n e s s e d the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f r e a l i t y o r o f n a t u r e , b u t t h a t t h e l a t t e r e x i s t s i n i t s own r i g h t i s n e v e r d e n i e d b u t g i v e n a f f i r m a t i o n t h r o u g h o u t Les F l e u r s du M a l . Un-f o r t u n a t e l y , i t i s a n e g a t i v e a f f i r m a t i o n ; t h a t i s , r e a l i t y i s p r e s e n t e d i n i t s f u l l h o r r o r and t e r r o r ; n a t u r e u n t r a n s f o r m e d by s p i r i t a c c o s t s t h e p o e t ' s eye everywhere he l o o k s . What we f i n d i n B a u d e l a i r e i s , I r e p e a t , the co-rpresence o f the i d e a l and r e a l i t y , o f s p i r i t and n a t u r e , b u t n o t t h e i r "harmony". T h i s l a t t e r g o a l was one t h a t F. S c h l e g e l f o r e s a w f o r t h e f u t u r e o f Romantic a r t . 38 Der I d e a l i s m u s i n j e d e r Form mu/& auf e i n o d e r d i e andre A r t aus s i c h h e r a u s g e h n , urn i n s i c h z u r u c k k e h r e n zu konnen, und zu b l e i b e n was e r i s t . Deswegen mu0 und w i r d s i c h aus s einem Scho/3 e i n n e u e r ebenso g r e n z e n l o s e r R e a l i s m u s e r h e b e n ; und d e r I d e a l i s m u s a l s o n i c h t b l o p i n s e i n e r E n t s t e h u n g s a r t e i n B e i s p i e l f u r d i e neue M y t h o l o g i e , s o n d e r n s e l b s t a u f i n d i r e k t e A r t Q u e l l e d e r s e l b e n werden. . . . Auch i c h t r a g e schon l a n g e das I d e a l e i n e s s o l c h e n R e a l i s m u s i n m i r , und wenn es b i s h e r n i c h t z u r M i t t e i l u n g gekommen i s t , so war es n u r , w e i l i c h das Organ dazu noch suche. Doch w e i ^ i c h , d a ^ i c h s n u r i n der P o e s i e f i n d e n k a n n , denn i n G e s t a l t der P h i l o s o p h i e oder gar e i n e s Systems w i r d d e r R e a l i s m u s n i e w i e d e r a u f t r e t e n kSnnen. Und s e l b s t nach e i n e r a l l g e m e i n e n T r a d i t i o n i s t es zu e r w a r t e n da/5 d i e s e r neue R e a l i s m u s , w e i l e r doch i d e a l i s c h e n U r s p r u n g s s e i n , und g l e i c h s a m auf i d e a l i s c h e m Grund und Boden schweben mu(J, a l s P o e s i e e r s c h e i n e n w i r d , d i e j a a u f der Harmonie des I d e e l l e n und R e e l l e n b eruhen so 11.10 The p o s s i b i l i t y o f the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f n a t u r e was a ' new c h a l l e n g e f o r a r t , and o n l y "modern" o r "Romantic" a r t c o u l d be e q u a l t o the t a s k a c c o r d i n g t o B a u d e l a i r e . To h i m , as t o S c h l e g e l , t o speak o f modern a r t was to speak o f Romantic a r t , and we f i n d h i s • t h e o r i e s r e g a r d i n g i t e x p r e s s e d i n t h r e e p r i n c i p a l w r i t i n g s : " L a P e i n t r e de l a V i e Moderne", " L ' A r t P h i l o s o p h i q u e " , and S a l o n de 1846. B a u d e l a i r e e x p r e s s l y s t a t e s t h a t i t s p r i n c i p a l f e a t u r e i s the com-b i n a t i o n o f two e l e m e n t s , " l e t r a n s i t o i r e , l e f u g i t i v , l e c o n t i n g e n t " , and " l ' e t e r n e l e t 1 ' i m m u t a b l e " . 1 1 T h e i r u n i o n p r o d u ces a c u r i o u s and s t r a n g e new e f f e c t , a " s o r c e l l e r i e e v o c a t a i r e " . Qu'est-ce que l ' a r t p o u r s u i v a n t l a c o n c e p t i o n moderne? C'est c r e e r une magie s u g g e s t i v e c o n t e n a n t a l a f o i s 1 ' o b j e c t e t l e s u j e t , l e monde e x t e r i e u r a 1 ' a r t i s t e e t 1 ' a r t i s t e l ui-m_me.l2 R o m a n t i c i s m , he s t a t e s e l s e w h e r e , " i s n o t p r e c i s e l y i n the c h o i c e o f 13 s u b j e c t s n e i t h e r i n t h e e x a c t t r u t h , b u t i n a manner o f f e e l i n g " . Only i t can p r e s e n t "a c o n c e p t i o n a nalogous t o the m o r a l of t h e 39 c e n t u r y " and, t h e r e f o r e , "whoever says Romantic ism, says modern a r t — that i s — i n t i m a c y , s p i r i t u a l i t y , c o l o r , a s p i r a t i o n toward the i n f i n i t e , expressed through a l l the means a v a i l a b l e t o the ar t s " . " ' " 5 The a r t i s t i c d e s i g n , o r i g i n a l l y borrowed from a r c h i t e c -t u r e , that expressed f o r B a u d e l a i r e (and f o r S c h l e g e l 1 0 ) the union of d i v e r s e elements was the arabesque. B a u d e l a i r e c a l l s i t " l e p l u s i d e a l de t o u s " . 1 7 Now t h e . f i n a l r e s u l t of the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of nature s h o u l d be beauty . Here we come to the u l t i m a t e g o a l of a l l of B a u d e l a i r e ' s a r t i s t i c and p r i v a t e endeavors , the summit . to which h i s theory of a r t has been l e a d i n g . I f we w i l l r e c a l l , i n chapter one I m a i n t a i n e d t h a t B a u d e l a i r e ' s r e v o l t a g a i n s t Nature was l a r g e l y occas ioned by h i s i n n e r q u a r r e l w i t h the Enl ightenment t h e o r y ; now, i n h i s concept of b e a u t y , t h i s p o i n t once again comes up. What B a u d e l a i r e em-p h a t i c a l l y m a i n t a i n e d was tha t there e x i s t s no s i n g l e s t a n d a r d of b e a u t y , such as the C l a s s i c s were always c o n s i d e r e d , but many s t a n d a r d s . Beauty i s r e l a t i v e to the age, and each h i s t o r i c a l epoch must f i n d i t s own i d e a l of beauty . Not only d i d t h i s view have f a r - r e a c h i n g i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r a r t , b u t a l s o f o r l i f e . The modern age has been c o n s i d e r e d that of the " a n t i - h e r o " , and we need not e n t e r i n t o the tor tuous c o n v o l u t i o n s of that f i g u r e i n the modern n o v e l and p l a y at p r e s e n t . I f we would even today only l i s t e n to what B a u d e l a i r e has s a i d we, t o o , might f i n d our own 18 i d e a l , our own " h e r o i s m " , and cease to g r o v e l i n the s e l f - p i t y and n i h i l i s m of our present c o n d i t i o n . T r u l y , what we have so f a r l a c k e d i s the genius to p o r t r a y the hero of the present — not an a n t i - h e r o , but a p o s i t i v e f i g u r e who comes to terms w i t h h i s 40 w o r l d and who shapes i t . B a u d e l a i r e ' s t h e o r y o f b e a u t y , so e s s e n t i a l l y and d e e p l y R o m a n t i c , i s so v i t a l t o an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f N a t u r e t h a t i t m e r i t s an u n u s u a l l y l e n g t h y q u e s t i o n . I n " L a P e i n t r e de l a V i e Moderne", he w r i t e s : C'est i c i une b e l l e o c c a s i o n , en v e r i t e ' , p o u r e t a b l i e r une t h e o r i e r a t i o n e l l e e t h i s t o r i q u e du b eau, en o p p o s i t i o n a v e c l a t h e o r i e du beau un i q u e et a b s o l u ; pour m o n t r e r que l e beau e s t t o u j o u r s , i n e v i t a b l e m e n t , d'une c o m p o s i t i o n d o u b l e , b i e n que l ' i m p r e s s i o n q u ' i l p r o d u i t s o i t une; c a r l a d i f f i c u l t e de d i s c e r n e r l e s e l e m e n t s v a r i a b l e s du b eau dans 1 ' u n i t e de l ' i m p r e s s i o n n ' i n f i r m e en r i e n l a n e c e s s i t e de l a v a r i e t e dans s a c o m p o s i t i o n . Le beau e s t f a i t d'un element e t e r n a l , i n v a r i a b l e , dont l a q u a n t i t e " e s t e x c e s s i v e m e n t d i f f i c i l e a d e t e r m i n e r , e t d'un element r e l a t i f , c i r c o n s t a n c i e l , q u i s e r a , s i l ' o n v e u t , t o u r a t o u r on t o u t ensemble, l'ep o q u e , l a mode, l a m o r a l e , l a p a s s i o n . Sans ce s e c o n d e l e m e n t , q u i e s t comme l ' e n v e l o p p e amusante, t i t i l l a n t e , a p e r a t i v e , du d i v i n g a t e a u , l e p r e m i e r e l e ment s e r a i t i n d i g e s t i b l e , i n a p p r e c e a b l e , non adapte e t non a p p r o p r i e a l a n a t u r e humaine.19 The " i d e a l " , he a m u s i n g l y says e l s e w h e r e , " i s n o t t h i s vague t h i n g , t h i s l i m p i d and i m p a l p a b l e dream t h a t f l o a t s on t h e c e i l i n g o f t h e academies; an i d e a l i s i n d i v i d u a l , f a s h i o n e d by the i n d i v i d u a l , r e -c o n s t r u c t e d and r e n d e r e d by the p a i n t - b r u s h and c h i s e l t o t h e s h i n i n g 20 t r u t h o f i t s n a t i v e harmony." H i s own i d e a l of b e a u t y was s t a t e d 2 i n " F u s e e s " and c o n t a i n e d t h e elements of " m e l a n c h o l y " and " m y s t e r y " . From B a u d e l a i r e ' s c o n c e p t of b e a u t y and the i d e a l we can see how c l o s e l y i t r e s e mbles t h e o r i g i n a l R o m antic a e s t h e t i c o f F. S c h l e g e l 22 who a l s o r e v o l t e d a g a i n s t t h e " f a l s e t r e n d " o f N e o - C l a s s i c i s m . Marc E i g e l d i n g e r i n Le P l a t o n i s m e de B a u d e l a i r e p r e s e n t s a v e r y s t r o n g case f o r the i d e a l a b s o l u t i s m o f t h e p o e t . Le s u r n a t u r a l i s m e de B a u d e l a i r e o b j e c t s m a t e r i e l s dans un o r d r e t e l l e s o r t e q u ' i l s r e p r e s e n t e n t t r a n s p o s e l e s s u p e r i e u r , de symboliquement 41 l a r e a l i t e s p i r i t u e l l e dorit i l s p r o c e d e n t . C e t t e t r a n s p o s i t i o n , operee p a r 1 ' i m a g i n a t i o n , n ' e s t p o s s i b l e qu'avec l e concours du s o u v e n i r q u i c o n t i e n t l e sens inne' de l a Beaute". 23 True as t h a t s t a t e m e n t i s , i t n e v e r t h e l e s s does n o t t e l l t h e w h o le t r u t h about B a u d e l a i r e , f o r we have seen t h a t d e s p i t e h i s tendency i m a g i n a t i v e l y t o see t h e " c o r r e s p o n d a n c e s " o f n a t u r a l o b j e c t s w i t h t h e i r i d e a l o r s p i r i t u a l r e a l i t y , he a l s o s t r e s s e d the r e l a t i v i t y o f b e a u t y and o f the i d e a l . We have t h e pa r a d o x t h a t he h i m s e l f so o f t e n p o i n t e d o u t , the d u a l i t y o f t h i n g s — t h e i r e t e r n a l element and t h e i r r e l a t i v e element. He c a l l e d t h i s 2 4 d u a l i t y " t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n o f u n i t y " . The i m a g i n a t i v e complex t h a t began w i t h the r e j e c t i o n o f N a t u r e and t h a t c u l m i n a t e d i n the c r e a t i o n o f a s p i r i t u a l b e a u t y a l l o w e d f o r no f a l s e methods o f a p o t h e o s i s . B a u d e l a i r e may have s o u g h t an escape f r o m the h o r r o r o f n a t u r e and r e a l i t y , b u t he denounced a l l s y n t h e t i c avenues o f r e l e a s e . To h i m , the i m a g i n a -t i o n r e m a i n e d the o n l y l e g i t i m a t e means o f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n ; t h o s e who so u g h t t o t a k e the e a s i e r b u t u l t i m a t e l y d e s t r u c t i v e r o u t e o f d r u g s , he p i t i e d and s c o r n e d w i t h b i t t e r i r o n y i n "Les P a r a d i s A r t i f i c i e l s " . T h e r e , B a u d e l a i r e c h a r t s the d e l u d e d c o u r s e o f t h o s e who seek t h i s f a l s e means of escape f r o m the c o n f l i c t s and s u f f e r -i n g s o f e x i s t e n c e . M i s t a k i n g h i s r e a s o n s f o r i n t o x i c a t i o n t o be s p i r i t u a l , t he d r u g - t a k e r ends up r e v e r s i n g the h i e r a r c h y o f 25 c r e a t i o n and t h i n k i n g , " Je s u i s devenu D i e u ! " I n t h e f i n a l s e c t i o n o f "Le Poeme du H a s c h i s c h " , a p t l y e n t i t l e d " M o r a l e " , Baud-e l a i r e p r e s e n t s the s t r i k i n g v i s i o n o f a s p i r i t u a l m o untain atop o f w h i c h s i t s a Brahmin, a p o e t , o r a C h r i s t i a n p h i l o s o p h e r , s u r r o u n d e d by the Muses; a t the base o f the m o u n t a i n , i n the t h o r n s 42 and m i r e , s i t s a t r o u p e o f humans, a band o f i d i o t s , who a r e s i m u -l a t i n g g r i m a c e s o f enjoyment i n t h e i r drug s t u p o r . Saddened by t h i s s p e c t a c l e , t h e p o e t says t o h i m s e l f : Ces i n f o r t u n e s q u i n'ont n i ' j e u n e ' , n i p r i e , e t q u i ont r e f u s e l a r e d e m p t i o n p a r l e t r a v a i l , demandent a l a n o i r e magie l e s moyens de s ' e l e v e r , d'un s e u l coup, a l ' e x i s t e n c e s u r n a t u r a l l e . L a magie l e s dupe e t e l l e a l l u m e p o u r eux un f a u x bonheur e t une f a u s s e l u m i e r e ; t a n d i s que nous, p o e t e s e t p h i l o s p h e s , nous avons r e g e n e r e n o t r e ame p a r l e t r a v a i l s u c c e s s i f e t l a c o n t e m p l a t i o n ; p a r 1 ' e x e r c i s e a s s i d u de l a v o l o n t e e t l a n o b l e s s e permanante de l ' i n t e n t i o n , nous avons c r e e a n o t r e usage un j a r d i n de v r a i e b e a u t e . C o n f i d a n t s dans l a p a r o l e q u i d i t que l a f o i t r a n s p o r t e l e s montagnes, nous avons a c c o m p l i l e s e u l m i r a c l e dont D i e u nous a i t o c t r o y e l a l i c e n s e ! 2 6 Each p e r s o n has w i t h i n him " t h e t a s t e f o r the i n f i n i t e " , b u t t o seek t o t r a n s f o r m n a t u r e by t h e s e c u l p a b l e methods r e s u l t s o n l y i n the c r e a t i o n o f an " a r t i f i c i a l i d e a l " . F o r the p o e t t h e o n l y l e g i t i m a t e means t o b r i n g about t h a t t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i s t h r o u g h the agency o f the i m a g i n a t i o n . We may r e t u r n now t o o u r o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n : What i s the s o u r c e o f B a u d e l a i r e ' s d e s p a i r ? H a y i n g r e v i e w e d t h e B a u d e l a i r e a n p r o c e s s o f r e m o u l d i n g n a t u r e , what s t a n d s i n the way o f the p o e t ' s h a p p i n e s s ? Many t h i n g s , o f c o u r s e , n o t the l e a s t o f them p e r s o n a l s u f f e r i n g s and v e x a t i o n s ; b u t the main s o u r c e of d e s p a i r f o r B a u d e l a i r e must always be t h e i n a b i l i t y t o h a r m o n i z e t h e i d e a l and r e a l i t y . The i m a g i n a t i v e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of n a t u r e does n o t always t o t a l l y s u c c e e d ; i n d e e d , o n l y i n s u b l i m e and c e r t a i n - moments does he f e e l t h a t he has a c h i e v e d t h i s a p o t h e o s i s . A g l a n c e a t Les F l e u r s du M a i w i l l show us t h a t the g r e a t e r number o f poems c o n c e r n the p o e t ' s s p l e e n o r d e s p a i r a t .being u n a b l e t o s u c c e e d i n the i m a g i n a t i v e 43 endeavor. N a t u r e , u s u a l l y i n the f o r m o f t i m e , r e t u r n s a b r u p t l y and c r u e l l y t o c a t a p u l t t h e p o e t back t o r e a l i t y . I n "L'Ennemi", B a u d e l a i r e e x p r e s s e s h i s hope t h a t t h e s e "new f l o w e r s " (poems) w i l l r e s t o r e h i m , and i n the l a s t s t a n z a we l e a r n t h e cause o f h i s s a d n e s s : — 0 d o u l e u r ! £ d o u l e u r ! Le Temps mange l a v i e , E t l ' o b s c u r Ennemi q u i nous ronge l a coeur Du sang que nous perdons c r o i t e t se f o r t i f i e ! A g a i n i n "Le Gout du Neant", he c o m p l a i n s t h a t Le P r i n t e m p s a d o r a b l e a p e r d u son odeur! E t l e temps m ' e n g l o u t i t m i n u t e p a r m i n u t e , Comme l a n e i g e immense un c o r p s p r i s de r o i d e u r ; Memory i s sometimes v i e w e d by B a u d e l a i r e as a redeeming f e a t u r e , as i n "Le P o r t r a i t " , where time i s t h e " i n j u r i o u s g r e y -b e a r d " t h a t " s t r i k e s e v e r y day w i t h h i s rude w h i p " : N o i r a s s a s s i n de l a V i e e t de l ' A r t , Tu ne t u e r a s j a m a i s dans ma memoire C e l l e q u i f u t mon p l a i s i r e t ma g l o i r e ! b u t , g e n e r a l l y , i t t o o i s the e m i s s a r y of t i m e , as i n " S p l e e n LXXVI" where he u t t e r s t h a t famous l i n e , " J ' a i p l u s de s o u v e n i r s que s i j ' a v a i s m i l l e a n s " , and where t h e p a s t appears l i k e an "immense p y r a m i d c o n t a i n i n g more dead than the common g r a v e " . Perhaps t h e f e e l i n g o f b e i n g t i m e ' s , and hence n a t u r e ' s , p r i s o n e r i s b e s t ex-p r e s s e d i n the poem " L ' H o r l o g e " . T h e r e , t h e c l o c k i s a d d r e s s e d as " d i e u s i n i s t r e , e f f r a y a n t , i m p a s s i b l e " ; i t s t i c k i n g t e l l s the p o e t : " S o u v i e n s - t o i ! " and, f i n a l l y , "Meurs, v i e u x l a c h e ! i l e s t t r o p t a r d ! " The p r o s e poem, "La Chambre D o u b l e " i s the most p e r f e c t -mood-piece on the s u b j e c t o f time and p o l a r i z e d the two s t a t e s of b l i s s and d e s p a i r . A t f i r s t the room i s b r i g h t ; the c o l o r s p i n k and 44 b l u e s u g g e s t h i s s p i r i t u a l e l e v a t i o n . Time has d i s a p p e a r e d and the i m a g i n a t i o n and the dream r e i g n b l i s s f u l l y . Then, s u d d e n l y , a t e r r i b l e b l ow f a l l s , and time — " t h e s p e c t r e " -- r e t u r n s . Now the room changes c o l o u r ; e v e r y t h i n g becomes dark and gloomy as time b r i n g s back w i t h i t "memories, r e g r e t s , spasms, f e a r s , a n g u i s h . . . " .•, The t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f n a t u r e w h i c h was the p o e t ' s c o n s t a n t aim and g o a l was a d i f f i c u l t t a s k . Only i n s p e c i a l moments c o u l d B a u d e l a i r e e n j o y t h e b l i s s o f s u c c e s s ; the r e s t o f t h e t i m e , he was o n l y t o o aware o f the r e a l i t y o f n a t u r e t h a t t e n a c i o u s l y r e s i s t e d h i s s p i r i t u a l i z i n g . E v e r y t h i n g c o u l d be t r a n s f o r m e d e x c e p t t i m e ; t h a t a l o n e p r e v e n t e d the complete v i c t o r y o f h i s endeavor. Thus we see t h a t t h e cause o f d e s p a i r was d e e p l y r o o t e d i n the i n t r a n s i g e n c y of n a t u r e , b u t i n t h e f o l l o w i n g ' c h a p t e r we s h a l l d i s c o v e r s o m e t h i n g t h a t h e l p e d B a u d e l a i r e even t o s u r v i v e d e s p a i r . F o o t n o t e s C h a p t e r I I I 1. B a u d e l a i r e , "Mon Coeur M i s A Nu," Oeuvres, p. 1224. 2. B a u d e l a i r e , "Mon Coeur . . .", Oeuvres, pp. 1210-11. 3. J o s e p h M e l a n c o n , Le S p i r i t u a l i s m e de B a u d e l a i r e ( M o n t r e a l : F i d e s , 1 9 6 7 ) * pp. 81-82. 4. B a u d e l a i r e , " S a l o n de 1859", Oeuvres, p. 779. 5. B a u d e l a i r e , " S a l o n de 1859", Oeuvres, p. 772. 6. B a u d e l a i r e , " S a l o n de 1859V, Oeuvres, p. 777. 7. B a u d e l a i r e , " V i c t o r Hugo", Oeuvres, p. 1086. 8. F. S c h l e g e l , "Gesprach . . .," K^A. , p. 318. 9. F. S c h l e g e l , "Athenaum Fragmente," K.A., p. 196. 10. F. S c h l e g e l , "Gesprach . . .," K.A. , p. 314. 11. B a u d e l a i r e , " L a P e i n t r e . . .," Oeuvres, p. 892. 12. B a u d e l a i r e , " L ' A r t P h i l o s o p h i q u e , " Oeuvres, p. 926. 13. B a u d e l a i r e , " S a l o n 1846," Oeuvres, p. 610. 14. B a u d e l a i r e ; p. 610. 15. B a u d e l a i r e , p. 610. 16. See F. S c h l e g e l , " B r i e f Uber den Roman", K.A., pp. 330-33. 17. B a u d e l a i r e , " F u s e e s , " Oeuvres, p. 1192. 18. B a u d e l a i r e , " S a l o n de 1846," Oeuvres, pp. 667-679. 19. B a u d e l a i r e , " L a P e i n t r e . . .,". Oeuvres, p. 883. 20. B a u d e l a i r e , " S a l o n de 1845," Oeuvres, p. 644. 21. See B a u d e l a i r e , . " F u s e e s , " Oeuvres, p. 1195. 22. See F. S c h l e g e l , "Gesprach . . .," K.A., p. 302, and "Athenaum Fragmente," p. 209. 23. Marc E i g e l d i n g e r , Le P l a t o n i s m e de B a u d e l a i r e , ( P a r i s : N e u c h a t e l , 19.51) , p. 37. 24. B a u d e l a i r e , " S a l o n de 1846," Oeuvres, p. 643. 25. B a u d e l a i r e , "Le P a r a d i s A r t i f i c i e l s , " Oeuvres, p. 473. 26. B a u d e l a i r e , p. 477. T r a n s l a t i o n C h a p t e r I I I And what i s e v e r y b e a u t i f u l mythology o t h e r than a h i e r o -g l y p h i c e x p r e s s i o n o f s u r r o u n d i n g N a t u r e i n t h i s c l a r i f i c a t i o n o f i m a g i n a t i o n and l o v e ? B e f o r e t h i s t i m e , N a t u r e was preached, among u s , and now i t i s e x c l u s i v e l y the I d e a l . One f o r g e t s t o o o f t e n t h a t t h e s e t h i n g s can be i n t i m a t e l y u n i t e d ; t h a t i n the b e a u t i f u l r e p -r e s e n t a t i o n N a t u r e s h o u l d be i d e a l and t h e I d e a l n a t u r a l . I d e a l i s m must i n one f o r m o r o t h e r emerge out o f i t s e l f i n o r d e r t o be a b l e t o r e t u r n back t o i t s e l f and t o r e m a i n what i t i s . F o r t h i s r e a s o n , t h e r e must and w i l l a l s o a r i s e out o f i t s l a p a new e q u a l l y b o u n d l e s s r e a l i s m ; and I d e a l i s m i n i t s f orm o f o r i g i n w i l l n o t o n l y be an example f o r the new m y t h o l o g y , b u t be i t s e l f i n an i n d i r e c t way the s o u r c e o f t h e same. I t o o have l o n g c a r r i e d t h e i d e a l o f s u c h a r e a l i s m i n m y s e l f , and i f up t o now i t has n o t been communicated, i t was o n l y because I am s t i l l s e a r c h i n g f o r t h e organ (means o f t r a n s m i s s i o n ) . B u t I know t h a t I can o n l y f i n d i t i n p o e t r y , f o r i n t h e form of p h i l o s o p h y o r even i n a s y s t e m , r e a l i s m w i l l n e v e r a g a i n be a b l e t o appear. And even a c c o r d i n g t o a common t r a d i t i o n i t i s t o be e x p e c t e d t h a t t h i s new r e a l i s m — because i t i s o f an i d e a l i s t i c s o u r c e and a t t h e same ti m e must f l o a t on an i d e a l i s t i c f o u n d a t i o n — w i l l a ppear as p o e t r y t h a t i s t o r e s t upon the harmony o f t h e i d e a l and the r e a l . CHAPTER IV c BAUDELAIRE'S DUALISM AND CHRISTIANITY We have s e e n t h a t R o m a n t i c i s m i s based.on a r e c o g n i t i o n o f the " d i s s o c i a t i o n o f s e n s i b i l i t y " , o f t h e d u a l i t y o f man and a r t . That d u a l i t y may perhaps b e s t be e x p r e s s e d as one between S p i r i t and N a t u r e . I t was the o r i g i n a l aim o f R o m a n t i c i s m t o seek a r e u n i o n o r "harmony" between t h e s e two d i s p a r a t e f o r c e s i n man. Such a harmony has n o t y e t been a t t a i n e d and remains the g o a l o f a f u t u r e a c h i e v e m e n t , b u t B a u d e l a i r e b r o u g h t b o t h e l e m e n t s t o g e t h e r i n h i s a r t and a t t e m p t e d a m a g i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n t h r o u g h t h e m e d i a t i n g power o f i m a g i n a t i o n . I n a t r a g i c way, t h e s a c r e d s y m b o l i c m a r r i a g e of S p i r i t and N a t u r e was n e v e r consummated; b o t h p a r t i e s g l a r e d a t each o t h e r a c r o s s t h e chasm of m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g and remained f o r e v e r a t q u a r r e l s o m e odds. The p r o b l e m l a y i n making N a t u r e c o n t a i n the p r i n c i p l e o f e v i l , I b e l i e v e . J u s t as t h e E n l i g h t e n m e n t and the e a r l y Romantics had made N a t u r e t h e s o u r c e o f a l l good and v i r t u e , so B a u d e l a i r e went t o the o t h e r extreme o f making i t the r e p o s i t o r y o f a l l e v i l and v i c e . (Some-where i n between t h e s e two l i e s the t r u t h , no doubt.) Then, when B a u d e l a i r e ' s attempt a t t r a n s f o r m i n g N a t u r e — b o t h e x t e r n a l and i n t e r n a l — d i d n o t meet w i t h complete s u c c e s s , d e s p a i r was bound t o ensue. N a t u r e , r a t h e r l i k e the m u l a t t o m i s t r e s s Jeanne D u v a l , c o u l d n o t be l i v e d w i t h n o r w i t h o u t . C o r o l l a r y t o the S p i r i t - N a t u r e d u a l i s m was B a u d e l a i r e ' s 46 c o n s t a n t s e n s e o f man's s u b l i m i t y and b a s e n e s s . He even went so f a r as t o make t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n t he cause o f the " c o m i c " i n De L'Essence du R i r e . "The l a u g h " , he s a y s , " i s one of the c l e a r e s t s i g n s t h a t man i s one o f t h e numerous p i t s c o n t a i n e d i n t h e s y m b o l i c , ..1 a p p l e . . I I e s t , qu'on me comprenne b i e n , l a r e s u l t a n t e n e c e s s a i r e de s a double, n a t u r e c o n t r a d i c t o i r e , q u i e s t i n f i n i m e n t . g r a n d e r e l a t i v e m e n t a l'homme, i n f i n i m e n t v i l e e t base r e l a t i v e m e n t au V r a i e t au J u s t e a b s o l u s . 2 That F r i e d i c h S c h l e g e l - , t o o , was aware e a r l y i n l i f e o f t h i s con-t r a d i c t i o n i s p o i n t e d o u t by H. E i c h n e r : As e a r l y as 1792, he had w r i t t e n t o h i s b r o t h e r t h a t "whoever i s n o t , i n t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f h i s i n f i n i t e power, p e r v a d e d w i t h the f e e l i n g o f h i s i n s i g n i f i c a n c e , must be a. l i t t l e s h o r t - s i g h t e d . " F i v e y e a r s l a t e r , he had come t o u n d e r s t a n d t h a t i t was t h r o u g h i r o n y t h a t one l e a r n e d t o keep s i g h t o f h i s awareness w i t h o u t b e i n g c r u s h e d by i t , and t h a t , c o n s e q u e n t l y , i r o n y was o b l i g a t o r y . 3 E i c h n e r adds t h a t i t was " h i s a c h i e v e m e n t , however, t o have i n t r o d u c e d t h e t e r m i r o n y i n t o modern l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m and t o have s t a r t e d the 4 l o n g and i n t e n s i v e d i s c u s s i o n o f i t s n a t u r e and s i g n i f i c a n c e " . B a u d e l a i r e ' s poems a r e s u f f u s e d w i t h the i r o n y o f man's e x i s t e n c e , w i t h t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f "une gr a n d e u r i n f i n i e e t d'une m i s e r e i n -f i n i e " ; i t was "du choc p e r p e t u e l de ces deux i n f i n i s que se degage l e r i r e " . " ' J a c q u e s B a r z u n m a i n t a i n s t h a t t h e Romantics c o n c e i v e d o f t h e i r " m i s s i o n " i n " t h e l i g h t o f [ t h i s ] g r e a t c o n t r a d i c t i o n co'ii-- ' 6 e e r n i n g man . . ." , and t h a t P a s c a l was the most famous Romantic f o r e r u n n e r i n t h a t s e n s e . The t e c h n i q u e o f i r o n y t h a t B a u d e l a i r e employed i n o r d e r t o cope w i t h the t e n s i o n between S p i r i t and N a t u r e was, however, n o t enough i n i t s e l f . A se se o f i r o n y a l o n e , we m st47 r e a l i z e , does not h e l p man t o face l i f e and to f i n d a purpose f o r t h i s at once t r a g i c and grotesque e x i s t e n c e ; no one can remain i n an i r o n i c pose f o r very long w i t h o u t e i t h e r l a p s i n g i n t o c y n i c i s m and e v e n t u a l l y n i h i l i s m , or f a i t h . . The t r u t h of t h i s statement i s conf irmed by the count less examples of Romantic a r t i s t s . B a u d e l a i r e h i m s e l f o n l y r a r e l y l a p s e d i n t o the f i r s t a t t i t u d e , c y n i c i s m , and then always i n regard to woman. She was the one c rea ture who c o u l d s t r a i n h i s more u s u a l arid g e n t e e l i r o n y i n t o b i t t e r c y n i c i s m , as the-poems " X X V " , " X X V I I " , " X X X I I " , " X X X I X " , and "Remords Posthume", and "Le Vampire" of Les F l e u r s du Mai p o i n t o u t . I t seems i t s e l f i r o n i c that f o r most of these poems he d i d not even s u b s t i t u t e t i t l e s f o r numbers. But B a u d e l a i r e ' s answer t o the dilemma of man's d u a l i t y was not c y n i c i s m ; i t was f a i t h . In C h r i s t i a n i t y , B a u d e l a i r e found the " o b j e c t i v e c o r r e l a t i v e " , as i t were , to h i s own i n n e r c o n d i t i o n . C h r i s t i a n i t y expresses the t r u t h of man's t o r n c o n d i t i o n — h i s p o t e n t i a l or i d e a l p e r f e c t i o n , the p r o t o t y p e of which i s C h r i s t , and h i s a c t u a l or n a t u r a l c u l p a b i l i t y , the archetype of which i s Adam. A c c o r d i n g to S t . P a u l , "The S p i r i t wars a g a i n s t the f l e s h , and the f l e s h aga ins t the s p i r i t " , and C h r i s t came t o redeem and do away w i t h the " n a t u r a l " m a n . 7 Even i n C h r i s t i a n i t y , i f we f o l l o w i t s development c a r e f u l l y , we see t h i s dual i sm r e i g n i n g i n dogma and p r a c t i s e . A l though i t has condemned as heresy the G n o s t i c and J a n s e n i s t views that nature i s e s s e n t i a l l y e v i l , tha t s t r a i n has always been a . l a t e n t and unconscious one i n the minds of C h r i s t i a n s . I t i s t h e r e f o r e not s u r p r i s i n g tha t B a u d e l a i r e s h o u l d have f e l t h i m s e l f complete ly i n accord w i t h C h r i s t i a n i t y when 48 he b e h e l d e v i l i n N a t u r e and so u g h t i t s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n t o a s p i r i t u a l s t a t e . H i s c h i e f l o a t h i n g f o r the E n l i g h t e n m e n t was 8 t h a t i t d e n i e d o r i g i n a l s i n , and hence a r o s e t h e f a l s e c o n c e p t i o n o f N a t u r e and b e a u t y . By p r o j e c t i n g h i s d u a l i s m i n t o the C h r i s t i a n framework, B a u d e l a i r e f o u n d a "myth" ,; t h a t c o u l d c o n t a i n h i s c o n t r a r i e s , j u s t as the a n c i e n t s h a d p r o j e c t e d t h e i r d i v e r s i t i e s i n t o the Homeric pantheon. And h e r e we see the i m p o r t a n c e and s i g n i f i c a n c e o f a myth, and by t h a t I do n o t mean, s o m e t h i n g t h a t i s u n r e a l ; i n d e e d , myth may be the'. o n l y r e a l i t y i f i t i s seen as the p o e t i c b o d y i n g f o r t h o f a l l t h a t man i s . F o r myth t o be u n r e a l , man w o u l d f i r s t have t o be u n r e a l . Myth i s the f i r s t c o l l e c t i v e poem o f mankind; e v e r y now and t h e n , humanity w r i t e s a new poem — u n c o n s c i o u s l y , o f c o u r s e — and then e i t h e r w o r s h i p s o r denounces i t s own c r e a t i o n . S c h l e g e l was r i g h t when he emphasized the n e c e s s i t y o f a "my t h o l o g y " , a s y m b o l i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f man and the u n i v e r s e ; . b u t a myth cannot be c o n j u r e d up i p s o f a c t o ; i t i s an o r g a n i c c o l l e c t i v e g r o w t h , the m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f t h e u n c o n s c i o u s l i f e o f a p e o p l e . When t h a t myth, t h a t "god" i f y o u w i l l , d i e s , h umanity has l o s t i t s c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e l a r g e r L i f e o f Man. The i n d i v i d u a l l i f e t h e n becomes " s m a l l e r and d r i e r " , t o bo r r o w a p h r a s e o f E l i o t ' s . The p r o b l e m i s t h a t once a myth has been l o s t , once men have l o s t c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the myth, they cannot w i l l f u l l y be r e j o i n e d w i t h i t : " a l l t he k i n g ' s h o r s e s and a l l the k i n g ' s men c o u l d n o t p u t Humpty Dumpty t o g e t h e r a g a i n " . There remains n o t h i n g b u t p a t i e n t l y t o a w a i t t h e r e - w r i t i n g o f a new poem, o r 49 a new s t a n z a t o t h e o l d poem. I n t h e meantime, w h i l e t h e c o l l e c t i v e u n c o n s c i o u s p o e t i c f a c u l t y s t r u g g l e s t o c r e a t e the new e p i c , human-i t y v a i n l y c a s t s about f o r s u b s t i t u t e " r e l i g i o n s " t o f i l l the v o i d . B a u d e l a i r e was e x t r e m e l y f o r t u n a t e i n t h a t he was s t i l l o r g a n i c a l l y c o n n e c t e d t o t h e r C h r i s t i a n myth. T h i s g r e a t poem was n o t y e t e x h a u s t e d f o r h i m as i t was a l r e a d y b e g i n n i n g t o be f o r so many moderns. He may n o t have c o i n c i d e d w i t h the Church on e v e r y 9 p o i n t o f dogma, as many c r i t i c s have p o i n t e d o u t , b u t a t l e a s t he was i n t h e s p i r i t u a l s h e e p - f o l d . The myth i s u s e f u l i n two ways: f i r s t l y , i t p r o v i d e s a framework f o r the i n d i v i d u a l , p e r -s o n a l work of a r t w i t h w h i c h everyone can i d e n t i f y b ecause e v e r y o n e has h a d a p a r t i n i t s c o m p o s i t i o n . The i n d i v i d u a l work thus s e t i n a l a r g e r and g r a n d e r " B i l d e r u m k r e i s " becomes i t s e l f l a r g e r than i t c o u l d o t h e r w i s e be. Such was t h e case w i t h Dante's D i v i n e  Comedy w h i c h , w i t h o u t the C h r i s t i a n myth as framework, w o u l d p r o b -a b l y have remained a puny poem i n c o n t r a s t t o t h e g r a n d e u r i t a t t a i n e d . I n any c a s e , i t i s u n i m a g i n a b l e w i t h o u t i t s C h r i s t i a n c o n t e x t . B a u d e l a i r e ' s a r t , t o o , r e c e i v e d a t o u c h o f g r e a t n e s s and a s u b l i m i t y d e s p i t e i t s u n - s u b l i m e c o n t e n t b e c a u s e i t was s e t i n a C h r i s t i a n framework. I n i t s own way, i t a l s o encompasses the f a r t h e s t s p aces o f the m e t a p h y s i c a l cosmos — Heaven and H e l l — and sends t h e s m a l l , t i n y v o i c e o f the f r a i l human b e i n g r e v e r b e r a t i n g t h r o u g h o u t c r e a t i o n . No l o n g e r i s i t t h e p e t t y and n a s t y d e s p a i r o f so many modern a n t i - h e r o e s , b u t i n s t e a d the c o l l o s s a l d e s p a i r o f Man h i m s e l f when he has sunk t o the depths o f " H e l l " . T h i s , t h e n , i s one advantage o f the myth: f o r a r t i t p r o v i d e s an i n d i s p e n s i b l e 50 frame o f r e f e r e n c e t h a t i s p o w e r f u l because i t i s i m p l a n t e d i n the u n c o n s c i o u s o f mankind. No i n d i v i d u a l work o f a r t can be g r e a t o r a s o - c a l l e d " c l a s s i c " w i t h o u t b e i n g d e e p l y and o r g a n i c a l l y r o o t e d i n some poem l a r g e r t h a n i t s e l f . The s e c o n d advantage o f a myth i s a p e r s o n a l one. L e t us t r y t o i m a g i n e what w o u l d become.of a man such as B a u d e l a i r e , d e e p l y and c o n t i n u a l l y aware o f the d u a l i t y o f h i s own b e i n g and o f the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s o f l i f e , i f he had no s p i r i t u a l a n c h o r such as C h r i s t i a n i t y ? He w o u l d , .1 s u b m i t , have become n o t a g e n i u s b u t a n e u r o t i c o r a s c h i z o p h r e n i c t o r n i n h a l f by t h e o p p o s i t e s w a g i n g a b a t t l e i n h i s own mind. I am n o t a s s e r t i n g t h a t e v e r y modern n e u r o t i c has a l a t e n t g e n i u s t h a t can be r e l e a s e d by be-coming a C h r i s t i a n ; what I do m a i n t a i n , however, i s t h a t w i t h o u t a myth, w i t h o u t a g r e a t e r poem t o c o n t a i n man's c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , the i n d i v i d u a l has t o s u f f e r t h o s e b a t t l e s a n d . s c a r s w i t h i n h i s own mind and, c o n s e q u e n t l y , t h a t mind becomes f a t a l l y d i v i d e d a g a i n s t i t s e l f . "Each man i n h i s own p r i s o n / C o n f i r m i n g a p r i s o n a t n i g h t f a l l " . The deepened sense o f i s o l a t i o n t h a t man s u f f e r s b e cause he f e e l s h i m s e l f a l o n e i n h i s p r e d i c a m e n t i s d i m i n i s h e d when he can p r o j e c t t h a t c o n f l i c t — so e s s e n t i a l l y common t o a l l men — i n t o a l a r g e r framework. Then he can s e e , as B a u d e l a i r e saw, h i s own s t r u g g l e s t a k i n g on c o s m ic and s p i r i t u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e ; he has once a g a i n become a h e r o . " D i e u e s t l ' e t e r n e l c o n f i d e n t dans c e t t e t r a g e d i e dont chacun e s t l e h e r o s . " 1 ^ Today, i n s t e a d , we have no t r u e h e r o e s i n a r t b ecause no man's s t r u g g l e seems t o be s i g n i f i c a n t ; each man s u f f e r s i n the i s o l a t i o n o f h i s own m e n t a l 51 p r i s o n . Can we even dare t o i m a g i n e a B a u d e l a i r e on the p s y c h i a t r i s t ' s couch? Many r e a s o n s s u g g e s t why he might have b e l o n g e d t h e r e , b u t the q u e s t i o n i s i m p e r t i n e n t . H i s s u f f e r -i n g s became m e a n i n g f u l t o h i m s e l f , and t o us, because he saw s i g n i f i c a n c e i n them; t h a t s i g n i f i c a n c e was c o n f e r r e d by the C h r i s t i a n myth. H i s mind, d e s p i t e t h e awareness o f d u a l i t y , r e mained whole because i t had a poem i n w h i c h even d u a l i t y was a c c o u n t e d f o r . Thus we see t h a t man's p s y c h i c f r a g m e n t a -t i o n , w h i c h the Romantics so l u c i d l y r e v e a l e d , can be c o n t a i n e d i n t h e l a r g e r u n i t y o f a myth. W r i t e s J a c q u e s Barzum: The judgement o f Madame de S t a e l , a i d e d by S c h l e g e l ' s , t h a t the r o m a n t i c v i e w o f l i f e i s b a s i c a l l y C h r i s t i a n seems f u l l y j u s t i f i e d , f o r i t combines the i n f i n i t e w o r t h o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l , s o u l i n i t s power and weakness, the s e a r c h f o r u n i o n w i t h the i n f i n i t e , and the g o s p e l of work f o r one's f e l l o w man.H I n t h e f i n a l work o f B a u d e l a i r e , J o u r n a u x I n t i m e s , we see t h e e p i c s t r u g g l e of a modern h e r o . D e s p a i r and f a i t h b a t t l e one a n o t h e r i n s u c c e s s i o n . D e s p a i r , i n ,the u s u a l f o r m o f t i m e , w h i s p e r s i n h i s t i r e d e a r : ,. "Trop t a r d p e u t - e t r e ! " ; Then, a g a i n , hope awakens and e x c l a i m s : "Tout e s t . r e p a r a b l e . I I e s t e n c o r e 12 temps. Qu i s a i t meme s i des p l a i s i r s nouveaux . . . ? H i s o n l y f a i t h i s i n God: "Mes h u m i l i a t i o n s ont e t e des g r a c e s de D i e u " , and i n work. Work, w h i c h has always been so i m p o r t a n t an element i n B a u d e l a i r e ' s l i f e i f o n l y because he f r e q u e n t l y s u f f e r e d f r o m d e b i l i t a t i n g e n n u i , now assumes even g r e a t e r s i g n i f i c a n c e . He makes d a i l y p l a n s t o work f o r c e r t a i n h o u r s i n o r d e r t o pay h i s debts b e f o r e death and t o h e l p h i s mother and J eanne, b u t how 52 successful these plans were we can only guess. We cannot help being reminded of the old Christian maxim: "Laborare est orare" when we read his last lines. Le travail engendre forcement Les bonnes moeurs, sobriete et chastete, consequemment la sante, la richesse, le genie successif et progressif, et la charite. Age quod agis. ^ But time, the arch-villain of Nature, always returns to remind him that he failed to transform li f e completely. A chaque minute nous sommes ecrases par l'idee et la sensation du temps. Et i l n'y a que deux moyens pour echapper a ce cauchemar, pour l'oublier: le plaiser et le travail. Le plaisir ^ nous use. Le travail nous fortifie. Choissions. Despair does not win in the end, however, no matter how formidable a power in his l i f e i t is. Though destined to struggle to the very last day, Baudelaire retained the?vision of the larger poem and the hope of salvation.. It is often suggested that Baudelaire's Christianity amounted to no more than an esthete's love of flowers, incense, Gothic churches, and pageantry; nothing could be farther from the truth. He certainly loved those elements of the Church which distinguished life from ugliness and drabness, but he had a deeper sense of spiritual, mysteries than an esthete such as Pater. The unconscious life of the Church was his l i f e ; his struggles were projected into the epic panorama of the Christian myth. The Fall of Man was a motif he enacted each day of his l i f e ; we cannot doubt that the sequel remained to be disclosed until the very end. A Footnotes Chapter IV 1. B a u d e l a i r e , "De L 'Essence de Poire , " Oeuvres, p . 714. 2 . B a u d e l a i r e , p . 716. 3. Hans E i c h n e r , F r i e d r i c h S c h l e g e l , p . 74. 4 . E i c h n e r , p . 74. 5 . B a u d e l a i r e , " L ' E s s e n c e . . . , " Oeuvres , p . 716. 6. Jacques B a r z u n , C l a s s i c , Romantic , and Modern, p . 16. 7. B i b l e , Romans 8: 1-17. 8. See, B a u d e l a i r e , " L a P e i n t r e de l a V i e Moderne , " Oeuvres, p . 911. 9. Regarding the cont roversy about B a u d e l a i r e ' s " C h r i s t i a n i t y " see the f o l l o w i n g : the M a u r i a c , du Bos , and Auerbach essays i n B a u d e l a i r e : A C o l l e c t i o n o f . C r i t i c a l E s s a y s , e d . by H e n r i P e y r e ; M a r c e l R u f f , B a u d e l a i r e ( P a r i s : H a t i e r , ) ; and Joseph Melancon, Le S p i r i t u a l i s m e de B a u d e l a i r e . 10. B a u d e l a i r e , "Mon Coeur Mis a N u " , Oeuvres, p . 1230. 11. Jacques B a r z u n , p . 95. 12. B a u d e l a i r e , "Mon Coeur . . . , " Oeuvres, p p . 1235-6. 13. B a u d e l a i r e , p . 1236. 14. B a u d e l a i r e , p . 1234. • CHAPTER V T.S. ELIOT AND THE CONFLICT BETWEEN SPIRIT AND NATURE I n h e r i t o r o f the a r t i s t i c and human dilemma f i r s t sounded by t h e R o m a n t i c s , T. S. E l i o t t o o k up t h e p o s i t i o n o f r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t the i n s i g h t o f d u a l i t y and f r a g m e n t a t i o n they b equeathed. From the p r e s e n t s t a n d p o i n t , he i s a h i g h l y i n t e r e s t i n g f i g u r e t o s t u d y n o t because he p r e s e n t e d an a l t e r n a t i v e o r a r e v o l t a g a i n s t R o m a n t i c i s m b u t because he w r o t e w i t h i n t h a t t r a d i t i o n d e s p i t e h i s p r o t e s t s t o the c o n t r a r y . Such i s , a t l e a s t , the case t h a t I s h a l l h e r e p r e s e n t , f u l l y r e a l i z i n g t h a t I debate a g a i n s t the p o e t ' s own s t a n d . E l i o t ' s p r i n c i p a l e r r o r c o n c e r n i n g R o m a n t i c i s m , i t seems t o me, i s t h a t he a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h a t movement a d e p l o r a b l e chaos and f r a g m e n t a t i o n , whereas what R o m a n t i c i s m s e t out t o show was t h a t chaos and f r a g m e n t a t i o n a r e man's p e r e n n i a l c o n d i t i o n , a c o n d i t i o n t h a t can be r emedied n o t by i m p o s i n g an a r t i f i c i a l r u l e o f o r d e r and u n i t y , s u c h as had been a t t e m p t e d by t h e N e o - C l a s s i c i s t s , b u t by f u l l y r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t d i s s o c i a t e d s t a t e and by s e e k i n g a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f o p p o s i t e s . W e h a v e a l r e a d y seen i n the f o r e g o i n g c h a p t e r s how R o m a n t i c i s m began w i t h t h i s s ense of modern d i s u n i t y and d i s o r d e r and w i t h t h e l o n g i n g f o r a C l a s s i c a l p a s t where w h o l e -ness s t i l l e x i s t e d . B u t the i m p o r t a n t s t e p t h a t the most advanced o f the Romantics made was i n abandoning the s e a r c h f o r u n i t y i n the p a s t and i n s t r i v i n g t o a c h i e v e i t i n a t o t a l l y new way s u i t e d t o the p r e s e n t . "Malheur a c e l u i , " w r o t e B a u d e l a i r e , " q u i . e t u d i e dans l ' a n t i q u e a u t r e chose que l ' a r t p u r , l a l o g i q u e , l a methode gene'rale! Pour s'y t r o p p l o n g e r , i l p e r d l a memoire du p r e s e n t ; i l a b dique l a v a l e u r e t l e s p r i v i l e g e s f o u r n i s p a r l a c i r c o n -s t a n c e ; c a r p r e s q u e t o u t e n o t r e o r i g i n a l i t e v i e n t de l ' e s t a m p i l l e que l e temps imprime a nos s e n s a t i o n s . " 1 R o m a n t i c i s m i s n o t i n i t s e l f c h a o t i c o r f r a g m e n t e d , i t i s s i m p l y an a r t t h a t r e f l e c t s modern l i f e . T h i s was i t s b i g b r e a k - t h r o u g h , t o m i r r o r n o t : a n imposed o r d e r and wholeness b u t a r e a l i s t i c image o f m o d e r n i t y . M o r e o v e r , i t r e t a i n e d the v i s i o n o f the i d e a l u n i t y , w h i c h was t o be an o r g a n i c one, and s o u g h t t o u n i t e r e a l i s m w i t h i d e a l i s m . Thus, when E l i o t c o i n e d the p h r a s e " d i s s o c i a t i o n o f s e n s i b i l i t y " , he was u n c o n s c i o u s l y . s p e a k i n g from w i t h i n the Romantic t r a d i t i o n . The same n o s t a l g i a f o r p e r f e c t i o n t h a t . h a u n t e d h i m h a u n t e d the R o m a n t i c s , and the same d u a l i s m o f S p i r i t and N a t u r e t h a t s t r o v e i n t h e i r d i v i d e d s o u l s w a r r e d w i t h i n h i s . A d r i f t on the s e a o f d e s p a i r , the e a r l y E l i o t , l i k e h i s n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y p r e d e c e s s o r s , c a s t about f o r a s p i r i t u a l a n chor and fo u n d t h e r e s c u e i n C l a s s i c i s m . I n t i m e , t h a t y o u t h f u l s e c u l a r f a i t h was t o be exchanged f o r a deepened, r e l i g i o u s one; bu t f o r many y e a r s C l a s s i c i s m was h i s ' r e l i g i o n ' and R o m a n t i c i s m h i s ' h e r e s y ' . T h i s tendency e x p r e s s e d i t s e l f most c l e a r l y i n s u c h w r i t i n g s as " T r a d i t i o n and t h e I n d i v i d u a l T a l e n t " , F o r L a n c e l o t Andrewes: Essays, on S t y l e and O r d e r , and A f t e r S t r a n g e Gods. I n 2 t h i s p e r i o d , w h i c h E l i o t d e s i g n a t e s as h i s " f i r s t " , he c i t e s h i s i n f l u e n c e s as h a v i n g been I r v i n g B a b b i t t , E z r a Pound, C h a r l e s M a u r r a s , and T. E. Hulme. S e i z i n g on t h e C l a s s i c a l f e a t u r e o f 55 e l i m i n a t i o n o f p e r s o n a l i t y from a r t — a l l i n d i v i d u a l t y p e s b e i n g r e d u c a b l e t o the one norm — E l i o t expounded the p r i n c i p l e o f "escape from e m o t i o n " . Good p o e t r y 1 1. . . i s n o t the e x p r e s s i o n o f p e r s o n -3 a l i t y , b u t an escape f r o m p e r s o n a l i t y . " A c c o r d i n g l y , Donne was an i n f e r i o r w r i t e r t o L a n c e l o t Andrewes who was "more m e d i e v a l . . . 4 more p u r e , and because h i s bond was w i t h the Church, w i t h t r a d i t i o n . " U n d e r r a t i n g t h e emotion s h e r e , he was i n a l a t e r e s s a y , "The S o c i a l F u n c t i o n o f P o e t r y " , . t o s a y : ". . . p o e t r y has p r i m a r i l y t o do w i t h t h e e x p r e s s i o n o f f e e l i n g and emo t i o n . . .." 5 Throughout h i s c a r e e r t h e r e was t o be a g r e a t d e a l o f v a c i l l a t i o n between s o - c a l l e d Romantic and C l a s s i c a l e l e m e n t s ; c o n s c i o u s l y , E l i o t m a i n t a i n e d t h e u n r u f f l e d f r o n t o f the C l a s s i c i s t , b u t , w i t h i n , t h e r o m a n t i c d u a l i s m r e i g n e d . The way he coped w i t h the p r o b l e m o f p e r s o n a l i t y i n h i s own a r t was by c u l t i v a t i n g t he fo r m o f the d r a m a t i c monologue; h e r e , he c o u l d e x p r e s s h i s emotions i n d i r e c t l y t h r o u g h the mouth o f a n o t h e r . W r i t e s H e r b e r t Howard i n Not e s on Some F i g u r e s B e h i n d T. S. E l i o t : " I n t h e eyes o f the n e o c l a s s i c i s t s , t he n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y had p l a c e d an i n o r d i n a t e v a l u e on the u n i n h i b i t e d r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the p a s s i o n s . T h i b a u d e t d i f f e r e n t i a t e d t h r e e ways i n w h i c h the p a s s i o n s may be d i r e c t e d i n t o a r t : they may be m a s t e r e d by the w i l l ; t h e y m a y b e b r o k e n , a n n u l l e d , and b u r r i e d b y . " l a j u s t e n e c e s s i t e " and the s e r e n e laws o f o r d e r ; they may. be s u b l i m a t e d i n the i n t e l l i g e n c e and become 6 r a d i a n c e , p ardon and peac e . " =» E l i o t , as we s h a l l s e e , chose the l a t t e r way, b u t a t a g r e a t s a c r i f i c e , i n terms o f l i f e and a r t . The C l a s s i c i s m o f E l i o t was n o t h i n g more t h a n t h e a t t e m p t a l r e a d y made by c o u n t l e s s R o m a n t i c s , t o f i n d a r e s o l u t i o n f o r the 56 tormenting duality of .life. That duality for him, as for them, took the form of a conflict between Spirit and Nature. Spirit or reason became associated with the ancient virtues of order and discipline, and Nature with the modern vices of excess, passion, chaos, and Romanticism. "Pour Eliot," writes E. Greene, "la difference entre le classique et le romantique, c'est la difference entre le fragmentaire, entre l'adulte et le pueril, entre l'ordre et le chaos."7 However, as we have already seen, i t was impossible for the modern writer to assert order and perfection without going back into a hypothasized past, and even that endeavor was colored more by fiction than by fact. What'resulted from Eliot's addiction to the past and to its supposed virtues was a serious negation of the present and, ultimately, of Nature. He received confirmation for his pursuit of the exclusively spiritual and ideal (associated by him with classicism) from the Symbolists. Baudelaire, as the forerunner of that movement, helped to "lay the foundation for the 8 Symbolist view of Nature" , but the Symbolists went far beyond Baudelaire. Whereas the latter never lost touch with reality, no matter.how unpleasant i t may have seemed to him, and never escaped from Nature but only sought to transform i t , the Symbolists cut themselves off from Nature completely. Theirs may be called a Romanticism of the extreme right, for i t stressed only one half of the Romantic formula — S p i r i t . In a true Romantic art, these two principles co-habit and seek a union, but in Symbolist art;only one principle was stressed. Thus, the Symbolists did not really come to terms with the modern dilemma at a l l ; they found their own 57 unique s o l u t i o n , escape from l i f e and N a t u r e i n t o t h e I d e a l . A r t became the pri m e means o f t h i s escape i n t o the V o i d o r the A b s o l u t e , and c o n s e q u e n t l y a r t s u f f e r e d because i t l o s t a l l t o u c h w i t h t h e e a r t h and humanity. I n h i s a e s t h e t i c , S c h l e g e l f o r e s a w the p r o b l e m o f a one-s i d e d a r t , an a r t t h a t was too e x c l u s i v e l y b a s e d on I d e a l i s m . "What i s most f r i g h t e n i n g t o man," he w r o t e i n 1806, " i s a b s o l u t e l o n e l i - n e s s . But I d e a l i s m i s the v e r y s y s t e m i n w h i c h the mind i s com-p l e t e l y i s o l a t e d , b e r e f t o f e v e r y t h i n g t h a t r e l a t e s h i m t o the q o r d i n a r y w o r l d , so t h a t i t s t a n d s a l o n e and c o m p l e t e l y d e p r i v e d . " E l i o t h i m s e l f seems t o have been aware o f the danger i n h e r e n t i n Symbolism as h i s l a t e e s s a y "From Poe t o v a l e r y " p o i n t s o u t " And as f o r t h e f u t u r e : i t i s a t e n a b l e h y p o t h e s i s t h a t t h i s advance o f s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s , the extreme awareness o f and c o n c e r n f o r language w h i c h we f i n d i n V a l e r y , i s s o m e t h i n g w h i c h must u l t i m a t e l y b r e a k down, owing t o an i n c r e a s e d s t r a i n a g a i n s t w h i c h th e human mind and n e r v e s w i l l r e b e l . . ..10 He m i g h t w e l l have s a i d " a g a i n s t w h i c h N a t u r e w i l l r e b e l " f o r he d i d as much as any o f the S y m b o l i s t s t o n e g a t e N a t u r e . H i s own development shows t h e i m p o r t a n t i n f l u e n c e o f t h e S y m b o l i s t s a l m o s t more t h a n t h a t o f B a u d e l a i r e , a f a c t t h a t he h i m s e l f c o n f i r m s d e s p i t e h i s o f t e n e x p r e s s e d r e g a r d f o r the l a t t e r . 1 1 A l t h o u g h E l i o t was t o grow o u t of the L a f o r g u e a n i r o n i c pose ( o u t o f n e c e s s i t y , as I have e a r l i e r m a i n t a i n e d ) , he r e t u r n e d t o pay h i s s p i r i t u a l and a r t i s t i c d e b t s t o Symbolism i n F o u r Q u a r t e t s . Ludwig Marcuse i n h i s h i g h l y r e l e v a n t a r t i c l e , "Reak-t i o n a r e und p r o g r e s s i v e Romantik", p o i n t s o u t t h a t R o m a n t i c i s m took two t u r n s , the p r o g r e s s i v e and the r e a c t i o n a r y . D i e M a s s e n - K u l t u r , d i e aus d e r i n d u s t r i e l l e n R e v o l u t i o n geboren wurde, h a t zwei Gegen-Bewegungen 58 a u s g e l o s t : d i e r e a k t i o n a r e und d i e p r o g r e s s i v e Romantik. D i e e r s t e w o l t e z u r i i c k : i n e i n e V e r -g a n g e n h e i t , d i e weder M a s c h i n e noch das i s o l i e r t e Massen-Atom Mensch gekannt h a t t e . D i e z w e i t e d r a n g t e w o r w a r t s z u r Uberwindung des " Z e i t a l t e r s d er v o l l e n d e n t e n S u n d h a f t i g k e i t , " w i e d e r Rom-a n t i k e r F i c h t e s e i n e z e i t i n der S c h r i f t "Grundzuge des g e g e n w a r t i g e n Z e i t a l t e r s " t a u f t e . 1 2 Those who t o o k the r e a c t i o n a r y s t a n c e may be d e s c r i b e d i n a t e l l i n g p a r a d o x : " S i e a l l e kann man a u f e i n e n p a r a d o x e n G e n e r a l n e n n e r 13 b r i n g e n ; s i e waren a i t i r o m a n t i s c h e R o m a n t i k e r . " He adds, "Es i s t k e i n z w e i f e l dafi e i n e d e r F o l g e n d e r Romantik d i e p o l i t i s c h e R e a k t i o n war. A b e r n u r s o , w i e auch e i n e d er F o l g e n des P i o n i e r -D a s e i n s das Zugrundegehen i s t . F a l s c h i s t , z u s c h l i e ( J e n , daf> d i e R e a k t i o n d i e l o g i s c h e F o l g e d e r Romantik gewesen i s t und s e i n mu/3."14 E l i o t I w o u l d t e r m s u c h an example o f an " a n t i - R o m a n t i c Romantic". I n the f o l l o w i n g e x p l o r a t i o n o f h i s e a r l y , pre-Waste  Land, p o e t r y t h e r e w i l l emerge a p i c t u r e o f an a r t i s t who s t r u g g l e d w i t h t he d u a l i t y o f S p i r i t and N a t u r e , b u t who p e r s i s t e d i n t h e S y m b o l i s t r o l e o f r e j e c t i o n o f N a t u r e and y e a r n i n g f o r S p i r i t . The f i r s t two c o l l e c t i o n s o f E l i o t ' s v e r s e , P r u f r o c k and  Othe r O b s e r v a t i o n s (1917) and Poems (1920), l a y b a r e t h e n a t u r a l w o r l d and c o n s t r a i n us t o see i t t h r o u g h t h e p o e t ' s e y e s . Through-o u t the work, t h e r e i s an unspoken I d e a l b e h i n d t h e d e s c r i p t i o n s o f p e o p l e and l i f e , an I d e a l w h i c h i s n e v e r o p e n l y e x p r e s s e d b u t o n l y s u g g e s t e d by c e r t a i n j u x t a p o s i t i o n s o f p h r a s e s o r m o t i f s i n the v e r s e . The t e c h n i q u e o f c o m b i n i n g n a t u r a l i s t i c and r e a l i s t i c d e s c r i p t i o n w i t h an i d e a l i s t i c v i e w p o i n t i s a l r e a d y i n e v i d e n c e h e r e and f i n d s i t s c u l m i n a t i o n i n The Waste Land. H e r e , however, the emphasis i s p r i m a r i l y on the n a t u r a l w o r l d as v i e w e d f r o m a 5 9 w i t h d r a w n s p i r i t u a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s . The r e s u l t i s a s u b t l e t e n s i o n between t h e s p i r i t u a l and t h e n a t u r a l s t a t e s , g i v i n g the p o e t r y an i n t e n s i t y t h a t w o u l d o t h e r w i s e be l a c k i n g . Mere r e a l i s m o r n a t u r -a l i s m i n a r t , no m a t t e r how w e l l h a n d l e d , has t h e tendency t o become u n i n t e r e s t i n g , f o r i t does n o t c h a l l e n g e us w i t h a h i g h e r p o i n t o f v i e w . E l i o t ' s p o e t r y i m p l i c i t l y c o n t a i n s t h i s s p i r i t u a l s e n s i b i l i t y w h i c h i s d e t a c h e d from t h e n a t u r a l w o r l d and p a s s e s judgement on i t , b u t w h i c h i s a l s o a s u f f e r i n g p a r t o f i t . The d i f f e r e n c e between the p u r e l y r e a l i s t i c - n a t u r a l i s t i c t e c h n i q u e and E l i o t ' s i s t h a t the f o r m e r d e s c r i b e s t h e s t r e e t i n a l l i t s s o r d i d n e s s and decay, b u t t h e l a t t e r has "such a v i s i o n o f the s t r e e t / A s the s t r e e t h a r d l y u n d e r s t a n d s . " The e p i g r a p h f o r t h e s e e a r l y poems m i g h t be t h e l a s t s t a n z a o f "The Love Song o f J . A l f r e d P r u f r o c k " : We have l i n g e r e d i n the chambers o f the s e a By s e a - g i r l s w r e a t h e d w i t h seaweed r e d and brown T i l l human v o i c e s wake us and we drown. Modern man, u n l i k e the h e r o e s o f o l d , has succumbed t o the song o f the S i r e n s , t o the e n t i c e m e n t s o f N a t u r e , and i s now t h e i r h e l p l e s s , weak p r i s o n e r . The s p i r i t o f man i s i n a h o s t i l e e l e m e n t — w a t e r ; i t i s , t o be more p r e c i s e , submerged under w a t e r , t h a t i s , i n th e u n c o n s c i o u s . Man's s p i r i t , i m p r i s o n e d i n the u n c o n s c i o u s w h i c h i s an e x p r e s s i o n o f N a t u r e , cannot p e r f o r m i t s m o r a l d u t i e s o r d e s t i n e d t a s k s . The example o f the C l a s s i c a l h e r o e s t e a c h e s us t h a t man's s p i r i t must t r a v e l above and a c r o s s t h e w a t e r , and f i g h t a g a i n s t the powers o f N a t u r e t h a t w o u l d e n t i c e i t away f r o m i t s c o u r s e and w a y l a y i t i n a p r i s o n o f f a l s e p l e a s u r e s . A l l t h e men and women who pass t h r o u g h t h e s e poems a r e i m p r i s o n e d i n N a t u r e and a r e e i t h e r un-aware o f t h e dangers t o w h i c h t h e i r s p i r i t i s exposed o r , i f t h e y a re 60 c o n s c i o u s o f t h e i r p l i g h t , do n o t know how t o s e t t h e m s e l v e s f r e e . Those o f the f o r m e r c a t e g o r y a r e i n the m a j o r i t y and l a r g e l y com-pose t h e modern p o p u l a t i o n . I n the poems, they a r e r e p r e s e n t e d by Sweeney, Burbank and B l e i s t e i n , and a medley o f d i s c o r d a n t f e m a l e s who weave t h e i r v o i c e s t h r o u g h s c o r e s o f s i t u a t i o n s . I f t h e r e can be s a i d t o be grades i n E l i o t ' s n a t u r a l w o r l d , as t h e r e a r e i n Dante's t r i p l e u n i v e r s e , t h e n Sweeney s u r e l y o c c u p i e s the l o w e s t rung. He i s t h e n a t u r a l man most l i k e the b e a s t s ; from the d e s c r i p t i o n s E l i o t a p p l i e s t o him, he i s c l o s e r t o the a n i m a l kingdom t h a n t o the human. Of t h e d i v i n e , n e e d l e s s t o s a y , he knows n o t h i n g . Y e t h e r e we can see most c l e a r l y E l i o t ' s t e c h n i q u e o f t h r o w i n g the n a t u r a l w o r l d i n t o r e l i e f by j u x t a p o s i n g t o i t t h e s u b l i m e r p o s s i b i l i t i e s t o w h i c h man can a t t a i n . I n "Sweeney E r e c t " , E l i o t p l a c e s t h e p i c t u r e o f a d i s g u s t i n g l y and b r u t a l l y p h y s i c a l modern b e s i d e t h a t o f the Homeric h e r o whose modesty and r e s p e c t f u l n e s s i n the p r e s e n c e o f N a u s i c a a and h e r maidens d i c t a t e d concealment. N e e d l e s s t o s a y , the f i g u r e o f D o r i s does n o t g a i n i n s t a t u r e from the comp a r i s o n . Sweeney, w i t h h i s " g e s t u r e o f o r a n g - o u t a n g " , i r o n i c a l l y "knows t h e femal e tempera-ment", b u t we cannot f o r g e t t h a t t h i s i s o n l y s u c h knowledge as t h a t o f the l o w e s t a n i m a l s . Any h i g h e r c o n c e p t i o n o f human r e l a -t i o n s h i p s i s n o t p o s s i b l e t o t h i s t y p e o f n a t u r a l man. "Sweeney Among the N i g h t i n g a l e s " r e p e a t s t h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i n a tone o f u n d i l u t e d d i s g u s t : Apeneck Sweeney s p r e a d s h i s knees L e t t i n g h i s arms hang down t o l a u g h , The z e b r a s t r i p e s a l o n g h i s jaw S w e l l i n g t o m a c u l a t e g i r a f f e . 61 The t r o p i c a l and e x o t i c i m agery o f " t h e p e r s o n i n the S p a n i s h cape", the "oranges/Bananas f i g s and h o t h o u s e g r a p e s " s u g g e s t the r i p e n e s s o f decay, and the f r u i t may even s p u r t h e r e a d e r t o remember t h e s y m b o l i c Garden where the f i r s t s i n f u l b i t e was t a k e n . A g a i n , the h i g h e r s p i r i t u a l s e n s i b i l i t y o f t h e poet p a s s e s judgement on the scene w i t h t h e e v o c a t i o n o f t h e murder o f Agamemnon and the e l e g i a c song o f the b i r d : The n i g h t i n g a l e s a r e s i n g i n g n e a r The Convent of the S a c r e d H e a r t The b i r d s ' " l i q u i d s i f t i n g s " s u g g e s t t h e lament o f t h e s p i r i t o v e r the t r e a c h e r y and b e s t i a l i t y o f the n a t u r a l man. As i f t o i n d i c a t e the way t h a t must be t a k e n — e x p i a t i o n , penance, and s e l f - d e n i a l — t h e i g n o r e d n i g h t i n g a l e s i n g s " n e a r t h e Convent of t h e S a c r e d H e a r t " , i t s v e r y name a r e m i n d e r o f the d i f f e r e n c e between i d e a l o r d i v i n e l o v e and the c o a r s e , p r o f a n e i n t r i g u e w h i c h p a s s e s f o r i t . There i s i n t h e s e e a r l y poems an u n f o r t u n a t e a p p l i c a t i o n o f S e m i t i c imagery t o the d e p l o r e d and c e n s u r e d n a t u r a l man, t h a t i s , t h e i n d i v i d u a l w i t h o u t s p i r i t u a l s e n s i b i l i t y . R a t h e r t h a n i n -c r e a s i n g the s u c c e s s o f h i s d e s c r i p t i o n s , i t tends t o weaken them, f o r we e i t h e r p o l i t e l y i g n o r e t h e i n d i s c r e t i o n o r t a k e o f f e n c e and f e e l t h e poem i s s p o i l e d . We can o n l y v e n t u r e a guess as t o why E l i o t t h o u g h t t h e a p p l i c a t i o n a p p r o p r i a t e ; perhaps the Jews seemed to h im a n a t u r a l r a c e o f men because t h e y h a d n o t a c c e p t e d t h e s p i r i t u a l i z i n g message o f C h r i s t i a n i t y . I n t h a t r e s p e c t , t h e y may have e p i t o m i z e d f o r h im t h e a n t i - s p i r i t u a l o r a n t i - C h r i s t i a n t e n d -ency o f modern man. They were men s t i l l i n the o l d s t a t e o f N a t u r e , t o use P a u l i n e terms. Whatever the r e a s o n , and the above seems 62 more likely than that he was simply a hateful, biased man, "Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar" remains one of his least appealing creations. When E l i o t describes woman, he is not far from Baudelaire's opinion that she is "natural and therefore hateful". Although this was an attitude that was to change later, as we shall see, i n these f i r s t two volumes of verse E l i o t essentially views her as "the eternal enemy of the absolute". Whether she is a society lady, an ordinary woman, or a harlot, she is regarded with distrust and dis-like. The more intelligent ones are neurotic, like the anxious, love-denied, and dominating subject of "Portrait of a Lady", and the stupid ones are, at least, unprepossessing i f d i f f i c u l t to communicate with. The s p i r i t u a l hero sees himself as victimized between these two types. In the "Portrait", the gulf between the two people is so terrifyingly absolute that the woman's il l u s i o n of understanding and communication no longer seems funny. Toward the end, even she is forced to wonder what is wrong: 'For everybody said so, a l l our friends, They a l l were sure our feelings would relate So closely! I myself can hardly understand. Her inappropriate sincerity causes the silent and meek hero to feel remorse and guilt; but, most of a l l , what he really feels and conceals is furious hatred. It is his total loathing of the neurotic lady that occasions his guilt and death-wish: And I must borrow every changing shape To find expression...dance, dance Like a dancing bear, Cry like a parrot, chatter like an ape. Let us take the air, in a tobacco trance— Well! and what i f she should die some Afternoon grey and smoky, evening yellow and rose; 63 There is a change in tone in this passage as soon as he begins to imagine her death. The f i r s t part i s f i l l e d with hard, staccato sounds that convey resentment and anger, and f i n a l two lines con-tain soft, soothing, and pleasant syllables. It is also interesting to notice that he is beginning to compare himself to an animal, something this spiritual young man cannot tolerate; one can hardly resist coming to the undignified conclusion that she is 'making a monkey out of him' — that i s , causing him to lose his intellectual and sp i r i t u a l possession. When his rational control breaks, he feels himself becoming like an animal, a natural beast. It is therefore not strange to see him angry, although posing as the woman's victim. The f i n a l line of the poem, concluding his revery on her death, indicates better than a l l his feeling of guilt and self-pity the real emotion he feels toward the woman: "And should I have the right to smile?" The second type of woman, unlike the older and apparently intelligent society lady, is the one whom Prufrock meets in the unspecified "room". Certainly, these women who "come and go/Talking of Michelangelo" do not possess any real culture or intelligence; they merely simulate i t for effect. Or, i f they do not speak, they s i t placidly and langourously at tea-tables, waiting for the gentle-man to make a proposition. One would think the hero to have less di f f i c u l t y here; but no, this time he is victimized by their indif-ference and his sp i r i t u a l expectations. Prufrock wants the sympathy of this woman, to lay bare his troubled heart to her; but he realizes that she is stupid, somewhat vicious, and would not understand. 64 And I have known the eyes already, known them a l l -The eyes that f i x you i n a formulated phrase, And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin, When I am pinned and wriggling on the wal l . Then how should I begin To s p i t out a l l the butt-ends of my days and ways? And should I presume? The crux of the problem f o r t h i s man, unlike Sweeney, i s that he has a s p i r i t u a l s e n s i b i l i t y but that i t cannot r e l a t e s u c c e s s f u l l y to Nature. On the one hand, h i s s p i r i t u a l i t y leads him to regard Nature as i n f e r i o r and to f e e l s l i g h t l y superior to i t ; on the other, he fee l s himself v i c t i m i z e d by i t . The tru t h , which the f i n a l stanza evokes, i s that modern man — whether he knows i t or not — has not come to terms with Nature so that a balance e x i s t s between i t and hi s s p i r i t , but that he has permitted Nature to swallow him up i n i t s deadly t i d e . I t i s the destructive side of Nature to which he has f a l l e n v i c t i m and which r e s u l t s i n his p a r a l y s i s of w i l l , h i s resentment and hatred of the na t u r a l , and his v i c i o u s animality. I t i s not d i f f i c u l t to understand that the perverted n a t u r a l man l i k e Sweeney does not consciously despise Nature but that by h i s every act he desecrates i t ; and that the would-be s p i r i t u a l man l i k e Prufrock and the poet's persona fears and hates Nature because he i s i t s unwilling prisoner. Their attitude to woman i s thus a con-sequence of t h e i r inner corruption or c o n f l i c t , both of which issue d i r e c t l y from the d i v i s i o n of S p i r i t and Nature i n the psyche. For further examples of E l i o t ' s p o s i t i o n at t h i s time we need only look at the negative feminine p o r t r a i t s i n "Hysteria", "Conversation Galante", "Whispers of Immortality", and "Rhapsody on a Windy Night", a l l of which reveal a f a i l u r e of adjustment of these two fundamental p r i n c i p l e s . 65 There is, as I have said, an Ideal behind these poems, a vision of the world and people as they could be. While i t is never stated, for fear of sounding ridiculous perhaps, i t sometimes manages to steal past the tough pose of the narrator. I am moved by fancies that are curled Around these images, and cling: The notion of some infinitely gentle Infinitely suffering thing. Eliot seems not to be certain of or secure with his vision of the Ideal at this point in his career. In a jaded world of hardened men and women, such as he is describing, to have an Ideal — let alone a spiritual one — is dangerous i f not outright ridiculous. It is much easier to conceal i t under a facade of disillusionment, irony, or the prophetic utterances of an assumed persona. In "Preludes", Eliot handled the disguise rather clumsily: Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh; The worlds revolve like ancient women Gathering fuel in vacant lots. These closing lines say everything except what he is trying to say; the brittle comic mask breaks and tears come gushing out. Rather than being a statement of indifference about the corruption, suffering, and ugliness of the natural world, i t is one of deep concern. As an ironic pose i t is just that — an intellectual disguise and not a true feeling. Similarly, the Ideal lurks behind the other poems: in "Prufrock" i t is the vision of a hero who has not been rendered emotion-ally impotent by succumbing to the seductive strains of Nature, in the "Sweeney" poems i t is the memory of the nobler virtues of love and decency, in "Whispers of Immortality" i t is the realization of man's longing for a supernatural love and satisfaction such as a "friendly 66 b u s t g i v i n g p r o m i s e o f p n e u m a t i c b l i s s " can n e v e r a f f o r d , i n "The B o s t o n E v e n i n g T r a n s c r i p t " i t i s t h e hope t h a t t h e r e i s more t o l i f e and e x i s t e n c e on t h i s e a r t h t h a n t h e e x c i t e m e n t s a f f o r d e d by the h e a d l i n e s , and so f o r t h . The p o e t r y i s g r o p i n g toward a s p i r -i t u a l r e a l i z a t i o n w h i c h cannot be d e n i e d o r p a r o d i e d , an I d e a l w h i c h can be l i v e d and e x p r e s s e d w i t h o u t f e a r o f r i d i c u l e o r shame. But as y e t , E l i o t had n o t a r r i v e d a t t h i s s t a g e . He was s t i l l i n the p r o c e s s o f i d e n t i f y i n g and e m p h a s i z i n g the s i n s o r c r i m e s o f man i n t h e unredeemed s t a t e o f N a t u r e . One poem o f t h i s s e r i e s t h a t s t a n d s out as a weather-vane i n d i c a t i n g the n e x t phase of E l i o t ' s development i s " G e r o n t i o n " . I n many ways, t h i s poem a n t i c i p a t e s t h e g r e a t e r i n t e r p e n e t r a t i o n o f S p i r i t and N a t u r e i n The Waste Land and h i n t s i n what way the d u a l i t y w i l l be r e s o l v e d . I n i t s images o f d e s s i c a t i o n and d r o u g h t , the p e r s o n a o f t h e o l d man, t h e b u d d i n g h i s t o r i c a l s e n s e , and the appearance o f the C h r i s t i a n m o t i f , " G e r o n t i o n " foreshadows t h e n e x t s t a g e . The p e r s o n a o f G e r o n t i o n f u n c t i o n s as an o b j e c t -i f i c a t i o n o f t h e s e l f and e n a b l e s t h e poet t o v i e w t h e n a t u r a l w o r l d from the removed s t a n d p o i n t o f "an o l d man i n a d r y month". W r i t i n g f r o m t h e p o i n t o f v i e w o f extreme age was n o t o n l y a means o f d i s t a n c i n g h i m s e l f f r o m the scene t o be s u r v e y e d , b u t a l s o an o p p o r t u n i t y t o e x p r e s s t h e i n t e n s i t y w i t h w h i c h he had a l r e a d y l i v e d and t h o u g h t . L i k e B a u d e l a i r e , he c o u l d s a y : " J ' a i p l u s de s o u v e n i r s que s i j ' a v a i s m i l l e ans". Through the mouth o f G e r o n t i o n the y o u t h f u l E l i o t c o u l d e x p r e s s w i t h more s e r i o u s n e s s and w e i g h t h i s a c c u s a t i o n s a g a i n s t a " d e p r a v e d " w o r l d . One does n o t e x p e c t t o f i n d a h i s t o r i c a l s ense i n y o u t h and, coming f r o m t h e 67 l i p s o f a yo u n g e r c h a r a c t e r , the f a t i g u e and d i s g u s t w i t h l i f e e x p r e s s e d by G e r o n t i o n w o u l d seem prem a t u r e o r perhaps abnormal. I have l o s t my p a s s i o n : why s h o u l d I need t o keep i t S i n c e what i s k e p t must be a d u l t e r a t e d ? F o r the f i r s t t i m e , the n a t u r a l w o r l d i s b e g i n n i n g t o be thrown i n t o a C h r i s t i a n r e l i e f : S i g n s a r e t a k e n f o r wonders. 'We w o u l d see a s i g n ! ' The word w i t h i n a word, u n a b l e t o speak a word, Swaddled i n d a r k n e s s . I n t h e j u v e n e s c e n c e o f t h e y e a r Came C h r i s t the t i g e r T h i s passage seems t o s y m b o l i z e E l i o t ' s own s t a t e a t t h i s t i m e ; t h e 'new' word t h a t he w i l l s p e ak, and t h a t i s embodied i n h i s l a t e r p o e t r y , i s a l r e a d y immanent b u t "swaddled i n d a r k n e s s " — pe r h a p s b u r i e d i n t h e u n c o n s c i o u s and p r e p a r i n g f o r i t s b i r t h . I n t i m a t e l y c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h i s i s t h e new h i s t o r i c a l sense t h a t t h e w o r l d has always been c o r r u p t and has n e v e r been ready t o r e c e i v e t h e a n n u n c i a -t i o n s o f h i s t o r y . They have come e i t h e r t o o soon o r t o o l a t e f o r man t o b e n e f i t f r o m them a t the r i g h t moment. The s p i r i t u a l h i s t o r y o f mankind, d a t e d from the " w r a t h - b e a r i n g t r e e " , has been one of e q u a l f a i l u r e . The new i n s i g h t t o r t u r e s t h e p o e t as he poses the q u e s t i o n : H i s t o r y has many c u n n i n g p a s s a g e s , c o n t r i v e d c o r r i d o r s And i s s u e s , d e c e i v e s w i t h w h i s p e r i n g v a n i t i e s . T h i n k now She g i v e s when o u r a t t e n t i o n i s d i s t r a c t e d And what she g i v e s , g i v e s w i t h s u c h s u p p l e c o n f u s i o n s That t h e g i v i n g f a m i s h e s the c r a v i n g . G i v e s t o o l a t e What's n o t b e l i e v e d i n k o r i f s t i l l b e l i e v e d , I n memory o n l y , r e c o n s i d e r e d p a s s i o n . G i v e s t o o soon I n t o weak hands, what's t h o u g h t can be d i s p e n s e d w i t h T i l l t h e r e f u s a l p r o p a g a t e s a f e a r . T h i n k N e i t h e r f e a r n o r courage saves u s . . . . A f t e r h a v i n g t a k e n p r e l i m i n a r y s t o c k o f the w o r l d and man, and s e e i n g i t f a l l s h o r t o f the s p i r i t u a l i d e a l w h i c h was al w a y s w i t h h i m , E l i o t 68 t r i e d t o f i n d t h a t w h i c h w o u l d s a v e m a n — o r , a t l e a s t , h i m s e l f . T h e n e w c h a l l e n g e w a s p r e s e n t e d b y C h r i s t a n d w a y w h i c h H e p r o -p o s e d : " T h e t i g e r s p r i n g s i n t h e n e w y e a r . U s h e d e v o u r s . " C h r i s t i s h e r e p i c t u r e d a s a d e s t r u c t i v e f o r c e w h i c h m a y a t f i r s t s e e m i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h o u r u s u a l n o t i o n s o f H i m , b u t C h r i s t b r i n g s d e a t h t o t h e o l d s e l f a n d p r o c l a i m s a n e w w a y f o r m a n t o f o l l o w . W h a t t h a t w a y w o u l d b e , h o w e v e r , w a s a t a s k t a k e n u p i n T h e W a s t e  L a n d ; a t t h i s s t a g e , E l i o t r e m i n d e d u s , " W e h a v e n o t y e t r e a c h e d c o n c l u s i o n " . F o o t n o t e s C h a p t e r V 1. B a u d e l a i r e , " L a P e i n t r e de l a V i e Moderne," Oeuvres, p. 894. 2. T. S. E l i o t , To C r i t i c i z e the C r i t i c : And o t h e r W r i t i n g s (London, F a b e r & F a b e r , 1 9 6 5 ) , p. 17. 3. E l i o t , " T r a d i t i o n and the I n d i v i d u a l T a l e n t , " S e l e c t e d E s s a y s , 1 s t . ed. 1932, r e v . (New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e , & W o r l d , I n c . , 1 9 6 4 ) , p. 10. 4. E l i o t , " L a n c e l o t Andrewes," F o r L a n c e l o t Andrewes: E s s a y s on S t y l e  and Order (London: F a b e r & Gwyer, 1 9 2 8 ) , p. 31. 5. E l i o t , "The S o c i a l F u n c t i o n o f P o e t r y , " On P o e t r y and P o e t s (London: F a b e r & F a b e r , 1 9 5 7 ) , p. 19. 6. H e r b e r t Howarth, N o t e s on Some F i g u r e s B e h i n d T. S. E l i o t ( B o s t o n : Hengnton M i f f l i n Co., 1 9 6 4 ) , p. 178. 7. Edward J . H. Greene, T. S. E l i o t e t l a F r a n c e ( P a r i s : B o i v i n , 1 9 5 1), p. 180. 8. B a r b a r a Meyer, Das N a t u r g e f u h l i n d e r f r a n z o s i s c h e n L y r i c des  b e g i n n e n d e d XX J a h r h u n d e r t s , p. 19. 9. F. S c h l e g e l , K.A. V o l . 12, p. 151. 10. E l i o t , "From Poe t o V a l e r y , " To C r i t i c i z e t h e C r i t i c , p. 42. 11. E l i o t , "From Poe t o V a l e r y , " To C r i t i c i z e t h e C r i t i c , p. 18. 12. Ludwig M a r c u s e , " R e a k t i o n a r e und P r o g r e s s i v e Romantik," B e g r i f f s b e s t i m m u n g d e r Romantik, p. 384. 13. M a r c u s e , p. 384. 14. Marcuse, p. 380. T r a n s l a t i o n C h a p t e r V #12. The c u l t u r e o f the masses t h a t was b o r n out o f the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n r e l e a s e d two counter-movements: r e a c t i o n a r y and p r o g r e s s i v e R o m a n t i c i s m . The f i r s t wanted t o t u r n b a c k : i n t o a p a s t t h a t knew n e i t h e r t h e machine n o r t h e i s o l a t e d mass-a t o m i c man. The second pushed f o r w a r d t o conquer the "age o f complete s i n f u l n e s s " as t h e Romantic F i c h t e b a p t i z e d h i s time i n the work "Fundamental t r e n d s o f the p r e s e n t age". #13. They can a l l be termed under a p a r a d o x i c a l generalnommer: they were a n t i - R o m a n t i c R o m a n t i c s . #14. There i s no doubt t h a t one o f t h e r e s u l t s o f R o m a n t i c i s m was p o l i t i c a l r e a c t i o n . B u t o n l y i n the s e n s e t h a t one o f t h e r e s u l t s o f p i o n e e r e x i s t e n c e i s d e s t r u c t i o n . I t i s wrong t o c o n c l u d e t h a t r e a c t i o n was and must be t h e l o g i c a l r e s u l t o f R o m a n t i c i s m . CHAPTER VI THE WASTE LAND: "CHAOS AND EROS" The Waste Land o c c u p i e s a u n i q u e p l a c e i n E l i o t ' s p o e t i c development, f o r i t marks the m i d d l e - g r o u n d between h i s f i r s t and l a s t s t a g e s . The f i r s t s t a g e , w h i c h we have j u s t s e e n , was o c c u p i e d w i t h t h e d e p i c t i o n o f t h e n a t u r a l w o r l d and man. Th a t n a t u r a l s t a t e was a d e f i c i e n t one, l a c k i n g i n s p i r i t u a l i t y , g r a c e , b e a u t y , and v i r t u e . I t was a s t a t e i n w h i c h the d i s g u i s e d c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f the n a r r a t o r f e l t i t s e l f t r a p p e d and v i c t i m i z e d b u t as y e t i g n o r a n t o f how t o es c a p e . Not u n t i l " G e r o n t i o n " do we see a new p o s s i b i l i t y o p e n i n g up f o r the p o e t ; t h i s i s t h e development o f a h i s t o r i c a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s w h i c h e n a b l e s h i m t o s e e h i s own ti m e i n r e l a t i o n t o the p a s t and, t h u s , t o r e a l i z e t h a t t h e problems w h i c h the modern f a c e s a r e n o t new b u t t h a t t h e y have o n l y assumed new shapes. P a r a l l e l t o t h e emergence o f the h i s t o r i c a l s e n s e i s t h e r e - d i s c o v e r y of the t e a c h i n g s o f C h r i s t i a n i t y . E l i o t h ad an i n n a t e s p i r i t u a l s e n s i b i l i t y as h i s e a r l y work shows, b u t i t was u n c h a n n e l l e d and u n d i s c i p l i n e d . H i s i d e a l i s m was e v i d e n t f r o m t h e s t a r t , b u t he seemed t o f e e l e m b a r r a s s e d by I t . V e r y l i k e l y , h i s g r e a t e s t f e a r as a young p o e t was of s o u n d i n g s e n t i m e n t a l and t r i t e ; and, as a p r e -c a u t i o n a g a i n s t t h i s danger, he f o u n d t h e i r o n i c , s a r c a s t i c , and d i s i l l u s i o n e d tone o f L a f o r g u e and C o r b i e r e a s u r e check. As E l i o t became more s u r e and c o n f i d e n t o f h i s d i r e c t i o n , t he i r o n i c t e c h n i q u e became l e s s f r e q u e n t . The l a s t phase o f h i s work i s one o f i n t e n s i v e 70 s p i r i t u a l i z a t i o n o f a l l t h a t b e l o n g s t o the n a t u r a l s t a t e . I t i s r e a l l y a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f f a l l e n N a t u r e and an u n d e r t a k i n g o f the C h r i s t i a n way o f s a l v a t i o n . But t h a t way was n o t o u t l i n e d o r u n d e r s t o o d u n t i l he had w r i t t e n The Waste Land. From the p o i n t o f v i e w o f t h i s s t u d y , t h i s l e n g t h y poem w h i c h has a l r e a d y r e c e i v e d so much c r i t i c a l a t t e n t i o n r e v e a l s more c l e a r l y t h a n a n y t h i n g e l s e E l i o t m i g h t have s a i d o r w r i t t e n t h a t he i s t r u l y a R o m antic i n s p i t e o f h i m s e l f . D e c r y i n g the s t a t e o f modern c i v i l i z a t i o n as f r a g m e n t e d , c h a o t i c , and c o r r u p t e d , E l i o t uses t h a t v e r y t e c h n i q u e o r f o r m t o convey h i s c r i t i c i s m . The p r i n c i p l e o f e r o s , f i r s t c h i l d o f N a t u r e , i s made t o b e a r the blame f o r h u m a n i t y ' s depraved c o n d i t i o n ; i n i t s s t e a d , E l i o t w i s h e s t o p l a c e agape o r s p i r i t u a l l o v e . The s e x u a l m o t i f , so c e n t r a l t o The Waste Land, s y m b o l i z e s t h e f a l l i n g away from the agape i d e a l and the t r i u m p h of e r o s — a l b e i t a v e r y debased f o r m o f i t . I n t e r -e s t i n g l y enough, F. S c h l e g e l h a d d e c l a r e d : "The b e s t e x p l a n a t i o n of t h e r o m a n t i c i s p e r h a p s chaos and e r o s " . 1 I n h i s L i t e r a r y Notebooks (1797-1801), he r e p e a t e d l y r e f e r r e d t o t h e s e two a s p e c t s o f Romantic a r t , b u t r a t h e r t h a n d e p l o r i n g them S c h l e g e l saw p o s i t i v e v a l u e i n "chaos and e r o s " . F i r s t o f a l l , what d i d he mean by "chaos"? From the Notebooks i t appears t h a t S c h l e g e l had i n mind n o t a r t l e s s f o r m -2 l e s s n e s s , b u t " e i n g e b i l d e t e s k u n s t l i c h e s c h a o s " o f w h i c h Shakespeare 3 p r o v i d e d an example. The " c h a o t i c f o r m " was a n a t u r a l and s p i r i t u a l » 4 d e s i g n , an " a r a b e s q u e " o f w h i c h the "Marchen" was a t y p e . 'The p r i n c i p l e o f Romantic p r o s e as w e l l as p o e t r y i s symmetry and chaos"; what the a r t i s t had t o a c h i e v e was a " s y n t h e s i s " o f the two.^ L a s t l y , 71 on the s u b j e c t o f chaos i n a r t , S c h l e g e l w r i t e s : " D i e e i g e n t l i c h e Grundform des m y t h o l o g i s c h e n G e d i c h t s i s t a b s o l u t e s chaos. I s n o t The Waste Land i t s e l f a " m y t h o l o g i c a l poem" whose " b a s i c f o r m " i s chaos? I b e l i e v e s o ; i t i s " m y t h o l o g i c a l " i n the sense t h a t i t s s u b s t r u c t u r e i s the G r a i l l e g e n d and numerous o t h e r p r i m i t i v e myths, and t h a t i t i s c h a o t i c no one has y e t d e n i e d . B u t t h e r e i s a l s o "symmetry" i n E l i o t ' s " c h a o s " ; a s p i r i t u a l , a r t f u l p l a n l i e s b e h i n d i t s e x e c u t i o n . T r u l y , I b e l i e v e , The Waste Land may be c a l l e d an " a r a b e s q u e " poem. R e g a r d i n g S c h l e g e l ' s s e c o n d p r i n c i p l e a c t i v e i n R o mantic a r t , e r o s , a l i t t l e more must be s a i d . Hans E i c h n e r i n h i s com-mentary on t h e Notebooks w r i t e s : " G r e a t l y i n f l u e n c e d i n t h i s r e s p e c t by Hemsterhuys, S c h l e g e l saw i n t h e e r o t i c a c o s m ic f o r c e w h i c h f a r t r a n s c e n d s t h e domain of the s e x u a l . H i s e x p l a n a t i o n o f r o m a n t i c p o e t r y as e r o t i c t h e r e f o r e r e q u i r e d o n l y a s l i g h t m o d i f i c a t i o n t o become an e s s e n t i a l p a r t o f h i s l a t e r , c a t h o l i c p o e t i c s . " 7 S c h l e g e l v i e w e d e r o s i n t h e P l a t o n i c s e n s e , t h a t i s , i n the sense w h i c h i t i s e x p r e s s e d i n The Symposium, as a b i n d i n g power w h i c h u n i t e s t h e d i v i n e and t h e m o r t a l . E r o s , i n the l a r g e r s e n s e , the g r e a t u n i f y i n g power o f l o v e . Romantic p o e t r y s h o u l d be s u f f u s e d w i t h t h i s s p i r i t o f e r o s ; i n S c h l e g e l ' s own words: D i e moderne P o e s i e i s t e r o t i s c h . V i e l l e i c h t i s t das P r i n z i p der r o m a n t i s c h e n P o e s i e z w e i f a c h ; s i e i s t e r o t i s c h und dann k u n s t a h n l i c h d.h. p i t t o r e s k , m u s i k a l i s c h pp. H i e r u n t e r c h e i d e t s i e s i c h doch w o h l n u r d u r c h V o l l s t a n d i g k e i t von d e r G r i e c h i s c h e n . 8 E l i o t , u n f o r t u n a t e l y , u n d e r s t o o d e r o s o n l y i n i t s debased s e n s e , and i t i s n o t u n l i k e l y t h a t t h i s debasement i s a consequence o f the n e g a t i v e 72 v i e w o f N a t u r e . The Waste Land r e f l e c t s t he p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h chaos and e r o s b u t a l s o r e v e a l s E l i o t ' s i n a b i l i t y t o u n d e r s t a n d the v a l u e o f b o t h . As a r e s u l t , t h e s e e lements s u f f u s e t h e poem bu t o n l y i n a n e g a t i v e way. I n the main symbol o f t h e poem, t h e waste l a n d , we see t h e t e r r i b l e and s t e r i l e s t a t e t o w h i c h N a t u r e has been r e d u c e d by the d e p a r t u r e o f e r o s . E l i o t c o n n e c t e d e r o s o r Romantic l o v e w i t h s e x u a l i t y , b u t s e x u a l i t y i s o n l y one a s p e c t o f e r o s . What we have i n The Waste Land, as i n the modern w o r l d , 9 i s s e x u a l i t y w i t h o u t e r o s . E l i o t i s n o t e n t i r e l y i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h Western t r a d i t i o n i n h i s m i s t r u s t o f e r o s , b u t t h i s o n l y a r i s e s o u t o f a f a l s e c o n c e p t i o n o f N a t u r e f o r , e s s e n t i a l l y , e r o s i s n o t i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h agape. S t . A u g u s t i n e h i m s e l f r e a l i z e d t h i s i n s a y i n g t h a t e r o s l e a d s man t o God. We have i n The Waste  Land the c u r i o u s s i t u a t i o n o f a c o n f l i c t o f l o v e s — e r o s and agape — a c o n f l i c t t h a t w o u l d n e v e r have a r i s e n i n the f i r s t p l a c e had E l i o t u n d e r s t o o d t h e v a l u e o f N a t u r e . As i t was, h i s f o r m and s u b j e c t m a t t e r b e t r a y the u n c o n s c i o u s i mmersion i n t h e Romantic t r a d i t i o n and the c o n s c i o u s r e v o l t a g a i n s t i t . By t u r n i n g t o the poem i t s e l f we w i l l w i t n e s s t h i s u n n a t u r a l c o n f l i c t and the way i n w h i c h E l i o t f i n a l l y r e s o l v e d i t . A v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g q u e s t i o n , w h i c h u n f o r t u n a t e l y cannot be p u r s u e d h e r e , i s why s p i r i t u a l l o v e has been t r a d i t i o n a l l y v i e w e d as i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h Romantic l o v e . The l a t t e r has been r e c o g n i z e d as a m i g h t y power i n men's l i v e s , b u t one e i t h e r t o be overcome o r t o be overcome by. There i s no a l t e r n a t i v e ; and t o be overcome by e r o s r e s u l t s i n s i n n i n g a g a i n s t t h e S p i r i t (hence, t h e m o r a l code) and i n 73 death. Romantic l o v e must t h u s be an a n t i - c i v i l i z i n g f o r c e , l e a d i n g t o w h o l e s a l e d e s t r u c t i o n and decadence, i f the e r e c t i o n and maintenance o f a m o r a l code i s c o n s i d e r e d as t h e a c t i v i t y o f the s p i r i t . Romantic l o v e poses a danger t o man and t o c i v i l i z a t i o n : t he danger o f b e i n g s w a l l o w e d up by N a t u r e . Hence, e r o s must be b a l a n c e d by a n o t h e r t y p e o f l o v e — the l o v e f o r o r d e r and r e s t r a i n t t h a t i s r e q u i r e d t o e n s u r e t h e c o n t i n u a t i o n o f c i v i l i z a t i o n . F o r man t o be c a p a b l e o f s u c h a l o v e , w h i c h i s p r i m -a r i l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h the i d e a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between men, and men and God, he must f i r s t be c a p a b l e o f s a c r i f i c e . S p i r i t u a l l o v e i s ba s e d on t h e s e l f - d e n i a l o f N a t u r e ' s s t r o n g e s t power — e r o s . I n The Waste Land, we see E l i o t s t r u g g l i n g w i t h t h e s e two f o r c e s — E r o s and Agape — and f i n a l l y making what, t o h i m , was the n e c e s s a r y s a c r i f i c e . The o p e n i n g s e c t i o n o f t h e poem, "The B u r i a l o f the Dead", draws out a t t e n t i o n t o t h e f a c t t h a t the f a s c i n a t i o n o f Romantic l o v e i s always accompanied by d e a t h — e i t h e r p h y s i c a l o r s p i r i t u a l , and sometimes b o t h . E v o k i n g the t a l e o f T r i s t a n and I s o l d e , E l i o t chooses two v e r y s i g n i f i c a n t e x c e r p t s f r o m Wagner's o p e r a t i c s c o r e . The f i r s t i s t a k e n f r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e t r a g e d y , when I s o l d e i s s t i l l i n n o c e n t and untouched by the power o f E r o s , s a i l i n g on the s h i p t h a t i s t o t a k e h e r t o Mark. The word " K i n d " , c h i l d , i s t o u c h -i n g l y a p p r o p r i a t e t o h e r p r e s e n t s t a t e . F r i s c h weht d e r Wind Der Heimat z u M e i n I r i s c h K i n d Wo w e i l e s t du? The s e c o n d e x c e r p t , however, i s one o f i n n o c e n c e d e s t r o y e d and a l r e a d y 74 i n d i c a t e s the r e s u l t o f the i l l i c i t p a s s i o n t h a t has u n i t e d the l o v e r s i n e c s t a s y and, now, i n d e a t h . Oed' und l e e r das Meer T r i s t a n u t t e r s t h e s e words o f a b s o l u t e d e s p a i r as he w a i t s l o o k i n g f o r the s h i p t h a t i s t o u n i t e h i m and I s o l d e . I s o l d e a r r i v e s j u s t i n t ime t o s e e h e r l o v e r d i e i n h e r arms. The s t e r i l i t y and e m p t i -ness o f t h e ocean h e r e s y m b o l i z e s t h e u l t i m a t e b a r r e n n e s s o f t h e i r l o v e ; E r o s i s seen as an e s s e n t i a l l y d e s t r u c t i v e f o r c e w h i c h devours t h e i n d i v i d u a l s and does n o t p e r m i t them t o c r e a t e a n y t h i n g b u t t h e i r own de a t h and the u p s e t o f s o c i e t y . N e v e r t h e l e s s , E l i o t r e v e a l s a n o s t a l g i a f o r t h i s k i n d o f l o v e and condemns i t a l m o s t s a d l y . The scene i n the h y a c i n t h garden i s one o f extreme e m o t i o n , b u t whose end must be death and d e s p a i r . — Y e t when we came b a c k , l a t e , f r o m the h y a c i n t h g a r d e n , Y o u r arms f u l l , and y o u r h a i r wet, I c o u l d n o t Speak, and my eyes f a i l e d , I was n e i t h e r L i v i n g n o r dead, and I knew n o t h i n g , L o o k i n g i n t o the h e a r t o f l i g h t , t h e s i l e n c e . Oed' und l e e r das Meer. I n t h e sub s e q u e n t s e c t i o n s o f "A Game of Chess" and "The F i r e Sermon", E l i o t i s more e x p l i c i t about t h e v i c i o u s n e s s and b a r b a r -i s m i n t o w h i c h Romantic l o v e d e g e n e r a t e s . The r e c u r r i n g m o t i f i s r a p e , o r v i o l a t i o n o f l o v e . The C l e o p a t r a a n a l o g y i n the "Game o f Chess" a g a i n reminds the r e a d e r o f the r e s u l t o f s u b m i s s i o n t o e r o s . The l o v e o f Antony and C l e o p a t r a , as d e p i c t e d by Sh a k e s p e a r e , was an a n t i -c i v i l i z i n g f o r c e t h a t c r e a t e d i t s own m o r a l i t y and threw two kingdoms i n t o war. The b u r n i n g s h i p s a r e an a p t symbol f o r i t s a l l - c o n s u m i n g i n t e n s i t y and d e s t r u c t i v e c o n c l u s i o n . By t h e use o f the C l e o p a t r a and, l a t e r , the change o f P h i l o m e l a n a l o g i e s , E l i o t i m p l i e s t h a t Romantic 75 l o v e always l e a d s t o v i o l e n c e and b a r b a r i s m i n the forms o f war, k i l l i n g , o r ra p e . The modern men and women who a r e h i s s u b j e c t s o f s t u d y a r e by no means more m o r a l o r s p i r i t u a l than t h e i r pagan p r e d e c e s s o r s , and t h i s l a r g e l y a c c o u n t s f o r the s u c c e s s o f h i s a n a l o g i c a l method. The same powers s t i l l a nimate and r u l e the human h e a r t , be i t the h e a r t o f a Queen o r o f a pauper. The con-c l u s i o n o f the "Game o f Chess" emphasizes the theme o f v i o l a t i o n i n the c o n v e r s a t i o n between the two l o w e r - c l a s s women. T h i s i s an i l l u s t r a t i o n o f Romantic l o v e i n i t s l e a s t e x a l t e d f o r m , b r i n g -i n g w i t h i t s i c k n e s s and d i s e a s e . The poem i n d i c a t e s t h a t i t does n o t r e a l l y m a t t e r w h e t h e r i t i s e x a l t e d e r o s — such as i l l u s t r a t e d i n t he l i v e s o f T r i s t a n and I s o l d e , and Antony and C l e o p a t r a , o r d e n i g r a t e d e r o s — as d e p i c t e d by t h e p o o r women, the "nymphs", Sweeney and Mrs. P o r t e r , Mr. E u g e n i d e s , and the t y p i s t and the c a r b u n c u l a r young man — t h a t r u l e s o ur l i v e s ; t he end i s t h e same. Romantic l o v e l e a d s t o d e a t h and c o r r u p t i o n , and must be renounced i f man i s t o r e s t o r e h i m s e l f and the w o r l d t o g r a c e . The c o n c l u s i o n o f "The F i r e Sermon" g i v e s the h i n t o f the way t h a t must be t a k e n w i t h the words o f S t . A u g u s t i n e : "To C a r t h a g e t h e n I came". The way i s t o renounce a l l " u n h o l y l o v e s " and t o embrace t h e new, s p i r i t u a l l o v e . "What t h e Thunder S a i d " may be the s y m b o l i c v o i c e o f God s p e a k i n g t o man fr o m heaven and g i v i n g h i m the s p i r i t u a l p r e c e p t s by w h i c h t o l i v e : " G i v e , S y m p a t h i z e , C o n t r o l " . These words e x p r e s s the essence o f agape o r s p i r i t u a l l o v e . I t i s a h o l y l o v e b a s e d on man's r e c o g n i t i o n o f h i s m o r a l duty towards h i s n e i g h b o u r . By e x -p r e s s i n g t h e s e v i r t u e s i n h i s l i f e , man i s e s s e n t i a l l y a s k i n g t h e 76 " q u e s t i o n s " t h a t w i l l redeem t h e s t r i c k e n e d G r a i l K i n g f r o m h i s s u f f e r i n g and t h e w o r l d f r o m i t s s t e r i l i t y . From the movement o f The Waste Land, we can see t h a t E l i o t c o n s i d e r e d e r o s as a power dangerous t o the maintenance o f c i v i l i z a t i o n , t h e cause o f b e s t -i a l i t y , b r u t a l i t y , h o s t i l i t y among men, and a h o s t o f o t h e r v i c e s . I t c o u l d o n l y l e a d man t o death and d e s t r u c t i o n , whereas t h e s a v i n g power t h a t c o u l d r e s t o r e the w o r l d was agape. E l i o t c o u l d s u c c e s -s f u l l y draw on h i s t r a d i t i o n f o r t h e s t a t e m e n t and s o l u t i o n o f t h i s p r o b l e m , t h e r e b y i n d i c a t i n g t h a t he was p r o f o u n d l y s t i r r e d by t h e s e c o n f l i c t i n g c l a i m s o f l i f e . T h a t he d e c i d e d i n f a v o u r , o r r a t h e r , f o r the n e c e s s i t y o f s p i r i t u a l l o v e i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g , and r e v e a l s the b i a s o f Western t r a d i t i o n as much as t h e i n c l i n a t i o n o f an i n d i v i d u a l . Once a g a i n , we a r e l e d t o s p e c u l a t e i f t h e i n c o m p a t -i b i l i t y o f Romantic l o v e and S p i r i t u a l l o v e i n t h e Western con-s c i o u s n e s s i s not s y m p t o m a t i c o f an i n a b i l i t y t o r e c o n c i l e t h e c l a i m s o f S p i r i t and N a t u r e . The Waste Land v e r y c o n v i n c i n g l y shows t h a t o u r t r a d i t i o n i s one w h i c h b e l i e v e s i n the n e c e s s i t y o f the s u p p r e s s i o n o f N a t u r e ( e r o s ) i n o r d e r f o r c i v i l i z a t i o n t o be m a i n t a i n e d . C i v i l i z a t i o n demands o r d e r , s a c r i f i c e , and r e l a t i v e harmony among men, b u t i t cannot t h r i v e i n a s t a t e o f u n r e s t r a i n e d N a t u r e where p a s s i o n and s e l f - i n t e r e s t r u l e . 1 ^ Because e r o s d r i v e s men and c i v i l i z a t i o n s t o war and r u i n , i t must be c o n t r o l l e d and s u b l i m a t e d a t a l l c o s t s . But t h e c o s t i s sometimes e x t r e m e l y h i g h i n terms o f man's f u l f i l l m e n t . L o o k i n g a t t h e f o l l o w i n g l i n e s f r o m The Waste Land, we cannot r e s i s t b e l i e v i n g t h a t the s a c r i f i c e was one n o t e a s i l y made: 77 My f r i e n d , b l o o d s h a k i n g my h e a r t The a w f u l d a r i n g o f a moment's s u r r e n d e r Which an age of prudence can n e v e r r e t r a c t By t h i s , and t h i s o n l y , we have e x i s t e d Which i s n o t t o be f o u n d i n o u r o b i t u a r i e s Or i n memories d r a p e d by the b e n e f i c e n t s p i d e r Or under s e a l s b r o k e n by the l e a n s o l i c i t o r I n empty rooms There i s an a m b i g u i t y s u r r o u n d i n g "The a w f u l d a r i n g o f a moment's s u r r e n d e r / W h i c h an age o f prudence can n e v e r r e t r a c t " . I s i t t h e s u r r e n d e r t o Romantic l o v e o r t o S p i r i t u a l l o v e t o w h i c h he i s r e -f e r r i n g ? The "age of p r u d e n c e " s u g g e s t s i t i s the f o r m e r , b u t t h e c o n t e x t i n w h i c h i t i s p l a c e d i n the s t r u c t u r e o f the poem f a v o u r s the l a t t e r . The a m b i g u i t y e x i s t s , I s u b m i t , because E l i o t h i m s e l f was d i v i d e d between the s p i r i t u a l and the n a t u r a l c l a i m s o f l i f e and, a l t h o u g h he c o n s c i o u s l y chose the s p i r i t u a l s o l u t i o n , he r e m a i n e d c o n s t a n t l y aware o f what had been s a c r i f i c e d . Footnotes Chapter VI 1. F. Schlegel, Literary Notebooks: 179 7-1801, ed. by Hans Eichner (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1957), p. 176, # 1760. 2. Schlegel, L.N. # 1356, p. 141. 3. Schlegel, L.N. # 1530, p. 155. 4. Schlegel, L.N. # 1804, p. 180. 5. Schlegel, L.N. # 1961, p. 194. 6. Schlegel, L^N. # 1897, p. 187. 7. Hans Eichner, "Commentary", L.N., p. 224. 8. Schlegel, L.N. # 2097, p. 207. 9. Rollo May also makes this point i n Love and Will, (New York: W. W. Norton & Co. Inc., 1969), Ch. 3. 10. See S. Freud, Civilization and i t s Discontents, trans, by Joan Riviere, 1st. ed. (1930, rpt., London: Hogarth Press & The Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1957) for an expression of this viewpoint. T r a n s l a t i o n C h a p t e r VI #2. A s t r u c t u r e d a r t f u l chaos #6. The e s s e n t i a l b a s i c f o r m o f the m y t h o l o g i c a l poem i s a b s o l u t e chaos. #8. Modern p o e t r y i s e r o t i c . Perhaps t h e p r i n c i p l e o f Romantic p o e t r y i s t w o - f o l d : I t i s e r o t i c and t h e n a r t f u l , i . e . — p i c t u r e s q u e , m u s i c a l , e t c . Here i t c e r t a i n l y d i s t i n g u i s h e s i t s e l f t h r o u g h w h o l e n e s s f r o m t h e Greek [ a r t ] . CHAPTER V I I T.S. ELIOT AND THE CHRISTIAN SOLUTION When i n 1927 E l i o t announced h i s c o n v e r s i o n t o the A n g l i c a n C a t h o l i c Church he too k a s t e p t h a t so many Romantics had t a k e n b e f o r e h i m , n o t the l e a s t of whom was F. S c h l e g e l . As I have e a r l i e r s a i d , t h e i r o n i c pose w h i c h was an outcome o f the awareness o f t h e g u l f between t h e i d e a l and r e a l i t y c o u l d n o t be i n d e f i n i t e l y m a i n t a i n e d w i t h o u t l a p s i n g e i t h e r i n t o n i h i l i s m o r f a i t h . I n E l i o t ' s l a t e r p o e t r y we n o t e t h e c u r i o u s absence o f i r o n y , a t e c h n i q u e t h a t was s u c h an i n d i s p e n s a b l e i n g r e d i e n t o f h i s e a r l y v e r s e . I n i t s p l a c e , we now have f a i t h , o r the g r o p i n g f o r f a i t h . The p o e t r y f r o m "The H o l l o w Men" to "Four Q u a r t e t s " i s as much a t e s t i m o n y o f the d i f f i c u l t y o f f a i t h f o r modern man as i t i s o f i t s n e c e s s i t y . The y o u t h f u l s e c u l a r f a i t h o f C l a s s i c i s m has deepened i n t o t h e r e l i g i o u s s p h e r e . I n t h i s v e r y c r o w n i n g a c t o f h i s l i f e t i m e , E l i o t e n t r e n c h e d h i m s e l f f i r m l y i n t h e Romantic t r a d i t i o n . W r i t e s J a c q u e s B a r z u n : As a r o m a n t i c i s t , h i s {man's] t a s k i s t o r e c o n c i l e t h e c o n t r a r i e s w i t h i n h i m by f i n d i n g some e n t i t y o u t s i d e h i m s e l f v a s t enough t o h o l d a l l h i s f a c t s . He has become once a g a i n a r e l i g i o u s t h i n k e r . 1 I n The M i n d o f the European R o m a n t i c s , H. G. Schenk c i t e s t h r e e v a r i a t i o n s o f the R o m a n t i c s ' s e a r c h f o r f o u n d a t i o n s : (1) t h e e x h o r t a t i o n t o an age o f s p i r i t u a l i n s e c u r i t y and d w i n d l i n g f a i t h t o l o o k w i t h r e v e r e n c e t o the example o f t h e C h r i s t i a n M i d d l e Ages. 79 (2) N a t i o n s c o u l d be made t o l o o k back t o times when they h a d r e a c h e d t h e i r p o l i t i c a l o r c u l t u r a l apogee. (3) the p a s s i n g o f an age o f f e u d a l i s m and c h i v a l r y c o u l d be d e p l o r e d by t h o s e who, l i k e A l f r e d de V i g n y o r J o s e p h von E i c h e n d o r f f o r Adam M i c k i e w i c z , b e l o n g e d t o the e l i t e s o f the p a s t , o r even by o t h e r s who h a d no axe t o g r i n d . T. S. E l i o t w i t h h i s D a n t e - M i d d l e A g e s - C h r i s t i a n c u l t most c e r t a i n l y b e l o n g s i n t h e f i r s t o f t h o s e c a t e g o r i e s . R o m a n t i c i s m and C h r i s t i a n i t y became v e r y e a r l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h one a n o t h e r p o s s i b l y f o r t h r e e r e a s o n s : f i r s t l y , R o m a n t i c i s m i n c o n t r a s t t o C l a s s i c i s m was a "modern" a r t , and C h r i s t i a n i t y i n terms o f h i s t o r y may be s a i d t o be the g r e a t r e l i g i o n o f "modern" man; s e c o n d l y , R o m a n t i c i s m was founded on the c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f man's d u a l i s m , h i s n a t u r a l and s p i r i t u a l s i d e s , h i s p o t e n t i a l g r e a t n e s s and a c t u a l l o w l i n e s s , and C h r i s t i a n i t y was a l s o b a s e d on t h i s r e c o g n i t i o n ; t h i r d l y , t he moving p r i n c i p l e w i t h i n Romantic a r t was t o be e r o s o r t h e a l l - u n i f y i n g power o f l o v e , and t h i s , t o o , was a t t h e h e a r t o f C h r i s t i a n i t y . Schenk c a l l s t h e t r e n d toward C a t h o l i c i s m " y e t a n o t h e r u n m i s t a k a b l e f e a t u r e o f t h e Romantic 3 r e v i v a l " and n o t e s t h a t i s was o f t e n b a s e d on the f e a r o f " t h e b r e a k -down o f c i v i l i z e d l i f e on e a r t h . " 4 T h i s f e a r i s e x p r e s s l y b e h i n d E l i o t ' s 1939 book, The I d e a  o f A C h r i s t i a n S o c i e t y . S e t i n f r o n t o f a b a c k g r o u n d o f war and d e v a s t a t i o n , t h i s book urges a r e t u r n t o the C h r i s t i a n s t a t e . The a l t e r n a t i v e t h a t E l i o t sees f a c i n g humanity i s paganism: ". . . 1 b e l i e v e t h a t t h e c h o i c e b e f o r e us i s between the f o r m a t i o n o f a new C h r i s t i a n c u l t u r e , and t h e a c c e p t a n c e o f a pagan o n e . " 5 L i k e so many Romantic p r o p h e t s o f doom, E l i o t d i d n o t e n v i s i o n a b r i g h t f u t u r e f o r 80 W estern c i v i l i z a t i o n i f i t p e r s i s t e d i n i t s p r e s e n t m a t e r i a l i s t i c ways. The more h i g h l y i n d u s t r i a l i z e d t he c o u n t r y , t h e more e a s i l y a m a t e r i a l i s t i c p h i l o s o p h y w i l l f l o u r i s h i n i t , and t h e more d e a d l y t h a t p h i l o s o p h y w i l l be. B r i t a i n has been h i g h l y i n d u s t r i a l i s e d l o n g e r t h a n any o t h e r c o u n t r y . And t h e tend e n c y o f u n l i m i t e d i n d u s t r i a l i s m i s t o c r e a t e b o d i e s o f men and women — of a l l c l a s s e s — d e t a c h e d f r o m t r a d i t i o n , a l i e n a t e d f r o m r e l i g i o n , and s u s c e p t i b l e t o mass s u g g e s t i o n : i n o t h e r w ords, a mob. And a mob w i l l be no l e s s a mob i f i t i s w e l l f e d , w e l l c l o t h e d , w e l l housed, and w e l l d i s c i p l i n e d . 6 H i s i d e a o f t h e C h r i s t i a n s o c i e t y i s one w h e r e i n the b e s t minds f o r m a k i n d o f s p i r i t u a l e l i t e , g u i d i n g t h e r e s t o f t h e f l o c k . We need t h e r e f o r e what I have c a l l e d 'the Community o f C h r i s t i a n s , ' by w h i c h I mean, n o t l o c a l g r o u p s , and n o t t h e Church i n any one of i t s s e n s e s , u n l e s s we c a l l i t 'the Church w i t h i n t h e Church.' These w i l l be the c o n s c i o u s l y and t h o u g h t f u l l y p r a c t i s i n g C h r i s t i a n s , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e o f i n t e l l e c t u a l and s p i r i t u a l s u p e r i o r i t y . 7 And a g a i n : The Community of C h r i s t i a n s i s n o t an o r g a n i s a t i o n , b u t a body o f i n d e f i n i t e o u t l i n e ; composed b o t h o f c l e r g y and l a i t y , o f t h e more c o n s c i o u s , more s p i r i t u a l l y and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y d e v e l o p e d o f b o t h . I t w i l l be t h e i r i d e n t i t y o f b e l i e f and a s p i r a t i o n , t h e i r b a c k g r o u n d o f a common s y s t e m o f e d u c a t i o n and a common c u l t u r e , w h i c h w i l l e n a b l e them t o i n f l u e n c e and be i n f l u e n c e d by each o t h e r , and c o l l e c t i v e l y t o f o r m the c o n s c i o u s mind and the c o n s c i e n c e o f the n a t i o n . 8 A l t h o u g h he l a t e r h a s t e n s t o add, "And, i n c i d e n t a l l y , I s h o u l d n o t l i k e t h e 'Community o f C h r i s t i a n s ' o f w h i c h I have spoken, t o be th o u g h t o f as m e r e l y the n i c e s t , most i n t e l l i g e n t and p u b l i c - s p i r i t e d g o f t he upper c l a s s . . ." , he has done a b s o l u t e l y n o t h i n g t o d i m i n i s h t h a t i m p r e s s i o n i n t h e f o r e g o i n g c h a p t e r s . From what has been q u o t e d i t i s i m p o s s i b l e n o t t o i n t e r p r e t E l i o t ' s 'community o f C h r i s t i a n s ' as 81 a s p i r i t u a l a r i s t o c r a c y b a s e d on a M e d i e v a l h i e r a r c h y where e v e r y member has h i s p l a c e , t o be s u r e , b u t where t h o s e p l a c e s v a s t l y d i f f e r . The g u i d i n g community w i t h i n the Community i s the s p i r -i t u a l e l i t e t h a t shapes t h e " c o n s c i e n c e o f the n a t i o n " . What we have h e r e i s m e r e l y the r e v e r s e p o s i t i o n o f the one he i s a t t a c k -i n g ; j u s t as "pagan" Germany h a d i t s s e c u l a r m i l i t a r y e l i t e t h a t formed the n a t i o n a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s , so E l i o t ' s i n t e l l e c t u a l and s p i r i t u a l l y s u p e r i o r C h r i s t i a n s w i l l p e r f o r m t h e same s e r v i c e . Whenever any body — s e c u l a r o r r e l i g i o u s — u n d e r t a k e s t o " f o r m the c o n s c i o u s mind" o f a p e o p l e a t y p e o f t o t a l i t a r i a n i s m must r e s u l t . Here i s where E l i o t ' s r e a c t i o n a r y R o m a n t i c i s m most f u l l y emerges. But s i m p l y because E l i o t ' s C h r i s t i a n i t y i s u n e m o t i o n a l and e x c l u s i v e l y " i n t e l l e c t u a l " , "a m a t t e r p r i m a r i l y o f th o u g h t and n o t o f f e e l i n g " , " ' " ^ does n o t make i t l e s s o b j e c t i o n a b l e . B u t t h a t h i s development i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n i s f i r m l y r o o t e d i n Romantic t r a d i t i o n i s u n d e n i a b l e . F. S c h l e g e l i n h i s l a t e r y e a r s began t o l o o k t o the M i d d l e Ages f o r g u i d a n c e i n p o l i t i c s as w e l l as i n r e l i g i o n and f o r m u l a t e d the t h e o r y o f the C h r i s t i a n " o r g a n i c state".''""'' Ludwig Marcuse says o f him: " S e i n I d e a l war e i n e m i t t e l a l t e r l i s c h -f e u d a l e M o n a r c h i e auf k a t h o l i s c h e m Fundament. So ende t e e i n e r d e r s t u r m i s c h t e n S t i f t e r d er r o m a n t i s c h e n R e v o l u t i o n — a b e r d i e s e s Ende 12 war eben n i c h t F r u h r o m a n t i k , s o n d e r n d i e a u p e r s t e A n t i - T h e s e . " A n o t h e r famous example of such a C h r i s t i a n - s t a t e t h e o r y i s N o v a l i s ' 13 D i e C h r i s t e n h e i t Oder E u r o p a w h e r e i n h e , t o o , l o o k s n o s t a l g i c a l l y b ack t o the M e d i e v a l p a s t and c h e r i s h e s the hope o f a r e v i v e d C h r i s t i a n Europe i n t h e n e a r f u t u r e . 82 What we see i n E l i o t ' s " i n t e l l e c t u a l " C h r i s t i a n i t y i s a t r a g i c absence o f e r o s o r a l l - e m b r a c i n g l o v e . As I have shown i n r e g a r d t o The Waste Land, he r e d u c e d e r o s t o s e x u a l i t y and a s s o c i a t e d i t w i t h the n a t u r a l man. By g l o r i f y i n g agape, however, he d i d n o t come any c l o s e r t o the h e a r t o f C h r i s t i a n i t y w h i c h must always be l o v e i n i t s t o t a l s e n s e . As a r e s u l t , h i s l a t e r p o e t r y s t r i k e s one as s p i r i t u a l l y and n a t u r a l l y d r y . There i s the arduous at t e m p t a t s e l f - p u r i f i c a t i o n — y e t a n o t h e r s t e p away from N a t u r e — and t h e d e s p e r a t e p l e a f o r g r a c e , b u t t h e e f f e c t f a i l s t o s t i r t h e r e a d e r . I t i s i r o n i c t h a t i n The I d e a o f C h r i s t i a n S o c i e t y E l i o t s a y s " t h e n a t u r a l l i f e and the s p i r i t u a l l i f e have a c o n f o r m i t y t o each o t h e r " and, f u r t h e r on, q u o t e s Thomas A q u i n a s ( w i t h o u t acknowledgement): ". . . a wrong a t t i t u d e towards n a t u r e i m p l i e s , somewhere, a wrong a t t i t u d e towards God. . . Here he r e f e r r e d t o t h e d e v a s t a t i o n o f e x t e r n a l n a t u r e as a r e s u l t o f i n d u s t r i a l i s m , b u t i t i s v e r y i m p r o b a b l e t h a t E l i o t e v e r h a d a t r u e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f o r a t t i t u d e t o w a r d N a t u r e as a w h o l e . J o s e p h Warren Beach a t the c l o s e o f h i s s t u d y on The Concept o f N a t u r e i n N i n e t e e n t h C e n t u r y E n g l i s h P o e t r y s a y s o f E l i o t : N e i t h e r t h e word n o r the concept of n a t u r e s u r v i v e s i n him. The word i s n a t u r a l l y r u l e d out by h i s p o e t i c c r e e d , w h i c h a b j u r e s a b s t r a c t i o n s and p h i l -o s o p h i c a l s t a t e m e n t s . T h a t t h e c o n c e p t of n a t u r e i s n o t p r e s e n t even i m p l i c i t l y i s perhaps p a r t l y owing t o h i s ( a p p a r e n t ) i n s e n s i b i l i t y t o the b e a u t y o f t h e w o r l d , and t h i s may v e r y w e l l be an a c c i d e n t o f p e r s o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . . . . The ways o f the u n i v e r s e a r e f o r h i m s i m p l y and s o l e l y t h e ways o f man; and t h e ways o f man a r e m a i n l y s y m b o l i z e d by the o b s c e n i t i e s , t h e meannesses and t r e a c h e r i e s o f o u r s e x - l i f e , by the f u t i l i t i e s and h a l f - h e a r t e d n e s s o f our s e n t i m e n t and c u l t u r e . 1 5 83 Mr. Beach s e e s t h i s tendency i n E l i o t as the o u t g r o w t h and "extreme l o g i c o f t h e new humanism." E l i o t can t a k e no p l e a s u r e i n our oneness w i t h the u n i v e r s e p r o c e s s . He has l e a r n e d f r o m I r v i n g B a b b i t t and P a u l E l m e r More t h a t we owe t o n a t u r e n o t h i n g b u t what i s b e a s t l y i n us — a n i m a l i n s t i n c t , the c r a v i n g s o f s e l f h o o d . . . . But E l i o t has b e t t e r e d t h e i n s t r u c t i o n s o f h i s m a s t e r s . He c a n n o t be c o n t e n t w i t h t h i s b i f u r c a t i o n o f our human n a t u r e . He cannot remain thus i n i n t o l e r a b l e i s o l a t i o n . He must f i n d somewhere the o r i g i n and s a n c t i o n o f what i s human i n u s ; and n a t u r e b e i n g f o r b i d d e n , he has no r e c o u r s e b u t t o t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l . 1 6 That Mr. Beach i s c o r r e c t i n h i s a n a l y s i s i s borne out by the l a s t phase o f E l i o t ' s p o e t r y . Here we s h a l l see t h e a t t e m p t made by the p o e t t o t r a n s c e n d N a t u r e ; l e t us b r i e f l y n o t e t h a t B a u d e l a i r e h a d sought the l e s s extreme r o u t e o f t r y i n g t o t r a n s f o r m i t i n t o b e a u t y v i a t h e agency o f the i m a g i n a t i o n . T hat E l i o t b e a r s the stamp of t h e S y m b o l i s t i n t h i s u n d e r t a k i n g has a l r e a d y been m e n t i o n e d , b u t t h e r e a r e a l s o p r e s e n t t h e r e l i g i o u s s t r a i n s of H i n d u i s m , Buddhism, and m y s t i c i s m . I n s h o r t , w h a t e v e r p h i l o s o p h y o f w o r l d and n a t u r e n e g a t i o n e x i s t e d , E l i o t was q u i c k t o s e i z e upon and t o i n c o r p o r a t e i n t o h i s t h o u g h t and a r t . What I t a k e t o be t h e t r u e and e s s e n t i a l s p i r i t o f C h r i s t i a n i t y — l o v e — i s s a d l y l a c k i n g . I n the f o l l o w i n g a n a l y s i s o f h i s l a s t m a j o r poems, we w i l l be a b l e t o see more c l e a r l y t h a t t h e r o a d t a k e n by E l i o t l e d i n t o the p a s t , i n t o a n t i q u i t y , b u t n o t i n t o t h e p r e s e n t - w o r l d and l i f e . The C h r i s t i a n s o l u t i o n was a t y p i c a l l y R omantic r e a c t i o n a r y one b u t l a c k e d the one i n g r e d i e n t t o make i t p o s i t i v e — the One Love i n w h i c h e r o s and agape a r e u n i t e d . T h i s u n i t a r y v i s i o n was a c h i e v e d by Dante, and a l t h o u g h i n " L i t t l e G i d d i n g " E l i o t t r i e d t o c o n v i n c e h i m s e l f and h i s 84 r e a d e r s t h a t h e , t o o , h a d r e a c h e d t h a t g o a l , t h e c u m u l a t i v e e v i d e n c e o f a l i f e t i m e ' s w o r k w e i g h s a g a i n s t h i s c o n c l u s i o n . * F o o t n o t e s C h a p t e r V I I 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. J a c q u e s B a r z u n , C l a s s i c . R o m a n t i c , and Modern. 2nd. ed. r e v . (1943; r p t . New Y o r k : Doubleday & Co., I n c . ) 1961, p. 567. H. G. Schenk, The M i n d o f t h e European R o m a n t i c s , 1 s t . ed. 1966, r p t . , (New Y o r k : Doubleday & Co., I n c . , 1969), p. 34. Schenk, p. 93. Schenk. p. 88. E l i o t 1939) E l i o t E l i o t E l i o t E l i o t E l i o t The I d e a of a C h r i s t i a n S o c i e t y (London: F a b e r & F a b e r , p. 13. P-P. P-P« P-21. 35. 42. 61. 8. Hans E i c h n e r , F r i e d r i c h S c h l e g e l , p. 131. Ludwig M a r c u s e , " R e a k t i o n a r e und p r o g r e s s i v e Romantik," B e g r i f f s b e s t i m m u n g d e r Romantik, p. 379. N o v a l i s , " D i e C h r i s t e n h e i t Oder E u r o p a , " German E s s a y s IV: R o m a n t i c i s m , ed. by Max D u f n e r & V a l e n t i n e C. Hubbs (New Y o r k : M a c m i l l a n Co., 1 9 6 4 ) , pp. 29-57. E l i o t , The I d e a o f a C h r i s t i a n S o c i e t y , p. 62. ( S t . Thomas makes the remark i n Summa On the Pagans.) Jos e p h Warren Be a c h , The Concept of N a t u r e i n N i n e t e e n t h C e n t u r y  E n g l i s h P o e t r y , pp. 554-55. 16, Beach, p. 555. Translation Chapter VII His ideal was a Medieval-feudal monarchy of catholic foundation. Thus concluded one of the stormiest founders of the Romantic revolution — but this end was precisely not early Romantic, but the most extreme antithesis. CHAPTER V I I I THE POEMS : "THE HOLLOW MEN" TO "FOUR QUARTETS" The f i n a l phase o f E l i o t ' s development c o n t a i n s some o f h i s f i n e s t p o e t r y and r e v e a l s an i n t e n s e c o n c e n t r a t i o n on t h e s p i r i t u a l a s p e c t o f l i f e . The tendency t o r e j e c t the w o r l d and n a t u r e i s now c h a n n e l l e d i n t o a r e l i g i o u s d i r e c t i o n . What m i g h t o t h e r w i s e have d e v e l o p e d i n t o n i h i l i s m t u r n s i n t o q u a s i - m y s t i c i s m . The d e s p a i r a r o u s e d i n h i m by t h e i n s u f f i c i e n c y and d e p r a v i t y o f the w o r l d i s n o t w h o l l y conquered b u t t r a n s m u t e d i n t o h u m i l i t y . W h i l e he p a t i e n t l y l e a r n s t o "endure" and "not t o c a r e " , he s e a r c h e s f o r the way o f r e l e a s e . T h i s l i b e r a t i o n f r o m t h e w o r l d , n a t u r e , t i m e , and h i s t o r y i s n o t a c h i e v e d u n t i l F o u r Q u a r t e t s . Those l a s t poems e x p r e s s the summation o f h i s achievement and t h e v i c t o r y o f the s p i r i t o v e r n a t u r e . A l t h o u g h n a t u r e appears t o be a c c e p t e d , i t w i l l be seen t h a t t h i s i s o n l y t r u e i n a l i m i t e d f a s h i o n . I t i s more a c c u r a t e t o say t h a t n a t u r e i s f i t t e d i n t o i t s p l a c e i n the i d e a l p a t t e r n . The d e t a i l s o f t h a t p a t t e r n must now be s u p p l i e d by the poems t h e m s e l v e s . I n The H o l l o w Men, E l i o t r e s t a t e s and e l a b o r a t e s themes and m o t i f s t h a t a p p e a r e d i n G e r o n t i o n and i n The Waste Land. The images o f d r o u g h t , w i n d , r a t s , and d e a t h , w h i c h had been evoked t o d e s c r i b e modern man's i m p o v e r i s h e d s p i r i t u a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s , a r e h e r e i n t e n s i f i e d around the g e n e r a l i z e d c e n t r a l image: " t h e h o l l o w men". Up t o t h i s p o i n t , E l i o t h ad drawn i n d i v i d u a l i z e d p o r t r a i t s o f modern 86 men and women t h a t s c r u p u l o u s l y e t c h e d t h e m o r a l f l a w s o f t h e o r i g i n a l m o dels, f l a w s whose s o u r c e l a y i n n a t u r e u n d i s c i p l i n e d and u n t r a n s f o r m e d by s p i r i t . H e r e , however, he o b l i t e r a t e s e v e r y v e s t i g e o f i n d i v i d u a l i t y f rom h i s s u b j e c t s i n o r d e r t o emphasize a doomed c o l l e c t i v i t y whose p e r e n n i a l s t a t e i s one o f death i n l i f e . He c r e a t e s an atmosphere o f u n r e a l i t y , p a r t a k i n g more o f th e dream s t a t e t h a n o f w a k i n g l i f e , and evokes a mood of h a u n t e d d e s p a i r . I t i s n o t even a mood o f a c t i v e d e s p a i r t h a t i n v o l v e s t h e p e r s o n i n a s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t i t s c a u s e s , b u t one s u c h as i s e x p e r i e n c e d by the l o s t s o u l s i n Dante's H e l l . T h e r e , as i n t h e w o r l d o f the poem, a c t i o n i s n o t o n l y i n v a i n b u t a l s o i m p o s s i b l e because t h a t w h i c h makes i t p o s s i b l e — m o r a l d e c i s i o n i s s u i n g from s p i r i t u a l awareness — i s l a c k i n g . The e x t e r n a l w o r l d o r r e a l i t y o f t h e " h o l l o w men" — a w a s t e l a n d — i s a r e f l e c t i o n o f t h e i r i n n e r c o n d i t i o n ; f o r them, as f o r G e r o n t i o n , i t can be s a i d t o be "a w i l d e r n e s s o f m i r r o r s " . The sense o f s p a t i a l d i s t o r t i o n i n the poem, moving as i t does between two p l a n e s o f r e a l i t y — t h e phenomenal w o r l d and the w o r l d a f t e r d e a t h , r e l i e s on t h e i n t e r -m i n g l i n g o f images from b o t h w o r l d s . The dream s t a t e and the w a k i n g s t a t e r e l a x t h e i r b o u n d a r i e s and are t h e m s e l v e s o n l y r e f l e c t i o n s o r m i r r o r s o f the c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f the n a r r a t o r s . F o r t h i s r e a s o n , the p r e s e n t w o r l d and "d e a t h ' s o t h e r Kingdom" b e a r c l o s e r e s e m b l a n c e ; one i s , i n f a c t , t h e e x t e n s i o n o f the o t h e r . By i m p l i c a t i o n o f t h e w o r d i n g , i f the s t a t e beyond the gr a v e i s "death's o t h e r Kingdom", then t h i s v i s i b l e w o r l d i s _ d e a t h ' s kingdom and t h e r e i s no escape from death anywhere. L i k e M i l t o n ' s S a t a n , the h o l l o w men c r e a t e the e x t e r n a l c o r r e s p o n d e n c e t o t h e i r i n n e r c o n d i t i o n w h e r e v e r they go. 87 The o n l y hope t h a t the poem h o l d s o u t t o them i s the c a l l t o a change o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s . A l a r g e p a r t o f the poem's meaning i s t r a n s m i t t e d t h r o u g h a s s o c i a t e d images t h a t have been t h e b u i l d i n g b l o c k s o f E l i o t ' s p r e -v i o u s p o e t i c s t r u c t u r e s . These a r e p r i n c i p a l l y d r o u g h t , w i n d , and r a t s , and a l l t h r e e appear i n the f i r s t p a r t o f The H o l l o w Men. We a r e the h o l l o w men We a r e the s t u f f e d men L e a n i n g t o g e t h e r H e a d p i e c e f i l l e d w i t h s t r a w . A l a s ! Our d r i e d v o i c e s , when We w h i s p e r t o g e t h e r A r e q u i e t and m e a n i n g l e s s As w i n d i n d r y g r a s s Or r a t s 1 f e e t o v e r b r o k e n g l a s s I n our d r y c e l l a r I n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e i r t o t a l s i g n i f i c a n c e h e r e we must r e c a l l t h e i r p r e v i o u s a p p l i c a t i o n s . The image of a d r y , w a t e r l e s s , r e g i o n s y m b o l i z i n g t h e modern w o r l d was a n t i c i p a t e d i n G e r o n t i o n (where the s p e a k e r d e s c r i b e d h i m s e l f as "an o l d man i n a d r y month,/Being r e a d to by a boy, w a i t i n g f o r r a i n . " ) and made the c e n t r a l f o c u s o f The Waste Land. P r o j e c t e d i n t o t he r e l i g i o u s s p h e r e , the d r o u g h t s y m b o l i z e s th e absence o f L i v i n g Water o r t h e s p i r i t u a l r e n e w a l g i v e n by C h r i s t . I n d e ed, the a l l u s i o n s t o C h r i s t ' s w o r d s , " I f a man d r i n k s o f the w a t e r I w i l l g i v e h i m , he w i l l n e v e r t h i r s t " ( J ohn 4: 13-14) and the many B i b l i c a l a s s o c i a t i o n s o f C h r i s t and w a t e r a r e always p r e s e n t i n the c o n t e x t o f the drought imagery. The w i n d imagery i s o f no l e s s s p i r i t u a l i m p o r t and was most f u l l y u t i l i z e d i n G e r o n t i o n where i t a p p e a r e d i n f o u r k ey p a s s a g e s : "A d u l l head among wind y s p a c e s " , "Vacant s h u t t l e s / W e a v e t h e w i n d " , "An o l d man i n a d r a u g h t y house/Under a wind y knob", and " G u l l a g a i n s t 88 the w i n d , i n the windy s t r a i t s / O f B e l l e I s l e , o r r u n n i n g on the Horn". I n The Waste Land, t h e n a r r a t o r spoke o f the " c o l d b l a s t " a t h i s back t h a t reminded h i m o f death and decay, and the l a d y o f "A Game o f Chess" i n c e s s a n t l y demanded t o know, "What i s t h a t n o i s e ? " , r e c e i v i n g f o r h e r f e a r s an answer h a r d l y c a p a b l e o f a s s a u g i n g them: "The w i n d under t h e d o o r . " Remembering t h a t t he word " w i n d " i s c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t he Greek c o n c e p t o f pneuma ( b r e a t h o r s p i r i t ) and t h a t t h e l a t t e r ' s L a t i n e q u i v a l e n t i s s p i r i t u s , we can c l e a r l y see t h e c o n n e c t i o n between the two. I n B i b l i c a l l i t e r a t u r e the p r e s e n c e of God i s u s u a l l y s y m b o l i z e d by a " r u s h o f w i n d " a s , f o r example, on the day P e n t e c o s t , t h e day o f C h r i s t ' s b a p t i s m , o r the a c c o u n t o f t h e h e a l i n g a t the P o o l o f Be t h s e d a . The appearance o f t h e w i n d image i n E l i o t ' s p o e t r y i s , however, n o t i n d i c a t i v e o f the p r e s e n c e o f God b u t o f H i s absence. The S p i r i t t h a t moves o v e r the e a r t h i s n o t God's, b u t the g o d l e s s s p i r i t o f s e c u l a r i s m and e v i l . The w i n d thus t a k e s on a f r i g h t e n i n g a s p e c t and s u g g e s t s t h e t e r r o r o f l o s t s o u l s f r o m whom the pneuma, o r b r e a t h o f God, has d e p a r t e d . F i n a l l y , t he t h i r d image t o r e a p p e a r w i t h i t s o l d a s s o c i a -t i o n s i s t h a t o f the r a t . S y m b o l i z i n g the w o r s t a s p e c t s o f man — g r e e d i n e s s , mass a g g r e g a t i o n , f i l t h i n e s s , and d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s — the r a t has always been a s u r r o g a t e f o r h i s e v i l and v i c i o u s t e n d e n c i e s . Added t o t h i s l i s t o f u n a t t r a c t i v e a s s o c i a t i o n s , F r e u d i a n s c o n s i d e r the r a t as p r i m a r i l y a s e x u a l symbol o f the r e p r e s s e d u n c o n s c i o u s . From a c a r e f u l s t u d y o f The Waste Land i t i s o b v i o u s t h a t E l i o t drew on a l l t h e s e a s s o c i a t i o n s o f the image. I t c o i n c i d e d p a r t i c u l a r l y 89 w e l l w i t h t h e d e n u n c i a t i o n o f E r o s as t h e r e the r a t image r e i n f o r c e d t h e n e g a t i v e d e p i c t i o n o f r o m a n t i c l o v e . The f i e l d s where t h e "nymphs" and t h e i r l o v e r s have p l a y e d were soon d e s c r i b e d as i n f e s t e d w i t h r a t s ("A r a t c r e p t s o f t l y t h r o u g h t h e v e g e t a t i o n / D r a g g i n g i t s s l i m y b e l l y on the b a n k " ) , and t h e man-woman r e l a t i o n s h i p i n "A Game o f Chess" evoked a s i m i l a r c o m p a r i s o n : " I t h i n k we a r e i n r a t s ' a l l e y / W h e r e t h e dead men l o s t t h e i r bones". Nor c o u l d one p r e v e n t b e i n g r e m i n d e d o f a pack o f r a t s o v e r r u n n i n g , d e s t r o y i n g , and i n f e c t i n g t h e w o r l d i n E l i o t ' s r e f e r e n c e t o t h e b a r b a r i a n f o r c e s s e i z i n g c o n t r o l o f c i v i l i z a -t i o n : "Who a r e t h o s e hooded h o r d e s swarming/Over e n d l e s s p l a i n s , s t u m b l i n g i n c r a c k e d e a r t h " . R e - a p p e a r i n g i n The H o l l o w Men, these t h r e e images b r i n g w i t h them the e m o t i o n a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l v a l u e s o f p r e v i o u s l y a c c u m u l a t e d a s s o c i a t i o n s . T h e i r p r e s e n t c o n t e x t i s t h u s e n r i c h e d and the op e n i n g s t a n z a o f the poem i s a b l e t o s u g g e s t a g r e a t d e a l about t h e s e s u b j e c t s w i t h a minimum o f e l a b o r a t i o n and d e s c r i p t i o n . By the end o f the t e n t h l i n e we a l r e a d y have a f a i r l y c omplete p i c t u r e o f the h o l l o w men: absence o f s p i r i t u a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s o r a n i m a t i n g l i f e f o r c e (pneuma), i n d i v i d u a l i t y merged i n c o l l e c t i v i t y o r a b r o g a t i o n o f m o r a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and decay o r s p i r i t u a l d e a t h . W h i l e t h e s e images evoke t h e i r p r e v i o u s a s s o c i a t i o n s , t h e y t a k e on a new l i f e i n t h i s poem as E l i o t e x p l o r e s t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f modern man. The p e c u l i a r e f f e c t o f the poem — c l o s e l y r e s e m b l i n g t h a t o f a s u r r e a l i s t p a i n t i n g — i s a c h i e v e d by the b l u r r i n g o f t h e w a k i n g and dream s t a t e s . The i n s u b s t a n t i a l i t y and b a r r e n n e s s o f "d e a t h ' s o t h e r Kingdom" depends on the t r a d i t i o n a l C h r i s t i a n a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h 90 i m m o r t a l i t y f o r i t s s t r i k i n g e f f e c t i v e n e s s . W h i l e men have l o n g a c c e p t e d the d e s c r i p t i o n o f the p r e s e n t l i f e i n n e g a t i v e t e r m s , t h e i r i m a g i n a t i o n s s t i l l compensate f o r i t i n t h e i r f a n t a s i e s o f the f u t u r e l i f e o r the s t a t e beyond d e a t h . I t i s w i t h c h i l l y d i s c o m f o r t t h a t we t h e r e f o r e s u r v e y E l i o t ' s v i s i o n i n w h i c h the p r e s e n t l i f e and the f u t u r e l i f e a r e n o t d i s s i m i l a r b u t , r a t h e r , e x t e n s i o n s o f one a n o t h e r . I n r e a d i n g the poem, one i s reminded of Y e a t s ' A V i s i o n i n w h i c h he d e s c r i b e s the " s o u l i n judgement" and d e c l a r e s t h a t t h e s p i r i t " i s c o m p e l l e d t o l i v e o v e r and o v e r a g a i n t h e e v e n t s t h a t had most moved i t S i m i l a r l y , t h e n a r r a t o r i n The H o l l o w Men i s a f r a i d t o c r o s s the t h r e s h o l d l e a d i n g i n t o the dream s t a t e o r t h e post-mortem c o n d i t i o n b e c a u s e he f e a r s the m e e t i n g w i t h o t h e r s o u l s whom he has perhaps wronged o r f a i l e d t o a c h i e v e u n d e r s t a n d i n g w i t h i n l i f e . Eyes I dare n o t meet i n dreams I n death's dream kingdom These do n o t a p p e a r : T h e r e , the eyes a r e S u n l i g h t on a b r o k e n column There, i s a t r e e s w i n g i n g And v o i c e s a r e I n the w ind's s i n g i n g More d i s t a n t and more solemn Than a f a d i n g s t a r . L e t me be no n e a r e r I n death's dream kingdom L e t me a l s o wear Such d e l i b e r a t e d i s g u i s e s R a t ' s c o a t , c r o w s k i n , c r o s s e d s t a v e s I n a f i e l d B e h a v i n g as t h e w i n d behaves No n e a r e r — Not t h a t f i n a l m e e t i n g I n t h e t w i l i g h t kingdom 91 He r e a l i z e s t h a t he w i l l n o t awaken from death t o f i n d h i m s e l f i n a c e l e s t i a l p a r a d i s e , r i n g e d 'round by c h o i r s o f s i n g i n g a n g e l s . No; what the n a r r a t o r ' s c o n s c i o u s n e s s f a c e s i s an e x t e n s i o n o f h i s e a r t h l y c o n d i t i o n . Only t h i s time i t w i l l be t h e c o n f r o n t a t i o n o f s p i r i t s r a t h e r t h a n o f b o d i e s . He has dreaded the c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h t h e " e y e s " o f h i s f e l l o w men i n l i f e , and so he has y e t g r e a t e r r e a s o n t o d r e a d the m e e t i n g i n " d e a t h ' s o t h e r Kingdom". He w i s h e s t o adopt " d e l i b e r a t e d i s g u i s e s " and t o be i n v i s i b l e t o t h e i r e y e s , j u s t as e a r l i e r a n o t h e r o f E l i o t ' s s y m b o l i c " h o l l o w men" assumed " e v e r y c h a n g i n g shape" i n an u n b e a r a b l e e a r t h l y c o n d i t i o n . The p u r p o s e o f t h e d i s g u i s e s i s t o c l o a k h i s e s s e n c e , f o r the e s s e n c e o f man i s too v u l n e r a b l e t o expose and too f e a r f u l t o b e h o l d . I n l i f e t h e s p i r i t s e e k s i t s masks and p r e p a r e s i t s f a c e s , b u t a f t e r d e a t h t h e s p i r i t no l o n g e r has a body t o h i d e i n ; i t t h e r e f o r e seeks con-cealment i n images: " r a t ' s c o a t , c r o w s k i n , c r o s s e d s t a v e s " . A l t h o u g h the h o l l o w men l e a n , w h i s p e r , and grope t o g e t h e r , t h e y a r e c a r e f u l t o a v o i d t r u e c o n t a c t , f o r m e e t i n g the " e y e s " o f each o t h e r they w o u l d be f o r c e d t o r e a l i z e t h e i r s i n f u l n e s s and c u r s e d c o n d i t i o n . F o r t h i s r e a s o n , t h e n a r r a t o r p r a y s , " L e t me be no n e a r e r / I n d e a t h ' s dream kingdom". A l t h o u g h t h e n a r r a t o r has n o t p h y s i c a l l y c r o s s e d the t h r e s h o l d o f d e a t h , he has p r e m o n i t i o n s of t h a t s t a t e i n dreams and has i m a g i n e d t h o s e who "have c r o s s e d / W i t h d i r e c t e y e s , t o death's o t h e r Kingdom" as remembering the l i v i n g " — i f a t a l l — n o t as l o s t / V i o l e n t s o u l s , b u t o n l y / A s t h e h o l l o w men/The s t u f f e d men". The l i v i n g r e c e i v e , t h e n , the i n d i c t m e n t o f t h e dead f o r the f a i l u r e t o use t h a t l i f e and t o 92 respond t o i t . They a r e a c t u a l l y more c l o s e l y a l l i e d w i t h the dead t h a n w i t h the l i v i n g . The r e f e r e n c e t o t h e 11 l o s t / V i o l e n t s o u l s " i s an e v o c a t i o n o f t h e Romantic men who ( l i k e B a u d e l a i r e ) may have been o r , a t l e a s t , c o n s i d e r e d t h e m s e l v e s damned, b u t who were supremely c a p a b l e o f l i v i n g . I n t h e i r s t r i v i n g they b u r n e d up e v e r y atom of energy and e x p e r i e n c e d the s p e c t r u m o f human l i f e . The h o l l o w men, u n l i k e t h e i r R omantic p r e d e c e s s o r s , a r e n o t even a n i m a t e d by s t r i f e and thus t h e r e i s no p r o g r e s s i o n b u t o n l y an e t e r n a l l y s t a t i c p a r a l y s i s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e i r e x t e r n a l w o r l d m i r r o r s t h e i r p s y c h i c c o n d i t i o n . T h i s i s the dead l a n d T h i s i s the c a c t u s l a n d Here t h e s t o n e images A r e r a i s e d , h e r e they r e c e i v e The s u p p l i c a t i o n o f a dead man's hand Under t h e t w i n k l e o f a f a d i n g s t a r . Here t h e r e i s no s p i r i t u a l a n i m a t i o n i n l i f e , a l t h o u g h l i p -s e r v i c e i s g i v e n t o r e l i g i o n . The pneuma, o r l i f e - f o r c e , has d e p a r t e d f r o m t h e i r s o u l s and f r o m t h e i r l i t u r g i e s . The God t o whom th e s e p e o p l e p r a y i s a dead God, an i d o l , an image o f s t o n e — i n s h o r t , a n o t h e r r e f l e c t i o n o f t h e i r c o n s c i o u s n e s s . Dead w o r s h i p p e r s a r e w o r s h i p p i n g a dead God and " f o r m p r a y e r s t o b r o k e n s t o n e " . A g a i n , t h e n a r r a t o r i s c o m p e l l e d t o ask: I s i t l i k e t h i s I n death's o t h e r Kingdom The o n l y v i s i o n a c c e s s i b l e t o h i m i s one o f t h w a r t e d l o v e . A t t h e h o u r when we a r e T r e m b l i n g w i t h t e n d e r n e s s L i p s t h a t w o u l d k i s s Form p r a y e r s t o b r o k e n s t o n e . 93 The l o v e d e s c r i b e d h e r e i s s p e c i f i c a l l y human, t h a t i s , e r o t i c ; b u t i t i s u n r e a l i z e d , and t h e s u g g e s t i o n i s t h a t because human l o v e remains u n r e a l i z e d so does d i v i n e o r s p i r i t u a l l o v e . The l i p s t h a t cannot k i s s a l s o cannot l o v e God; t h e i r o n l y a c t i s one o f deadness, p o s s i b l y m o t i v a t e d by f e a r o r d e s p a i r . T h i s i s a v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g p o i n t f o r i t r e v e a l s t h e c o n n e c t i o n between human v a l u e s and d i v i n e ones. T y p i c a l o f E l i o t ' s p o e t r y , t h e s e l i n e s a g a i n e x p r e s s the f a i l u r e o f human l o v e , b u t what emerges more c l e a r l y now i s t h a t the n a t u r a l and the s p i r i t u a l a r e l i n k e d and a r e shown t o be a r e f l e c t i o n o f the one c o n s c i o u s n e s s . The human eyes t h a t t h e h o l l o w men a v o i d m e e t i n g , h e r e and i n dreams and i n d e a t h , become s y m b o l i c o f s p i r i t u a l v i s i o n i n p a r t f o u r . The eyes a r e n o t h e r e There a r e no eyes h e r e B a r b a r a Seward, i n h e r c a p t i v a t i n g s t u d y o f the r o s e symbol i n Western l i t e r a t u r e , remarks t h a t "The e y e s , r e c a l l i n g B e a t r i c e ' s , s u g g e s t n o t o n l y l o v e ' s b e t r a y a l b u t the s p i r i t u a l g r a c e t h a t c o u l d , 2 i f a c c e p t e d , l e a d f r o m the 'dead l a n d ' t o God's r o s e . " N o t o n l y can the h o l l o w men n o t meet th e eyes b e c a u s e o f p e r s o n a l g u i l t and s i n f u l n e s s , b u t t h e y d r e a d b e i n g c o n f r o n t e d by what t h e y a r e n o t . The e y e s , s y m b o l i z i n g s p i r i t u a l l i g h t and wisdom, w o u l d compel the dead men t o change and, t h u s , t o s u f f e r . As they a r e now, they a r e n o t r e ady f o r p u r g a t i o n , b u t p u r g a t i o n i s what i s needed. S i g h t l e s s , u n l e s s The eyes r e a p p e a r As the p e r p e t u a l s t a r M u l t i f o l i a t e r o s e Of death's t w i l i g h t kingdom The hope o n l y Of empty men. 94 I n o r d e r f o r the eyes t o r e a p p e a r , however, the h o l l o w men must f i r s t c o n f r o n t them; t h a t i s , t h e y must have t h e courage t o f a c e the eyes o f t h e r e p r o a c h f u l s p i r i t s whom they have so l o n g a v o i d e d . And m e e t i n g t h e s e e y e s , they w i l l be made aware o f t h e i r g u i l t and e v e n t u a l l y be l e d t o a change o f h e a r t . T h i s , s a y s the n a r r a t o r / poet i s "The hope o n l y / O f empty men"; b u t i t i s a l s o t h e i r o n l y hope. The c o n n e c t i o n o f the eyes w i t h the " p e r p e t u a l s t a r " and t h e " m u l t i f o l i a t e r o s e " emphasizes f u r t h e r the s p i r i t u a l n a t u r e o f t h e s a l v a t i o n . The s t a r , p a r t i c u l a r l y , i s a v e r y b e a u t i f u l symbol i n t h i s poem. P r e v i o u s l y , i t had been c o n n e c t e d w i t h the a d j e c t i v e " f a d i n g " i n two c o n t e x t s , one s u g g e s t i n g the remoteness o f the s p i r i t s o f t h e dead and t h e i r d i s e m b o d i e d s t a t e , and the o t h e r a l -l u d i n g t o t h e p r e s e n t w o r l d — " t h i s v a l l e y o f d y i n g s t a r s " . From ti m e immemorial men have gazed up a t the heavens i n o r d e r t o r e a d t h e i r d e s t i n i e s among the s t a r s . Thus, the " f a d i n g s t a r " t r a g i c a l l y s u g g e s t s the wa n i n g and e v e n t u a l d i s a p p e a r a n c e o f mankind's g r e a t e r d e s t i n y . The s t a r symbol b r i n g s an e l e g i a c tone t o t h e poem, a mourning o f the p a s s i n g o f g r e a t n e s s . E l i o t ' s f i r s t m a jor c h a r a c t e r , P r u f r o c k , u t t e r e d a l i n e s t r a n g e l y p r e m o n i t o r y : " I have seen the moment of my g r e a t n e s s f l i c k e r . . . / A n d i n s h o r t , I was a f r a i d . " The s t a r — i n s o f a r as a symbol can be a n a l y z e d — s y m b o l i z e s f o r man h i s s p i r i t u a l and e t e r n a l d e s t i n y . I t i s h a r d l y t o be wondered, t h e n , t h a t man i s made t o t r e m b l e and f e a r when t h a t s t a r f a d e s o r i s e x -t i n g u i s h e d . B u t , E l i o t h i n t s , t he s t a r i s n e v e r c o m p l e t e l y p u t o u t ; i t o n l y seems t o be when men no l o n g e r have the s p i r i t u a l v i s i o n t o see i t . The b l i n d n e s s o f t h e h o l l o w men has caused the s t a r t o grow 95 dim; b u t i f t h e i r s p i r i t u a l v i s i o n — t h e i r " e y e s " — r e t u r n , i t w i l l b u r n b r i g h t l y once more, f o r t h e s t a r i s " p e r p e t u a l " . And, s i g n i f i c a n t l y , i f the s t a r i s seen a g a i n , so w i l l be the r o s e . I n M i s s Seward's words: " P r o v i d i n g a c l e a r a l l u s i o n t o D a n t e ' s , 3 E l i o t ' s m u l t i f o l i a t e r o s e s u g g e s t s D i v i n e Love's e n d u r i n g bloom." The f a c t t h a t the r o s e b e l o n g s t o "de a t h ' s t w i l i g h t kingdom" s t r e s s e s a p o i n t I have me n t i o n e d e a r l i e r , namely, t h a t i t i s the c o n s c i o u s -ness o f man t h a t c r e a t e s the e x t e r n a l e q u i v a l e n t o f i t s s t a t e . Whereas "death's t w i l i g h t kingdom" i s a s p i r i t u a l s t a t e t h a t r e -f l e c t s t h e e a r t h l y f e a r s and b a r r e n n e s s o f the h o l l o w men, once they undergo a change o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h e y become c a p a b l e o f p e r -c e i v i n g the s t a r and the r o s e . W i t h t h e i r s i n s unpurged, t h e y can see o n l y the r e f l e c t i o n o f t h e i r c u r s e d c o n d i t i o n . The f i n a l s e c t i o n o f The H o l l o w Men s e i z e s on a c h i l d ' s game f o r the o p e n i n g and c l o s i n g r e f r a i n , c r e a t i n g t h e r e b y a B l a k e a n m o r a l d e s i g n o f the c o n t r a s t between Innocence and E x p e r i e n c e . To be s u r e , the words of the c h i l d ' s song have been i r o n i c a l l y a l t e r e d t o c o r r e s p o n d t o the c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f e x p e r i e n c e . Here we go round the p r i c k l y p e a r  P r i c k l y p e a r p r i c k l y p e a r  Here we go ro u n d t h e p r i c k l y p e a r  A t f i v e o ' c l o c k i n t h e morning. The o r i g i n a l r e f r a i n i s "Here we go ro u n d t h e m u l b e r r y b u s h " , b u t t h i s i s n o t as i m p o r t a n t as the n a t u r e o f the game i t s e l f and the meaning t h a t i t s p a t t e r n e x p r e s s e s . A v e r y crude f o r m o f dance though i t may be, i t , l i k e " R i n g A r o u n d t h e Ro s e s " , i s e s s e n t i a l l y f o r m i n g a mandala o r c i r c u l a r d e s i g n o f w h o l e n e s s o u t o f the movement o f l i t t l e f e e t . I n t he B l a k e a n s e n s e , the c h i l d i s a l r e a d y the u n c o n s c i o u s p o s s e s s o r 96 and e x p r e s s o r o f e t e r n a l t r u t h . E l i o t a c h i e v e s a v e r y e f f e c t i v e c o n t r a s t by t h e use o f the c h i l d r e n s ' song, sung i n t o t a l i n n o c e n c e , and l e a v e s no doubt as t o h i s i n t e n d e d meaning. V e r y a p p r o p r i a t e l y , t h e f l o w e r c e l e b r a t e d i n t h e r e f r a i n o f e x p e r i e n c e i s a d e s e r t f l o w e r — t h e p r i c k l y p e a r — and n o t a r o s e o r even a m u l b e r r y bush. The t h r e e m i d d l e s t a n z a s p i n p o i n t e x p l i c i t l y t he g u l f between the i d e a l and r e a l i t y . The s p e c t r e t h a t s e p a r a t e s the two s t a t e s i s termed " t h e Shadow". From the development o f the poem, we r e a l i z e t h a t i t i s n o t t h e f a c t o f p h y s i c a l d e a th t h a t p a r a l y z e s man b u t s p i r i t u a l d e a t h , and i t i s the l a t t e r t h a t r e n d e r s t h e f o r m e r so fearsome. We might see i n t h e s e s t a n z a s t h e b e s t d e s c r i p t i o n o f the " d i s s o c i a t i o n o f s e n s i b i l i t y " . Between t h e i d e a And t h e r e a l i t y Between t h e m o t i o n And t h e a c t F a l l s t he Shadow F o r Thine i s t h e Kingdom Between the c o n c e p t i o n And t h e c r e a t i o n Between t h e em o t i o n And t h e r e s p o n s e F a l l s the Shadow L i f e i s v e r y l o n g Between t h e d e s i r e And t h e spasm Between the p o t e n c y And t h e e x i s t e n c e Between the e s s e n c e And t h e d e s c e n t F a l l s t he Shadow F o r T h i n e i s t h e Kingdom The r i g h t - h a n d r e f r a i n f r o m the L o r d ' s P r a y e r s t i l l f u r t h e r emphasizes t h e d i s p a r i t y between " t h i s b r o k e n jaw o f o u r l o s t kingdoms" and the Kingdom o f Heaven. I n t h e l a t t e r , t h e r e i s no g u l f n o r d i s s o c i a t i o n ; t h e i d e a l and t h e r e a l i t y a r e one: r e a l i t y i s t h e i d e a l , and the i d e a l 97 i s r e a l i t y . E l i o t c o n c l u d e s the poem, however, n o t w i t h an a c c o m p l i s h e d v i s i o n o f the r o s e b u t w i t h a r e t u r n t o the a l t e r e d c h i l d ' s r e f r a i n , t h a t i s , a r e t u r n t o the w o r l d o f e x p e r i e n c e . E n n u i p r e v e n t s the h o l l o w men from making the e f f o r t t o change. " L i f e i s v e r y l o n g " , and t h e y a r e h a r d l y c a p a b l e of r o u s i n g t h e m s e l v e s f o r the arduous t a s k of r e d e m p t i o n . T h e i r b r o k e n p r a y e r F o r T h i n e i s L i f e i s F o r T h i n e i s the i s t h e d i r e c t outcome o f the d i s s o c i a t i o n o f s e n s i b i l i t y as d e s c r i b e d i n the t h r e e p r e v i o u s s t a n z a s . Speech i s t h e r e s u l t o f the u n i o n o f " c o n c e p t i o n and c r e a t i o n " , and when t h e s e a r e s e p a r a t e d s p e ech f a i l s . U l t i m a t e l y , i t l e a d s t o t h e break-down o f meaning. The end of s u c h a d i v i s i o n , as E l i o t r i g h t l y r e a l i z e d , i s the end o f the w o r l d . That s t a t e m e n t sounds d r a m a t i c , b u t we must n o t v i s u a l i z e a v i o l e n t o r sudden c a t a c l y s m . No; the end o f t h e w o r l d w i l l come upon us s l o w l y b u t i n e v i t a b l y as man becomes f u r t h e r d i v i d e d i n h i m s e l f and as he l o s e s t h e v i s i o n o f h i s s p i r i t u a l d e s t i n y . "Not w i t h a bang b u t a whimper". There i s i n t h a t l i n e a t r a g i c i r o n y r e f l e c t i n g the d e v i t -a l i z a t i o n o f l a n g u a g e t h a t c o r r e s p o n d s t o t h e s e n i l i t y o f t h e w o r l d . * The poem t h a t c l i m a x e s the development foreshadowed i n the p r e v i o u s poems i s A s h Wednesday. H e r e , E l i o t i s no l o n g e r c o n c e r n e d w i t h d e p i c t i n g the s p i r i t u a l i l l s o f s o c i e t y and modern man b u t w i t h t a k i n g t h e n e c e s s a r y s t e p s toward s a l v a t i o n . A c c o r d i n g l y , the p o e t r y from now on becomes more p e r s o n a l and i n d i v i d u a l i n t o n e . The masks 98 w h i c h t h e p o e t / n a r r a t o r used f o r concealment o f h i s own p e r s o n a l i t y a r e now dropped and the v o i c e o f the n a r r a t o r becomes i d e n t i f i e d w i t h t h e v o i c e o f t h e p o e t , a l t h o u g h the e x p e r i e n c e e x p r e s s e d by the p o e t r e t a i n s i t s u n i v e r s a l c h a r a c t e r . I n a p a r a d o x i c a l way, the p o e t r y becomes more p e r s o n a l y e t more det a c h e d . When Hugh Kenner s a y s t h a t "The E l i o t poem i m p l i e s a V o i c e , b u t i t i s n o t t h e v o i c e o f the poet s p e a k i n g , n o r does i t a g i t a t e a d e s e r t s i l e n c e ; 4 i t i s a u d i b l e o n l y t o the r e a d e r ' s mind" , h i s argument, t o me, seems s p e c i o u s . U l t i m a t e l y , i t i s , o f c o u r s e , the v o i c e o f the poet s p e a k i n g t h r o u g h t h e v o i c e i n the poem; t h a t i s , E l i o t i n h i s e a r l y p o e t r y i s u s i n g a mask i n o r d e r t o p r o j e c t h i s awareness and s e n s i b i l i t y . I n t h e l a t e r p o e t r y , however, the masks a r e no l o n g e r needed; t h e p o e t has g a i n e d a s s u r a n c e and can a l l o w h i m s e l f t o use a b a r e " I " , s t r i p p e d o f p e r s o n a l i t y t r a p p i n g s . As f o r the v o i c e b e i n g a u d i b l e o n l y t o t h e r e a d e r ' s mind, what p o e t i c v o i c e i s n o t when we a r e r e a d i n g i t ? I t w o u l d be an u n e a r t h l y and s t r a n g e p o e t r y i n d e e d w h i c h was spoken out o f a vacuum by a g h o s t l y V o i c e . L o g i c a l l y and n e c e s s a r i l y , the v o i c e , no m a t t e r how i t appears i n a poem, must be c o n n e c t e d w i t h somebody. The p o e t may be " i n v i s i b l e " , s t a n d i n g b e h i n d h i s c r e a t i o n p a r i n g h i s f i n g e r n a i l s , b u t he i s n o t n o n - e x i s t e n t ; and i n E l i o t ' s p o e t r y t h e v o i c e always i s s u e s f r o m t h e p o e t ' s c o n -s c i o u s n e s s . I t i s a c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h a t has l o v e d t o d r a m a t i z e i t s e l f i n v a r i o u s forms and t h a t has t h e r e b y sought t o escape from p e r s o n a l i t y . We might even say t h a t the e a r l y E l i o t u sed p e r s o n a l i t y ( t h a t o f t h e d r a m a t i c monologues) t o e s c a p e f r o m h i s own. Ash Wednesday seems t o h e r a l d t h e c a s t i n g o f f o f p e r s o n a l i t i e s , o f masks, and the a s s u m p t i o n 99 o f s i m p l i c i t y . S t r a n g e l y enough, the p o e t r y becomes more i n t i m a t e as a r e s u l t o f i t . As E l i o t becomes t r u l y p e r s o n a l , he becomes more u n i v e r s a l . I n s p e a k i n g o f e x p e r i e n c e t h a t c o u l d o n l y i s s u e f r o m a deep i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h t h e a n t i t h e s e s of l i f e , t he p o e t succeeds i n e x p r e s s i n g what i s e t e r n a l l y t r u e f o r each i n d i v i d u a l who chooses the p a t h of p e r f e c t i o n . The " I " i s b o t h a p e r s o n a l and an i m p e r s o n a l v o i c e , b u t i t i s n e v e r a v o i c e u n c o n n e c t e d w i t h the p o e t ' s e x p e r i e n c e . D i f f e r e n t e x p e r i e n c e s o r f a c e t s o f the p o e t have demanded v a r i o u s d r a m a t i z a t i o n s , t h a t i s a l l . "Because I do n o t hope t o t u r n a g a i n " i s a s t r i k i n g l y a p t o p e n i n g l i n e f o r a poem t h a t marks t h e d e d i c a t i o n t o a path, o f s p i r i t u a l p e r f e c t i o n . ^ T a k i n g i t s t i t l e f r o m t h e C a t h o l i c h o l y day i n d i c a t i n g t h e b e g i n n i n g o f L e n t — t h e s e a s o n o f r e p e n t a n c e p r e -c e e d i n g E a s t e r — Ash Wednesday announces the p o e t ' s c o n c e r n w i t h u l t i m a t e t h i n g s , d e a t h and r e s u r r e c t i o n . The o c c a s i o n p r o v i d e s t h e e x t e r n a l c o r r e l a t i o n t o h i s i n n e r s t a t e o f penance and c o n t r i t i o n and s t r e s s e s t o h i m the d a r k f a c t , "Dust t h o u a r t , and unto d u s t t h o u s h a l l t r e t u r n " . D i v i d e d i n t o s i x p a r t s , the poem has a c i r c u l a r u n i t y and d e s i g n t h a t c r e a t e s an i m p r e s s i o n of i n t e n s e e x p l o r a t i o n around one p r o b l e m . The p r o b l e m — i f i t may be so c a l l e d — i s s a l v a t i o n : how i s i t t o be a c h i e v e d by t h o s e who e x i s t s p i r i t u a l l y dead i n s i n ; how i s i t t o be a c c e p t e d by t h o s e who i n w a r d l y s t i l l r e b e l a g a i n s t the yoke imposed by God? The t e n s i o n o f Ash Wednesday r e s i d e s i n the n a r r a t o r ' s c o n f l i c t between n a t u r e and s p i r i t , and can be d e s c r i b e d as the d i f f i c u l t y o f s u b d u i n g r e b e l l i o u s n a t u r e o r o f making i t " s u r r e n d e r " t o the c l a i m s o f the s p i r i t . I n one r e s p e c t , 100 n a t u r e has a l r e a d y been s u b l i m a t e d ; r o m a n t i c l o v e has been l e f t b e h i n d and the woman has been t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o the s p i r i t u a l "Lady". The o b j e c t o f p a s s i o n has become the o b j e c t o f w o r s h i p , and r a t h e r t h a n h o l d i n g man's f a t e o f m o r t a l h a p p i n e s s i n h e r hands, the woman now h o l d s h i s s p i r i t u a l f a t e i n much the same way. I r o n i c a l l y , i t i s fr o m n a t u r e t r a n s f o r m e d t h a t man seeks h e l p t o overcome n a t u r e . D i s c u s s i n g E l i o t ' s r e l i a n c e on Dante f o r h i s s p e c i f i c symbols and method, B a r b a r a Seward p o i n t s o u t t h a t E l i o t ' s Lady " i s a l l i e d w i t h Dante's B e a t r i c e and V i r g i n f i g u r e s i n b e i n g accompanied by imagery o f w h i t e n e s s and l i g h t , and i d e n t i f i e d w i t h symbols o f Garden and Rose. Perhaps l e s s d e f i n a b l e t h a n Dante's b u t meant t o convey a n a l o g o u s meaning, E l i o t ' s symbols a r e l i k e w i s e e x p r e s s i o n s o f s p i r i t u a l p r o g r e s s and i t s g o a l . G u i d e d by g r a c e o f t h e Lady up t h e p u r g a t o r i a l s t a i r s , the s o u l w i l l a t l a s t a t t a i n t he Garden o f t h e h e a v e n l y Rose w h e r e i n 'the unspoken word, t h e Word unheard' i s u n d e r s t o o d . But E l i o t , u n l i k e Dante, i s o n l y a t the b e g i n n i n g o f t h e way and w r i t e s n o t o f a v i s i o n remembered b u t o f one d e s i r e d . Suspended between sense and s p i r i t , doubt and f a i t h , death and r e b i r t h , he seeks t h r o u g h p u r g a t i o n the t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n o f t e m p o r a l d e s e r t i n t o e t e r n a l G a r d e n . " 0 Her l a s t p o i n t i s one w e l l t a k e n up, f o r , c o n t r a r y t o Dante, E l i o t does n o t seem ready f o r the f i n a l v i s i o n . He i s , i n many ways, a t t e m p t -i n g t o a c h i e v e b y d e t e r m i n a t i o n and w i l l what Dante a c h i e v e d n a t u r a l l y and e f f o r t l e s s l y . T h a t i s t o s a y , i n r e a d i n g Dante's e x p e r i e n c e , we f e e l t h a t an u n c o n s c i o u s , n a t u r a l development l e d h i m t o h i s way; 101 whereas, i n r e a d i n g E l i o t ' s , i t seems t o be more o f a c o n s c i o u s , i n t e l l e c t u a l d e c i s i o n t o p u r s u e t h a t way. As E l i o t h i m s e l f w r i t e s i n p a r t one, he p r a y s t o " f o r g e t / T h e s e m a t t e r s t h a t w i t h m y s e l f I too much d i s c u s s / T o o much e x p l a i n " . I do n o t b e l i e v e i t i s too b i z a r r e t o s a y t h a t n a t u r e l e d Dante t o h i s d e s t i n e d s p i r i t u a l p a t h ; and, f o r t h a t r e a s o n , he a c h i e v e d an o r g a n i c u n i t y o f b e i n g t h a t E l i o t n e v e r d i d . N a t u r e d i d n o t l e a d E l i o t t o h i s s p i r i t u a l g o a l ; r a t h e r , h i s w i l l d i d . From the p o e t r y o f t h e s e men i t can c l e a r l y be seen t h a t the way o f t h e s p i r i t i s paved by the wisdom o f n a t u r e ; and, i f i t i s n o t , then t h a t way must f o r e v e r be a f o r c e d and arduous one, founded on d o m i n a t i o n i n s t e a d o f c o - o p e r a t i o n . P a r t one o f Ash Wednesday d e a l s w i t h the r e n u n c i a t i o n o f e a r t h l y and human t h i n g s . W o r l d l y hope i s exchanged f o r s p i r i t u a l hope. The n a r r a t o r has n o t o n l y r e s i g n e d h i m s e l f t o h i s p r e s e n t c o n d i t i o n — one o f age and e m p t i n e s s — b u t has s u r r e n d e r e d the many c r a v i n g s o f the ego. I n a d d i t i o n t o c o v e t o u s w o r l d l y w i s h e s , s u c h as " D e s i r i n g t h i s man's g i f t and t h a t man's s c o p e " , t h e r e a r e wrong s p i r i t u a l d e s i r e s w h i c h he has come t o abandon: " I renounce th e b l e s s e d f a c e / A n d renounce t h e V o i c e " . The image God as c r e a t e d by the f e a r f u l ego must a l s o be s a c r i f i c e d i f man i s t o a s c e n d t o R e a l i t y . 7 He p r a y s t o the as y e t u n s p e c i f i e d Lady t o "Teach us t o c a r e and n o t t o c a r e / T e a c h us t o s i t s t i l l . " The l e s s o n she must te a c h man i s t o renounce d e s i r e f o r the wrong t h i n g s ( w h i c h comes down t o e v e r y t h i n g c o n n e c t e d w i t h n a t u r e ) , and t o c a r e o n l y f o r what i s good f o r h i s s o u l . There i s a l a t e n t E a s t e r n a s c e t i c i s m p r e s e n t h e r e as w e l l , as t h e f i r s t 'commandment' o f H i n d u and B u d d h i s t p e r -f e c t i o n i s " K i l l o u t d e s i r e " . 102 The sense o f what i s b e i n g s a c r i f i c e d i s h i n t e d a t i n t h e f o l l o w i n g l i n e s i n w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r e x p r e s s e s h i s sense o f b e i n g b a r r e d f r o m e a r t h l y o r human j o y s : Because I know I s h a l l n o t know The one v e r i t a b l e t r a n s i t o r y power Because I cannot d r i n k T h e r e , where t r e e s f l o w e r , and s p r i n g s f l o w , f o r t h e r e i s n o t h i n g a g a i n The l a s t w o rds, " f o r t h e r e i s n o t h i n g a g a i n " , r e p e a t the f a m i l i a r p a t t e r n o f E l i o t ' s e a r t h l y e x p e r i e n c e . The d e s c r i p t i o n s b e g i n w i t h p r o m i s e , w i t h a s e n s e o f n a t u r e ' s b l e s s i n g , b u t i n e v i t a b l y end i n f r u s t r a t i o n and d e s p a i r . F o r him, even t h e " p o s i t i v e h o u r " has o n l y an " i n f i r m g l o r y " , and he i s always aware o f the i m p e r -f e c t i o n and want i n human a f f a i r s . S t i l l , t h e r e i s a l a m e n t i n g o v e r an u n r e a l i z e d p o r t i o n o f l i f e , i t seems t o me, and the s e l f -c o n s t r u c t e d r e j o i c i n g o f the n a r r a t o r r a i s e s c o n s i d e r a b l e d o u b t s . As has been m e n t i o n e d above, the a p proach i s e x c e s s i v e l y m e n t a l and r e s u l t s i n t h e f e e l i n g o f d r y n e s s and agedness. The e n t i r e age imagery i n E l i o t ' s v e r s e , w h i c h goes back t o the b e g i n n i n g o f h i s c a r e e r , i s s y m b o l i c o f n e v e r h a v i n g l i v e d . From the v e r y f i r s t , h i s p r e o c c u p a t i o n was w i t h " g r o w i n g o l d " , and t h e s e v e r a l masks adop t e d t o convey t h a t f e e l i n g were i n d i c a t i v e o f a s e p a r a t i o n f r o m t h e m a i n s t r e a m o f n a t u r a l l i f e . As i f he c o u l d n o t r e s i s t one f i n a l d r a m a t i z a t i o n , E l i o t w r i t e s i n p a r e n t h e s i s : "(Why s h o u l d t h e aged e a g l e s t r e t c h i t s w i n g s ? ) " I n t h e c l o s i n g s t a n z a o f p a r t one, he s u s t a i n s the metaphor and evokes t h e s e a s o n e d imagery o f d e s s i c a t i o n . Because t h e s e w ings a r e no l o n g e r w ings t o f l y But m e r e l y vans t o b e a t the a i r The a i r w h i c h i s now t h o r o u g h l y s m a l l and d r y S m a l l e r and d r i e r than the w i l l 103 The drought i m a g e r y , a l r e a d y e x p l o r e d e a r l i e r , i s a p p r o p r i a t e i n y e t a n o t h e r s e n s e w h i c h t h i s poem b r i n g s o u t . I m p r i s o n e d i n t h e w i l l o r mind, and m o t i v a t e d by i t s d i c t a t e s , t h e i n d i v i d u a l i s c u t o f f f r o m the " s p r i n g s " o f l i f e so t h a t what r e s u l t s i s l i t e r a l l y a d r y n e s s o f the psyche. E l i o t c o n n e c t s t h e d r y n e s s w i t h a l o s s o f s p i r i t u a l w a t e r , b u t what appears more l i k e l y f r o m the t e s t i m o n y of the p o e t r y i s t h a t t h e s p r i n g s o f n a t u r e and s p i r i t a r e one. I n p a r t two, E l i o t d e v e l o p s the image of the Lady w h i c h had o n l y been foreshadowed i n p a r t one by the c l o s i n g l i n e s o f t h e " H a i l Mary". W h i l e she i s n o t t h e V i r g i n Mary, she i s s y m b o l i c o f h e r as w e l l as o f B e a t r i c e and perhaps t h e Church. C l e a r l y , the k i n d o f h e l p he i s a s k i n g o f h e r i s t h e k i n d w h i c h Dante r e c e i v e d from B e a t r i c e : i n t e r c e s s i o n w i t h God, and g u i d a n c e t o s a l v a t i o n . V ery i n t e r e s t i n g l y , the " I " o f the n a r r a t o r has been r e d u c e d t o b a r e bones, i n d i c a t i n g n o t o n l y an extreme degree o f a b j e c t n e s s and h u m i l i t y b e f o r e h i s i n t e r c e s s o r , b u t t h e d u s t t o w h i c h a l l f l e s h i s r e d u c a b l e as w e l l . The " t h r e e w h i t e l e o p a r d s " who have " f e d t o s a t i e t y " on h i s c o r p s e s y m b o l i z e b o t h the l u s t t h a t devours 9 man and s i n i n g e n e r a l . The l e o p a r d s , l i k e Dante's t h r e e b e a s t s , occupy the r o l e o f d e v o u r e r s o f man's s o u l . T r a d i t i o n a l l y , t h e l e o p a r d has been r e g a r d e d as a symbol o f d e s t r u c t i o n ; b u t , a c c o r d i n g to some m y t h o l o g i e s , i t i s a b e a s t f r o m whom the h e r o emerges r e g e n -e r a t e d . 1 0 C e r t a i n l y , the n a r r a t o r ' s bones hope t o be r e s u r r e c t e d , as Ash Wednesday a n t i c i p a t e s E a s t e r Day. E l i o t makes i t c l e a r t h a t " t h e r e i s no l i f e i n them", and t h a t t h e s e e d o f s i n i s d e a t h . 104 And I who am h e r e d i s s e m b l e d P r o f f e r my deeds t o o b l i v i o n , and my l o v e To t h e p o s t e r i t y o f the d e s e r t and the f r u i t o f t h e gourd. F e r t i l i t y i s a g a i n b l i g h t e d and the image of the d e s e r t made p r e -dominan t . I n the m i d s t o f t h i s h o p e l e s s s c e n e , the bones make t h e i r l i t a n i c a l a p p e a l t o the Lady. I n v o k e d by a s e r i e s o f p a r a d o x e s , she i s t he s p i r i t u a l v i s i o n o f the p o e t . Lady o f s i l e n c e s Calm and d i s t r e s s e d Torn and most whole Rose o f memory Rose o f f o r g e t f u l n e s s E x h a u s t e d and l i f e - g i v i n g W o r r i e d r e p o s e f u l The s i n g l e Rose The g o a l t o w h i c h he w o u l d be l e d i s t h e "Garden/Where a l l l o v e s end". N e i t h e r " l o v e u n s a t i s f i e d " o r " l o v e s a t i s f i e d " h o l d s o u t any peace t o the n a r r a t o r , and what he appears t o be l o o k i n g f o r i s as much o f an o b l i v i o n as a p a r a d i s e . The garden o f e a r t h l y b l i s s i s a dangerous Eden where l o v e ends i n d e s p a i r and b i t t e r n e s s ; t h i s i s one " t o r m e n t " . A n o t h e r " t o r m e n t " i s f i n d i n g t h a t human f u l f i l l m e n t f a l l s s h o r t o f one's e x p e c t a t i o n s , and t h i s i s deemed even worse t h a n the f o r m e r . The s p i r i t u a l Garden i s E l i o t ' s i d e a l o f l o v e , an i d e a l whose p e r f e c t e x p r e s s i o n he has fo u n d i n Dante; b u t E l i o t ' s i d e a l o f l o v e has shunned the garden o f n a t u r e and, i n s t e a d o f p a s s i n g t h r o u g h i t , has s o u g h t a d e t o u r . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , he c o n c e i v e s the i d e a l Garden as a p l a c e "where a l l l o v e ends", r a t h e r t h a n as a p l a c e where i t r e i g n s o r t r u l y b e g i n s . H i s Lady, as t h e p a t r o n e s s o f the Garden, i s a l s o a r a t h e r s t e r i l e c r e a t u r e ; c e r t a i n l y , she shows none o f t h e co m p a s s i o n a t e and l o v i n g 105 c o n c e r n of a B e a t r i c e . A l t h o u g h she i s i n v o k e d by the symbol o f "Rose", and a c c o r d e d a s t r i n g o f f i n e e p i t h e t s : " B l e s s e d s i s t e r , h o l y mother, s p i r i t o f the f o u n t a i n , s p i r i t o f the g a r d e n " , she remains a c o l d shadow o f the Love embodied by Dante's i m a g i n a t i o n . We r e c e i v e a f u l l e r p i c t u r e o f the Lady i n p a r t f o u r , a f t e r t h e n a r r a t o r has p a s s e d t h r o u g h the s t a g e o f p u r g a t i o n . The s t a i r s i n d i c a t e s p i r i t u a l a s c e n t and the l e a v i n g b e h i n d o f i l l u s i o n . "At the f i r s t t u r n i n g o f the s e c o n d s t a i r " , he has r e a c h e d t h e p o i n t o f r e a l i z i n g t h a t hope and d e s p a i r a r e t h e m s e l v e s i l l u s i o n s ; and "At the second t u r n i n g o f the s e c o n d s t a i r " , images o f l i f e a r e e x t i n g u i s h e d , and complete d a r k n e s s r e i g n s . The c l o s e r he approaches e t e r n a l r e a l i t y , t h e f a r t h e r away he moves f r o m the d e l u s i v e and i l l u s o r y images wound aroun d t e m p o r a l e x i s t e n c e . Not w i t h o u t a touch o f p r i d e i n h i s h u m i l i t y , the s p e a k e r announces w i t h some s a t i s f a c t i o n : " I l e f t them t w i s t i n g , t u r n i n g below". The f i n a l c r i s i s o f a s c e n t comes " a t t h e f i r s t t u r n i n g o f the t h i r d s t a i r " where t h e n a r r a t o r i s c o m p e l l e d t o v i e w f o r the l a s t t i m e t h e image o f the e a r t h l y garden. I t i s seen t h r o u g h "a s l o t t e d window b e l l i e d l i k e t h e f i g ' s f r u i t " , i n d i c a t i n g the e r o t i c o r r o m a n t i c n a t u r e o f the s c e n e . What he s e e s i s perhaps a c o n d e n s a t i o n of p a s t memories a s s o c i a t e d w i t h human l o v e . The images o f t h i s i d y l l i c , p a s t o r a l t a b l e a u evoke an a l m o s t pagan atmosphere. And beyond the hawthorn b l o s s o m and a p a s t u r e scene The b r o a d b a c k e d f i g u r e d r e s t i n b l u e and green E n c h a n t e d the maytime w i t h an a n t i q u e f l u t e . Blown h a i r i s sweet, brown h a i r o v e r the mouth b l o w n , L i l a c and brown h a i r ; The e f f e c t o f the memory i s one o f " d i s t r a c t i o n " ; m o m e n t a r i l y , t h e 106 n a r r a t o r f e e l s t r a p p e d i n the s c e n e , b u t f i n a l l y he moves beyond i t t o o . F a d i n g , f a d i n g ; s t r e n g t h beyond hope and d e s p a i r C l i m b i n g t h e t h i r d s t a i r . I n c o n t r a s t t o t h e t e m p o r a l garden of e r o t i c l o v e , p a r t f o u r d e s c r i b e s the t i m e l e s s garden o f s p i r i t u a l g r a c e w h e r e i n t h e Lady w a l k s . She i s d e p i c t e d h e r e as a r e s t o r e r , and what she r e -s t o r e s t o man i s the l o s t v i s i o n . The v i s i o n has been l o s t t h r o u g h s i n f u l n e s s b u t , l i k e the " p e r p e t u a l s t a r " , i t remains p r e s e n t and f o r e v e r a c c e s s i b l e i n t h e t i m e l e s s r e a l m o f e t e r n i t y . Through t i m e , man has l o s t t h e v i s i o n o f h i s g r e a t e r d e s t i n y and o f the u l t i m a t e r e a l i t y . T h us, t i m e has become the arch-enemy. I t s c e a s e l e s s passage reminds man o f the s h o r t n e s s o f h i s days and o f t h e impos-s i b i l i t y o f making up l o s t o r w a s t e d t i m e . The s i n s committed i n time can n e v e r be a t o n e d f o r i n t i m e . F o r t h i s r e a s o n , the s p e a k e r p r a y s : ...Redeem The t i m e . Redeem The u n r e a l v i s i o n i n t h e h i g h e r dream T h i s i s the y e a r n i n g and p o i g n a n t p l e a d i n g o f t h e s o u l , r e s e m b l i n g the c h i l d i n i t s dependence on a power g r e a t e r t h a n i t s e l f f o r t h e r e a l i z a t i o n o f the w i s h . Only i n t h e t i m e l e s s r e a l m o f i m a g i n a t i o n can t h e aged, s i n f u l man be f o r g i v e n and r e s t o r e d t o the y o u t h f u l i n n o c e n c e o f a c h i l d . . . . r e s t o r i n g Through a b r i g h t c l o u d o f t e a r s , the y e a r s , r e s t o r i n g W i t h a new v e r s e t h e a n c i e n t rhyme.... The garden o f g r a c e , moreover, i s t h e r e a l i t y b e h i n d the a p p e a r a n c e ; and the n a r r a t o r must p e n e t r a t e beyond the t e m p o r a l t o a r r i v e a t t h e 10 7 t i m e l e s s . The s i l e n t s i s t e r v e i l e d i n w h i t e and b l u e Between t h e yews, b e h i n d t h e garden god, Whose f l u t e i s b r e a t h l e s s , b e n t h e r head and s i g n e d b u t spoke no word Not i n s i g n i f i c a n t l y , the Lady s t a n d s "between t h e yews, b e h i n d the garden god". S y m b o l i z i n g f a i t h , d e a t h , and r e s u r r e c t i o n , t he yew t r e e s s u g g e s t t h e p i l l a r s o f d e a t h t h r o u g h w h i c h the i n d i v i d u a l must pass b e f o r e he can approach the L a d y . 1 1 P o s s e s s e d o f f a i t h , the n a r r a t o r must d i e t o the o l d s e l f i n o r d e r t o be s p i r i t u a l l y r e b o r n . I n a n o t h e r s e n s e , t h e y a n t i c i p a t e " t h e l a s t b l u e r o c k s " o f p a r t f i v e . S u g g e s t i n g the S c y l l a and C h a r y b d i s o f f a i t h and doubt between w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r must n a v i g a t e , t h e r e i s an i n t e r -e s t i n g l i g h t thrown on t h e r e l a t i o n o f the r o c k s t o t h e yews by the f a c t t h a t t h e Greeks p l a n t e d yew t r e e s i n p a i r s t o s y m b o l i z e 12 the h e a v e n l y T w i n s , t h e m s e l v e s images o f good and e v i l . P an, as the s p i r i t o f the woodland o r e a r t h l y g a r d e n , must a l s o be p a s s e d beyond. B e h i n d the god o f f e r t i l i t y s t a n d s the V i r g i n . A l t h o u g h she i s c o o l l y s i l e n t , the p o e t w i s h e s us t o b e l i e v e t h a t th e s p r i n g i n g up o f the f o u n t a i n i s " t h e t o k e n o f the word unheard". The c l o s i n g l i n e o f p a r t f o u r s u g g e s t s t h a t h i s " e x i l e " i n t h e e a r t h l y , t e m p o r a l , and s i n f u l garden i s soon t o be ended. The f i n a l words o f the u n f i n i s h e d s e n t e n c e a r e : "Show unto us t h e b l e s s e d f r u i t o f Thy womb, J e s u s " . The p r o b l e m o f the n a r r a t o r , as appears i n the f i n a l two p a r t s o f the poem, i s the d i f f i c u l t y o f " s u r r e n d e r " . Tormented by doubt and the w i l l t o b e l i e v e , he w a l k s i n t h e " l a s t d e s e r t " w h i c h i s c o n n e c t e d w i t h the e a r t h l y garden and, a r c h e t y p a l l y , w i t h Eden. 108 The desert i n the garden the garden i n the desert Of drouth, s p i t t i n g from the mouth the withered apple-seed. He prays to the Lady to help him make the leap i n t o f a i t h . . . . W i l l the v e i l e d s i s t e r pray For children at the gate Who w i l l not go away and cannot pray: Pray f o r those who chose and oppose Here we see exposed E l i o t ' s c e n t r a l r e l i g i o u s dilemma — the dilemma of the r a t i o n a l man: scepticism. This problem was i n t e n s i f i e d i n the seventeenth century when the claims of s o - c a l l e d "reason" and science came i n t o c o n f l i c t with the claims of f a i t h and r e l i g i o n . The " d i s s o c i a t i o n of s e n s i b i l i t y " between reason and f a i t h could only have come about because man's consciousness was no longer un-i f i e d and could not see that reason and f a i t h are not h o s t i l e a t -titudes, but expressions of a s i n g l e i n t e l l i g e n c e . Consequently, reason came to have a very one-sided meaning f o r Western man. Only that which i s v e r i f i a b l e by the senses, by the s c i e n t i f i c method, by the rules of l o g i c , has been deemed reasonable, and whatever i s unprovable by these means i s e i t h e r non-existent, doubtful, or "mythical". As a r e s u l t , modern man has suffered the kind of c o n f l i c t that we see i n E l i o t . He, too, has a predominantly i n t e l l e c t u a l and " r a t i o n a l " approach to r e l i g i o n . His r e l i g i o n must be as ordered, 13 l o g i c a l , and foolproof as the s c i e n t i s t ' s c a l c u l a t i o n s . Of course, E l i o t r e a l i z e s that into the s p i r i t u a l sphere man can only enter by f a i t h . But witness the tremendous turmoil engendered by t h i s r e a l -i z a t i o n , and, what i s more, the knowledge that he does not spontan-eously possess this necessary t i c k e t to Nirvana. B a s i c a l l y , E l i o t ' s poetry i s not r e l i g i o u s ; at most, I t can only try to be. That i s , 109 r e l i g i o u s symbols and images can be thrown i n a t w i l l , b u t t h e y l a c k t h e n a t u r a l l i f e t h a t makes them an o r g a n i c p a r t o f t h e p o e t r y . I r o n i c a l l y , the images t h a t do have a l i f e o f t h e i r own, and t h a t w i l l always g r i p t h e r e a d e r w i t h a t e r r i b l e i n t e n s i t y , a r e t h o s e o f doubt and d e s p a i r . When E l i o t w r i t e s o f the i m p r i s o n m e n t o f t h e modern c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n the f e t t e r s o f t h e ego, o f the " f a d i n g s t a r o f our l o s t kingdoms", o r of t h e " d e s e r t " , then h i s p o e t r y conveys a moving e x p e r i e n c e w i t h w h i c h a l l t h o s e who have s u f f e r e d a s i m i l a r c o n s c i o u s n e s s can e m p a t h i z e . But when, l i k e a d e s p e r a t e cook, he s t e a l s a n o t h e r ' s s p i r i t u a l r e c i p e , and throws r o s e s , v i r g i n s , u n i c o r n s i n t o t h e p o e t i c p o t i n the v a i n hope o f a c h i e v i n g a s i m i l a r c h e f  d'oeuvre, the r e s u l t must o f t e n be s t r a i n e d . As a d e s c r i p t i o n o f the a n x i e t y and i n q u i e t u d e a r o u s e d i n modern man by t h e d i s s o c i a t i o n o f f a i t h and r e a s o n , Ash Wednesday s u c c e e d s i n s t r e s s i n g t h i s p r o blem. I t r e v e a l s as much the l i f e l e s s n e s s o f a s p i r i t u a l p a t h u n d e r t a k e n by the d i c t a t e s o f the w i l l as t h e l i f e l e s s n e s s of the d e s e r t s t a t e . The n a r r a t o r d e c l a r e s t h a t , h a v i n g chosen the C h r i s t i a n way o f s a l v a -t i o n , he cannot "hope t o t u r n a g a i n " . He must p e r s e v e r e i n h i s s e l f -w i l l e d j o u r n e y toward the A b s o l u t e . B u t t h e v i s i o n t h a t l e a d s h i m on i s n o t so much h i s own as i t i s a b o r r o w e d one. What makes Dante's poem so a l i v e i s t h a t i t i s the v i s i o n o f h i s own i m a g i n a t i o n ; t h e r e f o r e , t h e symbols o f r o s e and Lady a r e d e e p l y r o o t e d i n h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s and a r e w a t e r e d by the s p r i n g s o f n a t u r e . E l i o t ' s s y m b o l s , on t h e c o n t r a r y , f a i l t o convey l i f e b e cause t h e y a r e n o t t h e o r i g i n a l p r o d u c t s o f h i s own i m a g i n a t i o n ; what they do r e l a t e i s t h e k i n d o f dilemma t h a t Dante n e v e r knew — s c e p t i c i s m r e s u l t i n g f r o m t h e d i v i d e d s e l f . * 1 1 0 P a r t I I Jacques M a r i t a i n i n h i s P r e f a c e t o M e t a p h y s i c s d i s -t i n g u i s h e s two a s p e c t s o f e v e r y form o f knowledge, " t h e m y s t e r y and t h e p r o b l e m " . The m y s t e r y a s p e c t , he s a y s , " p r e d o m i n a t e s where knowledge i s most o n t o l o g i c a l , where i t s e e k s t o d i s c o v e r , e i t h e r i n t u i t i v e l y o r by a n a l o g y , b e i n g i n i t s e l f and the s e c r e t s o f b e i n g . . . " ; whereas the p r o b l e m a s p e c t p e r t a i n s t o t h e s o l v i n g o f a s o l u t i o n , t h a t i s , "where knowledge i s l e a s t o n t o l o g i c a l . . . 1 4 as i n e m p i r i c a l k nowledge, and i n the s c i e n c e s o f phenomena...." T h i s a n a l y s i s p r o v e s , I t h i n k , v e r y i l l u m i n a t i n g when l o o k i n g a t E l i o t ' s l a s t poems g a t h e r e d under the t i t l e o f Pour Q u a r t e t s . H e r e , t o a g r e a t e r and more s u c c e s s f u l e x t e n t t h a n e v e r b e f o r e , the p o e t i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h m e t a p h y s i c a l q u e s t i o n s and c o n c e n t r a t e s on t h e " m y s t e r y " a s p e c t o f knowledge. Not o n l y the s u b s t a n c e o f the poems, b u t t h e i r f o r m e s p e c i a l l y r e v e a l s t h e p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h b e i n g . I n M a r i t a i n ' s words, "...where t h e m y s t e r y a s p e c t p r e v a i l s the i n t e l l e c t has t o p e n e t r a t e more and more d e e p l y the same o b j e c t . The mind i s s t a t i o n a r y t u r n i n g a r o u n d a f i x e d p o i n t . Or r a t h e r i t p i e r c e s f u r t h e r and f u r t h e r i n t o t h e same de p t h . T h i s i s p r o g r e s s i n t h e same p l a c e , p r o g r e s s by d e e p e n i n g . " 1 5 The c o m p l e x i t y o f F o u r Q u a r t e t s l i e s , t h e r e -f o r e , n o t so much i n t h e f o r m a l p r e s e n t a t i o n ( a l t h o u g h t h i s i s i n no 1 6 way s i m p l e as the a n a l o g y w i t h i t s m u s i c a l c o u n t e r p a r t shows ) as i n t h e o b j e c t of a p p r e h e n s i o n and c o n t e m p l a t i o n . The o b j e c t t o w a r d w h i c h E l i o t ' s i n t e l l e c t u a l and e m o t i o n a l f o r c e i s d i r e c t e d i s b e i n g o r R e a l i t y ; b u t because the v e r y n a t u r e t h i s o b j e c t i s one i n t i m a t e l y and e s s e n t i a l l y bound up w i t h the s u b j e c t , i t c r e a t e s l i n g u i s t i c I l l problems f o r t h e p o e t . On t h e one hand, t h e R e a l i t y w h i c h he i s t r y i n g t o apprehend i s " w h o l l y o t h e r " ; i t i s n o t t h i s w o r l d ' s r e a l i t y , w h i c h E l i o t r e g a r d s as s h a l l o w and s o r d i d ; i t i s some-t h i n g t h a t t r a n s c e n d s man and man's o r d i n a r y e x p e r i e n c e . As s u c h , b e i n g i s t h e o b j e c t w h i c h i s p o s i t e d by the f i n i t e i n t e l l e c t and w i t h w h i c h i t s t r i v e s t o u n i t e i t s e l f . On the o t h e r hand, t h i s R e a l i t y i s n o t so f a r beyond man as he m i g h t t h i n k ; p a r a d o x i c a l l y , i t i s a p a r t o f the phenomenal and mundane w o r l d . B e i n g , as s u c h , i s n o t o n l y an o b j e c t , b u t t h e s u b j e c t as w e l l ; t h a t i s , the " o t h e r " w h i c h man s t r i v e s t o r e a l i z e o b j e c t i v e l y i s the v e r y b a s i s and ground o f h i s own s u b j e c t i v i t y . B e i n g u l t i m a t e l y t r a n s c e n d s and u n i t e s s u b j e c t and o b j e c t , and the h o s t o f o t h e r d u a l i t i e s by w h i c h e v e r y d a y e x i s t e n c e i s t o r n . F o r the p o e t , whose t o o l s a r e words, any endeavor t o convey i n s i g h t s and e x p e r i e n c e s r e a c h i n g beyond the b o r d e r s o f r e l a t i v e e x i s t e n c e must be f r a u g h t w i t h p e r i l s and f r u s t r a t i o n s . Language r e f l e c t s the c a t e g o r i e s o f t h e mind, and i t f o l l o w s t h a t t h e c o n c e p t u a l d i v i s i o n s w i t h i n t h a t mind w i l l be e x p r e s s e d by t h e l a n g u a g e . But when th e mind once a g a i n t u r n s a s i d e f r o m d i s p e r s a l and s e e ks a s t a t e o f u n i t y , language s t r a n g e l y seems t o be i n a d e q u a t e t o p e r f o r m i t s t a s k . I n f a c i n g t h i s p r o b l e m , E l i o t was n o t a l o n e , as he r e a l i z e d . H i s S y m b o l i s t f o r e r u n n e r s , p a r t i c u l a r l y M a l l a r m e , had p r o g r e s s i v e l y and d e l i b e r a t e l y s o u g h t t o i n d e n t t h e b o u n d a r i e s o f the A b s o l u t e , and had f a i l e d . Or, r a t h e r , i t w o u l d be more j u s t t o s a y t h a t l a n g -uage had f a i l e d . L i k e t h e m y s t i c a l w r i t e r s of e v e r y age, the S y m b o l i s t s a l s o came t o t h a t p o i n t where speech c o u l d o r w o u l d n o t 112 go f a r t h e r and where s i l e n c e was the o n l y g o a l . Numbering him-s e l f among t h a t p a r t y ("Since our c o n c e r n was s p e e c h , and speech i m p e l l e d us/To p u r i f y t h e d i a l e c t o f the t r i b e " ) , E l i o t has en-c o u n t e r e d t h e same l i n g u i s t i c d i f f i c u l t y and a t t e n d a n t f r u s t r a t i o n . L i k e t h e S y m b o l i s t s and the m e t a p h y s i c a l p o e t s who were f o r c e d t o use language i n new and b i z a r r e ways i n o r d e r t o approach a u n i t y beyond d i a l e c t i c s , E l i o t has r e l i e d c h i e f l y upon symbols t o s u g g e s t the s t a t e of b e i n g o r o f a b s o l u t e r e a l i t y . Whatever we i n h e r i t f r o m the f o r t u n a t e We have t a k e n f r o m the d e f e a t e d What t h e y had t o l e a v e u s — a symbol: A symbol p e r f e c t e d i n d e a t h . Y e t he has been c a r e f u l n o t t o succumb t o an o v e r l y - p r i v a t e s y m b o l -ogy s u c h as l e a v e s the r e a d e r e x c l u d e d f r o m t h e meaning. W h i l e some o f E l i o t ' s symbols a r e t a k e n f r o m i n t e n s e moments o f p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e , t h e y a r e woven i n t o a l a r g e r s y m b o l i c p a t t e r n w h i c h r e s t s on the f o u n d a t i o n o f Western p o e t i c t r a d i t i o n . Thus, the " m y s t e r y " w h i c h he c o n s t a n t l y c o n t e m p l a t e s and a t t e m p t s t o r e v e a l i s n o t an i d i o s y n c r a t i c v i s i o n b u t one, as i t were, r e c e i v e d o r t r a n s m i t t e d . I t remains the same " m y s t e r y " b e h e l d o n l y by d i f f e r e n t e y e s ; b u t i n o r d e r t o be b e h e l d i n any f r e s h way a t a l l a sense o f t r a d i t i o n i s e s s e n t i a l . T h i s i s , i n f a c t , t h e c r u c i a l p o i n t a b out t h i s p a r t i c u l a r t y p e o f knowledge s t r e s s e d by M a r i t a i n : " O b v i o u s l y , under the c o n d i t i o n s o f human l i f e , p r o g r e s s of t h i s k i n d r e q u i r e s an i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n , t h e f i r m c o n t i n u i t y o f a s y s t e m b a s e d on p r i n c i p l e s w h i c h do n o t c h a n g e . 1 7 The t r a d i t i o n w i t h i n w h i c h E l i o t i s w r i t i n g and w h i c h he has f a i t h f u l l y e spoused i s n o t h i n g l e s s I m p o s i n g t h a n the Western — 113 and, one s h o u l d add, as he u n d e r s t a n d s i t . Everyone by now i s f a m i l i a r w i t h h i s famous judgement t h a t " . . . t h e h i s t o r i c a l s ense compels a man t o w r i t e n o t m e r e l y w i t h h i s own g e n e r a t i o n i n h i s bones, b u t w i t h a f e e l i n g t h a t the whole o f the l i t e r a t u r e o f Europe from Homer and w i t h i n i t the whole o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e o f h i s own c o u n t r y has a s i m u l t a n e o u s e x i s t e n c e and composes a 18 s i m u l t a n e o u s o r d e r " . C e r t a i n l y , s u c h a c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f one's l i t e r a r y l e g a c y i s commendable, b u t i t i s n o t so much a r e q u i s i t e f o r the a r t i s t as i t i s f o r the c r i t i c . F o r t h e c r i t i c , i t i s i n d i s p e n s a b l e ; he must a t a l l t i m e s b r i n g h i s h i s t o r i c a l c o n s c i o u s -n e ss i n t o p l a y i n j u d g i n g an i n d i v i d u a l work; b u t f o r the a r t i s t i t i s l e s s i m p o r t a n t and may even c o n s t i t u t e a b a r r i e r f o r h i s p r i v a t e i m a g i n a t i o n . I cannot f r e q u e n t l y h e l p f e e l i n g t h a t had E l i o t w r i t t e n l e s s c o n s c i o u s l y w i t h the b l o o d o f h i s a n c e s t o r s i n h i s v e i n s , h i s work m i g h t have t a k e n a d i f f e r e n t t u r n and have appeared more sp o n t a n e o u s . I n h i s c a s e , one i s tempted t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e c r i t i c was t h e p o e t ' s g r e a t e s t enemy. H i s judgements and a e s t h e t i c p r o p e n s i t i e s as a c r i t i c were c o n s e r v a t i v e and h i g h l y s p i r i t u a l o r i d e a l ; t h i s l e d h i m , u n d o u b t e d l y , t o make t h a t r a t h e r l a t e r e g r e t t e d m a n i f e s t o about b e i n g "a C l a s s i c i s t i n l i t e r a t u r e , an A n g l o - C a t h o l i c i n r e l i g i o n and a R o y a l i s t i n p o l i t i c s " . The p o e t w i t h i n E l i o t , however, o f t e n seems l e s s t h a n c o n v e r t e d . By a d i a b o l -i c a l p s y c h o l o g i c a l l a w , t h e r e l i v e s a R o m a n t i c , a pagan, and an a n a r c h i s t i n e v e r y p i o u s dogmatic h e a r t — a l t h o u g h i n a s e v e r l y e n s l a v e d c o n d i t i o n . A c a r e f u l r e a d i n g o f E l i o t ' s p o e t r y and p r o s e r e v e a l s many o t h e r w i s e i n e x p l i c a b l e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s w h i c h Y v o r W i n t e r s 114 has a l r e a d y t a k e n t h e p a i n s t o enumerate. W h i l e one may agree o r d i s a g r e e w i t h Mr. W i n t e r ' s c o n c l u s i o n t h a t t h e s e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s make E l i o t a "de c a d e n t " p o e t and an e x t r e m e l y b e f u d d l e d c r i t i c , I w o u l d r e g a r d them as e v i d e n c e o f the t e n s i o n between the c r i t i c and the p o e t , b o t h o f w h i c h f u n c t i o n s were h i g h l y d e v e l o p e d i n him. As A r t h u r L o v e j o y e l s e w h e r e has p o i n t e d o u t , " I t i s o n l y t h e n a r r o w e s t o r the d u l l e s t minds t h a t a r e — i f any a r e — c o m p l e t e l y i n harmony w i t h t h e m s e l v e s ; and the most i m p o r t a n t and most c h a r a c -t e r i s t i c t h i n g about many a g r e a t a u t h o r i s the d i v e r s i t y , the o f t e n l a t e n t l y d i s c o r d a n t d i v e r s i t y , o f the i d e a s t o w h i c h h i s mind i s r e s p o n s i v e , and w h i c h m a n i f e s t t h e m s e l v e s a t one and a n o t h e r p o i n t 20 i n what he w r i t e s . " The sense o f t r a d i t i o n , w h i c h i s n o t h i n g o t h e r t h a n an a t t e n t i v e n e s s t o t h e growth and e v o l u t i o n o f t h e human c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h r o u g h o u t the ages and the a b i l i t y t o d i s c e r n i t s c o l l e c t i v e p a t t e r n s , must always be c o n s c i o u s l y p r e s e n t i n t h e c r i t i c , b u t i n the a r t i s t i t s h o u l d be an u n c o n s c i o u s and s p o n t a n -eous a p p a r i t i o n , n o t an e n f o r c e d o b s e r v a n c e . That no genuine a r t i s t a t t h e moment o f c r e a t i o n may choos what t r a d i t i o n he s h a l l w r i t e i n i s s t a t e d by E l i o t h i m s e l f . No s e n s i b l e a u t h o r , i n the m i d s t o f so m e t h i n g t h a t he i s t r y i n g t o w r i t e , can s t o p t o c o n s i d e r w h e t h e r i t i s g o i n g t o be r o m a n t i c o r t h e o p p o s i t e . A t the moment when one w r i t e s , one i s what one i s , and damage o f a l i f e t i m e , and of h a v i n g been b o r n i n t o an u n s e t t l e d s o c i e t y , cannot be r e p a i r e d a t the moment o f c o m p o s i t i o n . 2 1 I n s o f a r as E l i o t t r i e d t o s t e e r h i s a r t i n a c e r t a i n d i r e c t i o n i n k e e p i n g w i t h h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l and c r i t i c a l a l l e g i a n c e s , he a c h i e v e d g r e a t c o n t r o l o v e r h i s p o e t r y , b u t f r e q u e n t l y i t b e t r a y s i t s n a t u r a l 115 b e n t o r i t s would-be i n c l i n a t i o n , and t h i s r e s u l t s i n t h e tone o f 22 r e g r e t f o r what was n e v e r r e a l i z e d . I t i s a m i s t a k e t o t h i n k t h a t the Western t r a d i t i o n i s a s i n g l e p a t h e i t h e r t o be t r o d o r h e r e t i c a l l y f o r s a k e n . T h a t a s p e c t o f i t w i t h w h i c h E l i o t i d e n t i f i e d and on w h i c h he b a s e d h i s c r i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s and a r t was t h e i d e a l -i s t s t r a i n ; and, c e r t a i n l y , i f he t h o u g h t t h a t i t was t h e p r e d o m i n a n t o r o r t h o d o x one he was n o t wrong. A c a r e f u l s t u d y o f the Western t r a d i t i o n w o u l d v e r y l i k e l y r e v e a l t h a t I d e a l i s m has been the most dominant and a l l - p e r v a s i v e i n f l u e n c e i n s h a p i n g our c u l t u r e and h i s t o r y . What we must c o n t e n t o u r s e l v e s w i t h a t t h i s p o i n t , however, i s t o i n d i c a t e t h a t E l i o t ' s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h t h e i d e a l i s t s t r a i n o f the Western t r a d i t i o n gave w e i g h t and scope t o h i s t h o u g h t and t e n s i o n t o h i s a r t . A l t h o u g h F o u r Q u a r t e t s a t t e s t t o a g r e a t e r peace of mind and t o a more complete r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f o p p o s i t e s , t h e y s t i l l c on-t a i n the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t e n s i o n so e v i d e n t i n a l l o f E l i o t ' s p o e t r y . Whether we c a l l t h a t t e n s i o n one between s p i r i t and n a t u r e , C l a s s i c and Romantic, o r time and e t e r n i t y does n o t r e a l l y m a t t e r ; any number o f such d i s t i n c t i o n s w o u l d a p p l y . The s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r emerging from Four Q u a r t e t s i s t h e p o e t ' s a c c e p t a n c e o f the n e c e s s i t y o f s t r i f e . P r e f a c i n g h i s poems w i t h f r a g m e n t s from H e r a c l i t u s , he i n -v i t e s c omparison w i t h t h a t t h i n k e r who, i n a n t i q u i t y , was r e f e r r e d t o as " t h e d a r k " because o f t h e s p i r i t u a l and m y s t i c a l n a t u r e o f h i s 23 w r i t i n g s . The f u n d a m e n t a l thought r u n n i n g t h r o u g h o u t the Fragments i s t h a t t h e l i f e - p r o c e s s i s one o f " s t r i f e " o r o f t h e c o n f l i c t o f o p p o s i n g f o r c e s , and t h a t b a l a n c e , harmony, o r "measure" i s n e c e s s a r y 116 f o r the maintenance o f l i f e . Out o f the a p p a r e n t d i s c o r d o f d u a l i t y comes, i n f a c t , harmony and oneness. " O p p o s i t i o n u n i t e s . From what draws a p a r t r e s u l t s the most b e a u t i f u l harmony. A l l 2 A t h i n g s t a k e p l a c e by s t r i f e . " The emphasis on rhythm i n t h e r i t u a l and s y m b o l i c f u n c t i o n o f the dance i n F o u r Q u a r t e t s b e a r s ou t E l i o t ' s c o n c e r n w i t h d e v i s i n g a p a t t e r n i n w h i c h t h e o p p o s i t e s w i l l be b a l a n c e d . L i k e t h e l a t e r Y e a t s , E l i o t saw i n the symbol o f the dance the p e r f e c t i n t e g r a t i o n o f a l l the c o s m i c and human f o r c e s w h i c h b a t t l e w i t h i n t h e s o u l o f man. I have a l r e a d y d i s c u s s e d the mandala a s p e c t o f the dance i n r e g a r d t o The H o l l o w Men; b u t whereas i n t h a t poem i t was used as a t r a v e s t y o f wholeness and as a comment upon t h e d i s i n t e g r a t i o n modern man's p s y c h e , h e r e i t may be s a i d t o assume i t s p r o p e r f u n c t i o n . A n o t h e r symbol o f i n t e g r a t i o n — the c e n t e r — has a l r e a d y r e c e i v e d e x t e n s i v e t r e a t m e n t by c r i t i c s . The a u t h o r o f one o f t h e most complete s t u d i e s t e l l s us t h a t i n F o u r Q u a r t e t s " . . . t h e ' s t i l l p o i n t ' becomes the s o u r c e o f a l l e n e r g y , p a t t e r n , and movement, the s p i r i t u a l c e n t e r where a l l o p p o s i t e s a r e r e c o n c i l e d , the complete v i s i o n p e r c e i v e d , c o m p lete r e a l i t y e x p e r i e n c e d , and complete b e i n g 25 a t t a i n e d . " D e s c r i b i n g the " s t i l l p o i n t " c o n c e p t , Mrs. C o r n w e l l e l a b o r a t e s f o u r f e a t u r e s : " t h e concept o f c e r t a i n a b s o l u t e s . . . " , " t h e c o n c e p t o f an a b s t r a c t , s p i r i t u a l c e n t e r o u t s i d e o n e s e l f . . . " , "emphasis upon the t i m e l e s s moment...", and "emphasis upon a 26 c o n s c i o u s way o f l i f e . . . . " That the c e n t e r , and the p a t h l e a d i n g t o i t , have always h a d a m y s t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r man i s w e l l docu-mented by M i r c e a E l i a d e . 117 The c e n t e r , t h e n , i s p r e - e m i n e n t l y the zone o f the s a c r e d , t h e zone o f a b s o l u t e r e a l i t y . S i m i l a r l y , a l l the o t h e r symbols o f a b s o l u t e r e a l i t y ( t r e e s o f l i f e and i m m o r t a l i t y , F o u n t a i n s o f Y o u t h , e t c . ) a r e a l s o s i t u a t e d at a c e n t e r . The r o a d l e a d i n g t o t h e c e n t e r i s a " d i f f i c u l t r o a d " ( d u r o h a n a ) , and t h i s i s v e r i f i e d a t e v e r y l e v e l o f r e a l i t y : d i f f i c u l t c o n v o l u t i o n s o f a temple (as a B o r o b u d u r ) ; p i l g r i m a g e t o s a c r e d p l a c e s (Mecca, Hardwar, J e r u s a l e m ) ; d a n g e r - r i d d e n voyages o f the h e r o i c e x p e d i t i o n s i n s e a r c h o f the Golden F l e e c e , t h e Golden A p p l e s , the Herb o f L i f e ; w a n d e r i n g i n l a b y r i n t h s ; d i f f i -c u l t i e s o f the s e e k e r f o r the r o a d t o t h e s e l f , t o t h e " c e n t e r " o f h i s b e i n g , and so on. The r o a d i s a r d u o u s , f r a u g h t w i t h p e r i l s , b e -cause i t i s , i n f a c t , a r i t e o f t h e passage f r o m the p r o f a n e t o the s a c r e d , f r o m t h e ephemeral and i l l u s o r y t o r e a l i t y and e t e r n i t y , f r o m death t o l i f e , f r o m man t o the d i v i n i t y . A t t a i n i n g t he c e n t e r i s e q u i v a l e n t t o a con-s e c r a t i o n , an i n i t i a t i o n ; y e s t e r d a y ' s p r o f a n e and i l l u s o r y e x i s t e n c e g i v e s p l a c e t o a new, to a l i f e t h a t i s r e a l , e n d u r i n g , and e f f e c t i v e . From t h i s r a t h e r l o n g passage we can c l e a r l y s ee t h a t t h e d i r e c t i o n i n t o w h i c h E l i o t i s moving i s one w h e r e i n " t h e human i s t r a n s - h u m a n i z e d " . The moment o f r e a l i z a t i o n o r e n l i g h t e n m e n t , how-e v e r , i s t r a n s i t o r y . Man does n o t remain i n a p e r p e t u a l s t a t e o f b e a t i t u d e ; the laws o f n a t u r e draw h i m back i n t o t h e f l u x o f phenomenal r e a l i t y . The e t e r n a l and e n d u r i n g v i s i o n i s an ep i p h a n y s n a t c h e d out o f the f l e e t i n g moments o f t i m e . I n t h i s moment of moments, time i s t r a n s c e n d e d , and man r e c e i v e s a g l i m p s e o f R e a l i t y . F o r the r e s t , " t h e s a d waste t i m e " , he must c o n t e n t h i m s e l f t o know t h a t he has h a d the v i s i o n and go on e n d u r i n g the war w i t h i n h i s members. I t i s the moment of epiphany t h a t redeems the t i m e . I w o u l d l i k e t o r e s e r v e f u l l e r comment upon E l i o t ' s c o n c e p t i o n o f time and h i s s o - c a l l e d h i s t o r i c a l s ense u n t i l the poems have themselves been l o o k e d a t , b u t 118 suffice i t to say for now that the evidence presented in them weighs essentially against an acceptance of time and history and, hence, the world and nature. Essential to an understanding of Four Quartets is the real-ization that Eliot's thought is operating on Idealist principles. Throughout the poems we encounter Platonic and Neo-Platonic ideas. Even the choice of the musical metaphor Is entirely in accord with Platonic thought, in which the harmonies of music played a special part. The belief in an absolute realm of reality or pure forms which this world, at best, only imperfectly reflects is found i n these verses and results in the subsequent world and experience disparagement. His religious position therefore derives i t s impulse from the Christian Platonist strain, of which St. Augustine was the adherent and promulgator. R. W. Harris, in his fascinating study of the disintegration of the humanist tradition in the eighteenth century, points out that humanism was based on Christian Platonism and Neo-Platonism but that under the impact of the new science and empirical philosophy arising in the seventeenth and 2 g eighteenth centuries, i t collapsed. Considering Eliot's early preoccupation with and later renunciation of modern humanism, the interesting question is raised whether Elio t does not, in fact, hark back to i t s original form — a form which did not survive into the modern era; but this cannot be explored here. I merely raise the question to throw Eliot's religio-philosophical position into a clearer focus. The combination in Four Quartets of Platonic and Neo-Platonic idealism, Christianity, and emphasis on classical order 119 and form reveals an affinity both in taste and temperament with the old humanism. The new humanism, with i t s disengagement from religion, lacked for Elio t any permanent foundation and goal and, as such, drove him to seek alone the Christianity i t rejected. Eliot's Christianity i s , however, not world-affirming and i n many respects lacks i t s true s p i r i t . From these poems we can see that the s p i r i t of Christianity is alloyed with that of Buddhism and Hinduism, among other substances. Possibly the one tradition that E l i o t would have f e l t most at home in is the older humanism; as i t was, he lived in a time wherein a l l traditions were imperiled and resented, and thus his art is a curious combination of many strains. Purity is no doubt too much to demand in an age of conglomeration and confusion. To simply take Four Quartets as an expression of Christian sensibility and to be blind to the other philosophic strains interwoven with i t — not to say determining i t — results not only in one-sidedness of interpretation but also in a b i l i t y to understand otherwise puzzling sections. * "Burnt Norton" opens the Quartets with a meditation that recalls the plea expressed in Ash Wednesday: "Redeem the time"; but whereas in that poem Eliot had found no answer to his problem, here he has advanced to the stage of insight into i t s mystery. A l l depends on one's viewpoint, the f i r s t ten lines proclaim. From an absolute standpoint, such as the poet now adopts, time is only a category of the phenomenal world, an i l l u s i o n , a v e i l woven by maya, 29 or a symbolic form of the mind. Seen from the perspective of 120 e t e r n i t y , t h e r e i s o n l y now, t h e f o r e v e r p r e s e n t . The q u e s t i o n then a r i s e s , how i s t i m e redeemed i f t h e r e i s r e a l l y no p a s t and no f u t u r e ? How does one redeem an i l l u s i o n , i f y o u w i l l . The o n l y answer i s , o f c o u r s e , t o b r e a k t h r o u g h the i l l u s i o n . H a v i n g p e n e t r a t e d t o t h e R e a l i t y b e h i n d t h e v e i l o f a p p e a r a n c e , man i s " s a v e d " ; h e n c e f o r t h , he knows t h a t r e a l i t y i s e t e r n i t y and t h a t o r d i n a r y time has no v a l u e e x c e p t to p r e p a r e man f o r h i s f i n a l b r e a k - t h r o u g h . "What might have been" i s o n l y a p r o -j e c t e d p o s s i b i l i t y ; w h e t h e r i t i s a c t u a l i z e d o r n o t i s o f l i t t l e consequence f r o m the a b s o l u t i s t s t a n d p o i n t s i n c e t h e g o a l o f a l l e x p e r i e n c e i s the same: i t s own t r a n s c e n d e n c e . The e x c u r s i o n " i n t o o u r f i r s t w o r l d " i s s u c h a p r o j e c t e d p o s s i b i l i t y . The e p i s o d e i s o n l y an a b s t r a c t c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the p o e t ' s mind meant t o s i m u l a t e " t h e passage w h i c h we d i d n o t t a k e " and " t h e door we n e v e r opened/Into the r o s e g a r d e n . " R e m i n i s c e n t o f F r o s t ' s "The Road Not Taken", i t a t t e m p t s t o r e c r e a t e t h e b y -p a s s e d o p p o r t u n i t y , But t o what p u r p o s e D i s t u r b i n g the d u s t on a b o w l of r o s e - l e a v e s I do n o t know. Led by t h e " d e c e p t i o n o f the t h r u s h " , p o s s i b l y the i l l u s i o n - c r e a t i n g i m a g i n a t i o n , t h e n a r r a t o r f i n d s h i m s e l f i n a garden o f i n n o c e n c e and romance. T h i s " f i r s t w o r l d " , v e r y much l i k e t h a t o f our a r c h e t y p a l f i r s t p a r e n t s ' , i s p e o p l e d by the g h o s t s o f t h o s e who i n h a b i t e d h i s c h i l d h o o d . B u t t h i s i s t h e w o r l d o f i n s u b s t a n t i a l shadows, o f images c r e a t e d by t h e mind o f t h e n a r r a t o r and, t h e r e f o r e , t h e y a r e l a r g e l y 30 l i f e l e s s and m e c h a n i c a l . 121 There they were, d i g n i f i e d , i n v i s i b l e , Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves, In the autumn heat, through the vibrant a i r , And the b i r d c a l l e d , i n response to The unheard music hidden i n the shrubbery, And the unseen eyebeam crossed, f o r the roses Had the look of flowers that are looked at. There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting. So we moved, and they, i n a formal pattern, Along the empty a l l e y , i n t o the box c i r c l e , To look down into the drained pool. Because the momentary v i s i o n of the f i l l i n g of the empty pond with water and the r i s i n g of the lotus i s also only an imaginary one, i t soon evaporates. Perhaps the passing of the cloud marks the return of a c t u a l i t y dispersing the fantasy. Such an experience never happened i n time, much to the dreamer's regret, and r e a l i t y shows the pool to be "empty". Go, go, go, s a i d the b i r d : humankind Cannot bear very much r e a l i t y . The gulf between man's most-cherished dreams and most-disappointing a c t u a l i t y can swallow up and destroy him through despair. Mingled with the "unheard music" and the laughter of children i s a tone of melancholy and regret, and we are r e l u c t a n t l y reminded that t h i s fantasy represents one of l i f e ' s missed p o s s i b i l i t i e s . The "rose garden" of time was never entered i n t o , and to t h i s the "dust on a bowl of rose leaves" sadly a t t e s t s . Fortunately, the narrator i s saved from despair by h i s philosophic attitude based, as we have already seen, on a b s o l u t i s t p r i n c i p l e s . What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which i s always present. The transcendence of time and of a l l experience connected with i t i s described through a ser i e s of paradox i n part two. Relying 122 on t h e k i n d o f d i c t i o n g e n e r a l l y u s e d by m y s t i c s when a t t e m p t i n g to convey t h e i n e f f a b l e and i n e x p r e s s a b l e , E l i o t p r o c e e d s by the j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f o p p o s i t e s t o i n d i c a t e the u n i t y t h a t c o n t a i n s and t r a n s c e n d s them. A t the s t i l l p o i n t o f t h e t u r n i n g w o r l d . N e i t h e r f l e s h n o r f l e s h l e s s ; N e i t h e r f r o m n o r t o w a r d s ; a t t h e s t i l l p o i n t , t h e r e t h e dance i s , But n e i t h e r a r r e s t n o r movement. And do n o t c a l l i t f i x i t y , Where p a s t and f u t u r e a r e g a t h e r e d . N e i t h e r movement fr o m n o r t o w a r d s , N e i t h e r a s c e n t n o r d e c l i n e . Only the symbol o f the dance can a d e q u a t e l y s u g g e s t the i n t e g r a t i o n o f d i v e r s i t y t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e s the " s t i l l p o i n t " . L o u i s M a r t z has i n d i c a t e d t h a t the image o f the w h e e l and t h e p o i n t " l i e s a t the h e a r t o f E l i o t ' s p o e t r y " : T h i s e t e r n a l l y d e c r e e d p a t t e r n o f s u f f e r i n g , w h i c h i s a l s o a c t i o n , and o f a c t i o n , w h i c h i s a l s o s u f f e r i n g , E l i o t s y m b o l i z e s by the w h e e l w h i c h ^ always t u r n s , y e t a t the a x i s , a lways remains s t i l l . The o n l y comment I w o u l d l i k e t o add t o t h i s i s t h a t t h e w h e e l i s one o f t h e c h i e f symbols o f Buddhism and H i n d u i s m as i t r e p r e s e n t s the k a r m i c c y c l e o f cause and e f f e c t t o w h i c h t h e i n d i v i d u a l i s c h a i n e d u n t i l he w i n s e n l i g h t e n m e n t . T h i s s i g n i f i c a n c e i s o v e r t l y p r e s e n t i n E l i o t ' s c o n c e p t i o n o f s a l v a t i o n . The i n n e r freedom f r o m the p r a c t i c a l d e s i r e , The r e l e a s e f r o m a c t i o n and s u f f e r i n g , r e l e a s e f r o m the i n n e r And the o u t e r c o m p u l s i o n . . . The u n i v e r s a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s w h i c h i s a t t a i n e d a t t h e moment o f e n l i g h enment i s c o n t r a s t e d t o the " l i t t l e c o n s c i o u s n e s s " o f e v e r y d a y l i f e . The laws o f n a t u r e , i n f a c t , p r o t e c t man " f r o m heaven and damnation" 123 t h a t i s , f r o m a b s o l u t e s . A l t h o u g h man i s t o o weak t o endure a b s o l u t e r e a l i t y (and a t o u c h o f s c o r n does n o t seem t o be a b s e n t h e r e ) , E l i o t m a i n t a i n s t h a t i t must be sought i n t h i s b a s i c a l l y u n r e a l w o r l d . B u t o n l y i n time can t h e moment i n t h e r o s e - g a r d e n The moment i n t h e d r a u g h t y c h u r c h a t s m o k e f a l l Be remembered; i n v o l v e d w i t h p a s t and f u t u r e . Only t h r o u g h time i s t i m e conquered. Here we e n c o u n t e r most p l a i n l y the P l a t o n i c and N e o - P l a t o n i c i d e a l i s m o f F o u r Q u a r t e t s . A l t h o u g h the w o r l d o r n a t u r e i s n o t u l -t i m a t e l y r e a l ( R e a l i t y b e i n g a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l a b s o l u t e ) , i t n e v e r t h e -l e s s p r o v i d e s i n t i m a t i o n s o f R e a l i t y and c o r r e s p o n d e n c e s t o i t . The o p e n i n g passage o f p a r t two e l a b o r a t e s t h i s theme more f u l l y . G a r l i c and s a p p h i r e s i n the mud C l o t the bedded a x l e - t r e e . The t r i l l i n g w i r e i n t h e b l o o d S i n g s below i n v e t e r a t e s c a r s A p p e a s i n g l o n g f o r g o t t e n w a r s . The dance a l o n g the a r t e r y The c i r c u l a t i o n o f the lymph A r e f i g u r e d i n t h e d r i f t o f s t a r s A s c e n d t o summer i n t h e t r e e We move above t h e moving t r e e I n l i g h t upon the f i g u r e d l e a f And h e a r upon the sodden f l o o r Below, the boarhound and the b o a r P u r s u e t h e i r p a t t e r n as b e f o r e But r e c o n c i l e d among the s t a r s . We see h e r e t h e e x p r e s s i o n o f a s t r a i n o f I d e a l i s m on w h i c h the Romantics h e a v i l y drew; b u t whereas they c o u l d s t i l l a f f i r m the w o r l d , E l i o t b e l o n g s t o t h a t l a t e r group w h i c h l a r g e l y d e n i e d i t . Not o n l y does B a u d e l a i r e come t o mind i n t h i s c o n t e x t , b u t , more s t r i k i n g l y , i n t h e f o l l o w i n g . S p e a k i n g o f the " o l d " w o r l d w h i c h t h e v i s i o n o f R e a l i t y makes i n t e l l i g i b l e , E l i o t s i n g l e s o u t i t s two s a l i e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , " i t s p a r t i a l e c s t a s y " and " i t s p a r t i a l h o r r o r " . I n h i s l a s t J o u r n a l , B a u d e l a i r e w r o t e : "Tout e n f a n t , j ' a i s e n t i dans mon c o e u r deux s e n t i m e n t s 124 c o n t r a d i c t o i r e s ; l ' h o r r e u r de l a v i e e t l ' e x t a s e de l a v i e . " We o b t a i n a much f u l l e r s e nse o f E l i o t ' s w o r l d d i s p a r a g e -ment i n p a r t t h r e e . I t i s d o u b t f u l w h e t h e r he c o u l d have been more aware o f the e v i l i n l i f e t h a n B a u d e l a i r e , y e t he r e j e c t s l i f e on almost l e s s grounds. B a u d e l a i r e ' s o u t p o u r i n g s o f s p l e e n a r e t h e e v i d e n c e o f l o v e , and t h e r e i s always a sense o f a c c e p t a n c e o f l i f e and t h e w o r l d . I n E l i o t ' s v e r s e we do n o t even d e t e c t h a t e b u t , what i s more f r i g h t e n i n g and damaging, s c o r n and i n d i f f e r e n c e . N e i t h e r p l e n i t u d e n o r v a c a n c y . Only a f l i c k e r Over the s t r a i n e d t i m e - r i d d e n f a c e s D i s t r a c t e d from d i s t r a c t i o n by d i s t r a c t i o n F i l l e d w i t h f a n c i e s and empty o f meaning Tumid apathy w i t h no c o n c e n t r a t i o n Men and b i t s o f p a p e r , w h i r l e d by the c o l d w i n d That b l o w s b e f o r e and a f t e r t i m e , Wind i n and out o f unwholesome l u n g s Time b e f o r e and time a f t e r . E r u c t a t i o n o f u n h e a l t h y s o u l s I n t o t h e f a d e d a i r , the t o r p i d D r i v e n on the w i n d t h a t sweeps t h e gloomy h i l l s o f London. Hampstead and C l e r k e n w e l l , Campden and P u t n e y , H i g h g a t e , P r i m r o s e and L u d g a t e . Not h e r e Not h e r e the d a r k n e s s , i n t h i s t w i t t e r i n g w o r l d . The w o r l d has n e i t h e r the v i r t u e o f " l i g h t " n o r " d a r k n e s s " and i s r e g a r d e d c h i e f l y as an u n f o r t u n a t e p l a c e whose o n l y v a l u e l i e s i n a f f o r d i n g man t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o e s c a p e i t . The o n l y w o r l d t h a t has any t r u e w o r t h i s " t h a t w h i c h i s n o t w o r l d " o r a b s o l u t e r e a l i t y . Man r e a c h e s t h i s s t a t e by a p r o c e s s o f t u r n i n g i n w a r d , s u c h as i s f o l l o w e d by E a s t e r n and W e s t e r n m y s t i c s . Descend l o w e r , descend o n l y I n t o the w o r l d o f p e r p e t u a l s o l i t u d e , W o r l d n o t w o r l d , b u t t h a t w h i c h i s n o t w o r l d , I n t e r n a l d a r k n e s s , d e p r i v a t i o n And d e s t i t u t i o n o f a l l p r o p e r t y , D e s i c c a t i o n o f the w o r l d o f s e n s e , 125 E v a c u a t i o n o f t h e w o r l d o f f a n c y , I n o p e r a n c y o f the w o r l d o f s p i r i t ; T h i s i s t h e one way, and the o t h e r I s t h e same, n o t i n movement But a b s t e n t i o n f r o m movement;... P a r t f o u r poses t h e q u e s t i o n o f r e s u r r e c t i o n a f t e r t h i s p e r i o d o f d a r k n e s s i n terms o f metaphor. Time and t h e b e l l have b u r i e d the day, The b l a c k c l o u d c a r r i e d t h e sun away. W i l l t h e s u n f l o w e r t u r n t o u s , w i l l t h e c l e m a t i s S t r a y down, bend t o u s ; t e n d r i l and s p r a y C l u t c h and c l i n g ? C h i l l F i n g e r s o f yew be c u r l e d Down on us? A f t e r the k i n g f i s h e r ' s w i n g Has answered l i g h t t o l i g h t , and i s s i l e n t , t h e l i g h t i s s t i l l A t t h e s t i l l p o i n t o f t h e t u r n i n g w o r l d . As i n The Waste L a n d , t h e f l o w e r imagery conveys t h e sense o f S p r i n g ' s awakening a f t e r t h e c o l d d a r k n e s s o f d e a t h ; h e r e t h e death has been to t h i n g s o f the w o r l d , and the awakening i s t o more tha n S p r i n g . I t i s t o " l i g h t " o r r e b i r t h . T r a n s p o s e d i n t o t h e r e a l m o f a r t , the a b s o l u t i s t o r i d e a l i s t p h i l o s o p h y p r o d u c e s a e s t h e t i c p r i n c i p l e s s u c h as f o r m u l a t e d by the S y m b o l i s t s , and i n p a r t f i v e E l i o t r e v e a l s h i s a f f i n i t y w i t h t h e i r aims. The i m p o r t a n c e p l a c e d on form o r p a t t e r n , m u s i c , m y s t e r y , and c o n s c i o u s d i s c i p l i n e i s s y m p t o m a t i c o f an a r t whose a s p i r a t i o n i s t o a p p r o x i m a t e t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f the A b s o l u t e w i t h words. As i n t h e 33 case o f the S y m b o l i s t s , f o r whom the word assumed a s a c r e d meaning , E l i o t ' s d i s c u s s i o n o f the l i t e r a r y word l e a d s i n t o an a n a l o g y w i t h t h e Word o f S t . John's g o s p e l . J u s t as t h e Word i n c a r n a t e was " a t t a c k e d b y v o i c e s o f t e m p t a t i o n " i n the d e s e r t s o , t o o , a r e t h e words employed by the p o e t ' s a r t . 126 . . . S h r i e k i n g v o i c e s S c o l d i n g , m o c k i n g , o r m e r e l y c h a t t e r i n g , Always a s s a i l them.... A g a i n , we n q t e the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e between two l a y e r s o f r e a l i t y : one i s the a b s o l u t e and the o t h e r i s the r e l a t i v e ; b u t b o t h a r e c o n n e c t e d a n a l o g i c a l l y . Thus, the d i s s o c i a t i o n between s p i r i t and n a t u r e does n o t o n l y t a k e p l a c e i n the c a t e g o r y o f e x p e r i e n c e b u t a l s o i n t h a t o f a r t . What we e v i d e n c e i s a t h o r o u g h g o i n g s p l i t t h a t p e r v a d e s the e n t i r e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f the p o e t and t h a t i s n e v e r b r i d g e d , a l t h o u g h w i t h i n t h e l i m i t s o f t h i s d u a l i s t i c frame-work he now works t h e c o n f l i c t o f o p p o s i t e s i n t o a t o t a l d e s i g n . "The d e t a i l o f t h e p a t t e r n i s movement", a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f " d e s i r e " , b u t t h e e s s e n c e o f the p a t t e r n i s i m m o b i l i t y . Love i s l i k e the "unmoved Mover", " i t s e l f unmoving,/Only the cause and end o f movement". The c o n c l u s i o n o f " B u r n t N o r t o n " summarizes the p o e t ' s s e n t i m e n t s about the s t r i f e and s u f f e r i n g man must endure i n phen-omenal r e a l i t y , t h i s p l a c e o f e x i l e f r o m w h i c h he s t r i v e s t o be l i b e r a t e d . Only the moment o f r e l e a s e w h e r e i n he a c h i e v e s the v i s i o n o f t r u e R e a l i t y and w h e r e i n time i s redeemed because t r a n s -cended does E l i o t p r a i s e . R i d i c u l o u s t h e w a s t e s a d time S t r e t c h i n g b e f o r e and a f t e r . W i t h t h e r e a p p e a r a n c e o f the c h i l d r e n ' s l a u g h t e r we somehow f e e l t h a t n o t o n l y i s E l i o t a s s o c i a t i n g c h i l d h o o d i n n o c e n c e and p u r i t y w i t h t h e s p i r i t u a l s t a t e ("To e n t e r the Kingdom o f Heaven y o u must become as l i t t l e c h i l d r e n " ) , b u t t h a t he i s u n c o n s c i o u s l y e x p r e s s i n g a d e s i r e t o be r i d o f the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f time imposed by the w o r l d . I n t h e 12 7 world of childhood, time is non-existent. Maturation demands that man assume the burden of time and of history, that he take the world upon his shoulders, as i t were; or, to use a Christian meta-phor, to carry the cross. From this f i r s t part of Four Quartets we can already see that Eliot's impulse i s not to shoulder the world — for that implies recognition of i t s realness and worth — but to escape and to disown i t . Certainly, he is going to endure i t humbly but that, too, is a virtue of passivity. The Idealist philosophy and Eastern religious tradition reveal themselves as influences upon Eliot's Christianity and constitute the intellectual basis of the poetry. * "East Coker" explores the hi s t o r i c a l aspect of time and the value of human experience. "In my beginning is my end" brings to mind Alpha and Omega and that ancient symbol suggestive of the law of cycle and necessity circumfrencing matter, the serpent with 34 the t a i l in i t s mouth. J. J. Sweeney, in his article on this poem , informs us that "in my end is my beginning" was the motto of Mary, Queen of Scots, and that i t s essential import is to stress "the cyclical nature of history". Certainly no one could dispute the last point as the entire poem develops and confirms i t . What is interesting to note is the disparaging and negative tone of the verse as i t describes this cycle of generation and destruction. Indeed, the cyclical conception of time and history reinforces the viewpoint that ordinary reality is really valueless. 128 . . . I n s u c c e s s i o n Houses r i s e and f a l l , c r u m b l e , a r e e x t e n d e d , A r e removed, d e s t r o y e d , r e s t o r e d , o r i n t h e i r p l a c e I s an open f i e l d , o r a f a c t o r y , o r a b y - p a s s . O l d s t o n e t o new b u i l d i n g , o l d t i m b e r t o new f i r e s , O l d f i r e s t o a s h e s , and ashes t o t h e e a r t h Which i s a l r e a d y f l e s h , f u r and f a e c e s , Bone o f man and b e a s t , c o r n s t a l k and l e a f . H e r e , as t h r o u g h o u t " E a s t C o k e r " , E l i o t echoes the P r e a c h e r o f t h e Book o f E c c l e s i a s t e s b o t h i n s t y l e and o p i n i o n . The theme o f t h a t book, d e v e l o p e d by v a r i a t i o n and r e p e t i t i o n , i s the e m p t i n e s s o f t h i n g s human: " A l l i s v a n i t y I" ( E c c . 1:3) Knowledge, w e a l t h , l o v e , l i f e i t s e l f , a l l t h e s e t h i n g s a r e i l l u s o r y . L i f e i s no more t h a n a s u c c e s s i o n o f u n r e l a t e d and m e a n i n g l e s s e v e n t s , e n d i n g i n s e n i l i t y , 35 and death b e f a l l i n g w i s e and f o o l i s h , r i c h and p o o r a l i k e . The sense of p a t t e r n s u p e r i m p o s e d on the c y c l e o f human e v e n t s i s e l a b o r a t e d i n the Gouvernor s e c t i o n . R e c a l l i n g h i s R e n a i s s a n c e a n c e s t o r , Thomas E l y o t , t h e p o e t h a r k e n s back t o a h u m a n i s t p a s t w h i c h , as I have e a r l i e r m e n t i o n e d , d i d n o t s u r v i v e i n t o t h e modern age. Once a g a i n , we e n c o u n t e r t h e symbol o f the dance and, s i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t b e l o n g s t o the unseen w o r l d . B e h i n d the u g l y e a r t h l y scene o f a dark a f t e r n o o n , where " t h e d a h l i a s s l e e p i n the empty s i l e n c e " , l i e s the r e a l w o r l d o f m y s t e r y and enchantment. P e r f o r m i n g the s a c r e d r i t u a l , t h e i r dance s y m b o l i z e s the c o n j u n c t i o n o f o p p o s i t e s and t h e u n i v e r s a l rhythm t h a t s u s t a i n s t h e w o r l d i n m o t i o n . One cannot h e l p f e e l i n g p a r t of an a r c h a i c w o r l d - v i e w h e r e , as i f t h e modern r e a s o n o r s e n s i b i l i t y h a d been suspended. A n t h r o -p o l o g i s t s have amassed s u f f i c i e n t r e s e a r c h t o c o n v i n c e us t h a t t h e dance has m y t h i c a l o r i g i n s and a t t e m p t s t o i m i t a t e a r c h e t y p a l g e s t u r e s t h a t r a i s e man out p r o f a n e t i m e . U n d e r s t a n d a b l y enough, i f t h e 129 modern s e n s i b i l i t y i s a f r agmented one, t h e n the p o e t ' s a t t e m p t t o f i n d w holeness q u i t e n a t u r a l l y l e a d s h i m t o a t i m e b e f o r e t h a t f r a g m e n t a t i o n o c c u r r e d . The a r c h a i c o r pre-modern w o r l d - v i e w i s t h e one t o w h i c h E l i o t c o n s i s t e n t l y r e t u r n s i n t h e s e poems. The p r o s p e c t o f " t h e l a s t t h i n g s " o r c o s m i c u p h e a v a l i s e n t e r t a i n e d by the p o e t i n p a r t two. The n a t u r a l h o r r o r s and a b e r r a t i o n s b e l i e v e d by the a n c i e n t s t o accompany t h e c o n c l u s i o n o f a w o r l d c y c l e a r e h e r e adumbrated. What i s t h e l a t e November d o i n g W i t h the d i s t u r b a n c e o f the s p r i n g And c r e a t u r e s of the summer h e a t , And snowdrops w r i t h i n g under f e e t And h o l l y h o c k s t h a t aim too h i g h Red i n t o g r e y and tumble down L a t e r o s e s f i l l e d w i t h e a r l y snow? Thunder r o l l e d by the r o l l i n g s t a r s S i m u l a t e s t r i u m p h a l c a r s D e p l o y e d i n c o n s t e l l a t e d wars S c o r p i o n f i g h t s a g a i n s t the Sun U n t i l the Sun and Moon go down Comets weep and L e o n i d s f l y Hunt the heavens and the p l a i n s W h i r l e d i n a v o t e x t h a t s h a l l b r i n g The w o r l d t o t h a t d e s t r u c t i v e f i r e Which b u r n s b e f o r e t h e i c e - c a p r e i g n s . There f o l l o w s a s e l f - c r i t i c i s m t h a t l e a d s the p o e t i n t o a m e d i t a t i o n on the p u r p o s e of h i s a r t and o f a l l e x p e r i e n c e . H a v i n g a r r i v e d a t the age of r e t r o s p e c t i o n , he q u e s t i o n s w h e t h e r the v i r t u e s p o p u l a r l y b e l i e v e d t o a t t e n d o l d age a r e a c t u a l o r m e r e l y n e g l i g i b l e . He d e c i d e s i n f a v o u r o f t h e l a t t e r , and i n s i s t s t h a t t h e "wisdom" o f t h e e l d e r s i s l a r g e l y o v e r - r a t e d because i t i s n o t r o o t e d i n a t r u e p h i l o s o p h y o r r e l i g i o n . T h e i r " d a r k n e s s " i s i g n o r a n c e because i t i s n o t t h e d a r k n e s s o f p u r g a t i o n ; i n the l a t t e r , human wisdom i s exchanged f o r d i v i n e . The wisdom o f age i s l a r g e l y b a s e d on e x p e r i e n c e , and i t i s 130 ultimately a l l experience that E l i o t negates. We have already seen in regard to "Burnt Norton" how the absolutist standpoint aims at the transcendence of experience; here, we witness i t s f i n a l result. ...There i s , i t seems to us, At best, only a limited value In the knowledge derived from experience. The knowledge imposes a pattern, and f a l s i f i e s , For the pattern is new in every moment And every moment is a new and shocking Valuation of a l l we have been.... True i t is that "knowledge derived from experience" can petrify man in too conservative a mold unless used wisely, but Eliot's implica-tion goes much deeper than this. His negation of experience is based on negation of the world and time. If this world Is only an imperfect shadow of Reality, largely an i l l u s i o n , and i f time i s only the cyclical repetition of pre-ordained events over which man has no control ("birth and death"), then experience is also subject to distortion and insignificance. The data provided by our senses is untrustworthy because conditioned by the world. Throughout this earthly existence man i s threatened by the illusions of l i f e , and his downfall is to construe them for reality. In the middle, not only in the middle of the way But a l l the way, in a dark wood, in a bramble, On the edge of a grimpen, where i s no secure foothold, And menaced by monsters, fancy lights, Risking enchantment.... The Yeatsian fury of old age here simulated by E l i o t ends on the note of endurance. The only wisdom we can hope to acquire Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless. If the world and time are to be patiently endured unt i l the sp i r i t u a l release is accomplished, and i f one must be on guard against the 131 d e c e p t i o n o f h u m a n e x p e r i e n c e , t h e n t r u l y h u m i l i t y i s t h e o n l y s a f e e x c e r c i s e o f w i l l l e f t t o m a n . T h e w a y o u t o f t i m e a n d h i s t o r y i s c h a r t e d i n p a r t t h r e e . P l a y i n g o n t h e a s s o c i a t i o n s o f t h e w o r d " d a r k " , E l i o t i n d i c a t e s t w o i m p l i c a t i o n s : o n e i s t h e d a r k n e s s o f s p i r i t u a l b l i n d n e s s t h a t w o u l d l e a d t o t h e d e a t h o f t h e s o u l ( s u c h a s w a s S a m s o n ' s b e f o r e h i s r e t u r n t o G o d ) , a n d t h e o t h e r i s t h e d a r k n e s s o f S t . J o h n o f t h e C r o s s , t h e d a r k n i g h t o f s e n s e a n d s p i r i t t h a t l e a d s t o e t e r n a l l i g h t . G o i n g i n t o t h e f i r s t d a r k n e s s o f d e a t h a n d d a m n a t i o n a r e T h e c a p t a i n s , m e r c h a n t b a n k e r s , e m i n e n t m e n o f l e t t e r s . T h e g e n e r o u s p a t r o n s o f a r t , t h e s t a t e s m e n a n d t h e r u l e r s , D i s t i n g u i s h e d c i v i l s e r v a n t s , c h a i r m a n o f m a n y c o m m i t t e e s , I n d u s t r i a l l o r d s a n d p e t t y c o n t r a c t o r s , . . . I n t h e s e n s e t h a t a l l m e n m u s t d i e c o r p o r a l l y , " w e a l l g o w i t h t h e m " , b u t E l i o t p l a i n l y i n d i c a t e s t h a t h e d o e s n o t i n t e n d t o f o l l o w t h e m i n t o t h e e v e r l a s t i n g d a r k n e s s . C h o o s i n g t h e m y s t i c w a y o f S t . J o h n , h e w i l l s u f f e r t h e d e p r i v a t i o n o f t h i s l i f e i n o r d e r t o w i n t h e a b u n d a n c e o f t h e n e x t . I s a i d t o m y s o u l , b e s t i l l , a n d w a i t w i t h o u t h o p e F o r h o p e w o u l d b e h o p e f o r t h e w r o n g t h i n g ; w a i t w i t h o u t l o v e F o r l o v e w o u l d b e l o v e o f t h e w r o n g t h i n g ; t h e r e i s y e t f a i t h B u t t h e f a i t h a n d t h e l o v e a n d t h e h o p e a r e a l l i n t h e w a i t i n g . W a i t w i t h o u t t h o u g h t , f o r y o u a r e n o t r e a d y f o r t h o u g h t : S o t h e d a r k n e s s s h a l l b e t h e l i g h t , a n d t h e s t i l l n e s s t h e d a n c i n g . T h u s " t h e a g o n y / O f d e a t h a n d b i r t h " i s u n d e r g o n e s p i r i t u a l l y a n d f o r e v e r t r a n s c e n d e d . T h e s p i r i t u a l d i s e a s e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e p r o f a n e d a r k n e s s o f t h e w o r l d i s h e a l e d b y C h r i s t . H e , " t h e w o u n d e d s u r g e o n " , r e m o v e s 132 man's i n i q u i t y by p a i n f u l means, b u t h i s m o t i v e i s compassion. A g a i n , t h e image o f t h e w o r l d i s an u n p l e a s a n t one: "The whole e a r t h i s our h o s p i t a l " . O r i g i n a l s i n o r "Adam's c u r s e " was r e -moved by C h r i s t ' s s a c r i f i c e , b u t s a l v a t i o n demands man's c o - o p e r a t i o n . The p r o c e s s o f p u r g a t i o n i s b o t h d i f f i c u l t and h o p e - g i v i n g , f o r i t l e a d s t o t h e new l i f e . I f t o be warmed, t h e n I must f r e e z e And quake i n f r i g i d p u r g a t o r i a l f i r e s Of w h i c h the f l a m e i s r o s e s , and t h e smoke i s b r i a r s . The r o s e s and t h e b r i a r s s y m b o l i z e t h e sweetness and t h e p a i n o f t h i s p r o c e s s . " E a s t Coker" p r o c l a i m s t h a t " O l d men ought t o be e x p l o r e r s " , b u t the development o f the poem makes c l e a r i n what sense t h i s i s t o be t a k e n . O b v i o u s l y , E l i o t i s n o t a d v o c a t i n g an e x p l o r a t i o n o f t h i s l i f e ("Here and t h e r e does n o t m a t t e r " ) ; what he i s u r g i n g toward i s the e x p l o r a t i o n o f the m y s t e r y o r o f b e i n g . The w o r l d o f a b s o l u t e r e a l i t y and the p a t h t o i t a r e what engage h i s i n t e r e s t and e f f o r t . Even " t h e p o e t r y does n o t m a t t e r " . I n p a r t f i v e E l i o t s t r e s s e s the l a b o u r i n v o l v e d i n a r t , b u t he i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h e p o e t cannot p r e d i c t t h e r e s u l t . H i s c o n c e r n must be t o p e r f o r m t h e a c t i o n w i t h o u t c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r i t s f r u i t s . F o r u s , t h e r e i s o n l y t h e t r y i n g . The r e s t i s n o t o u r b u s i n e s s . There i s a n o t e of i r o n y i n t e r s p e r s e d w i t h the g r a n d e u r o f the con-c l u d i n g l i n e s . As the p o e t grows o l d e r he moves " I n t o a n o t h e r i n t e n s i t y / F o r a f u r t h e r u n i o n , a deeper communion", b u t he i s a l s o aware o f the p a t h o s o f age. 133 There i s a t i m e f o r the e v e n i n g under s t a r l i g h t , A t i m e f o r the e v e n i n g under l a m p l i g h t (The e v e n i n g w i t h the p h o t o g r a p h album). And, a g a i n , as he moves "Through the dark c o l d and the empty d e s -o l a t i o n " o f t i m e , a m e l a n c h o l y and m i n o r n o t e i s s t r u c k by the v e r s e . Such i s t h e " r e a l i t y " o f w h i c h humankind cannot b e a r overmuch and w h i c h i t seeks t o exchange f o r one s e e m i n g l y more g l o r i o u s and m e a n i n g f u l . The n e x t poem i n the s e r i e s s t r u g g l e s t o f i n d a p u r p o s e and a meaning i n t i m e and e x p e r i e n c e , and i t i s t o t h i s t h a t one must t u r n i n o r d e r t o o b t a i n t h e added d i m e n s i o n o f E l i o t ' s t h o u g h t . I n t o t h e s e a a l l the r i v e r s go, and y e t t h e s e a i s n e v e r f i l l e d , and s t i l l t o t h e i r g o a l t h e r i v e r s go. ( E c c l . 1:7-8) I n terms o f u n i t y o f metaphor and mood "The Dry S a l v a g e s " i s the most c o n s i s t e n t and complete o f a l l f o u r poems. The m a r i n e metaphor f o r man's d u a l e x i s t e n c e — one t e m p o r a l and l i m i t e d , and t h e o t h e r e t e r n a l and i n f i n i t e — i s b e a u t i f u l l y r e a l i z e d by the r i v e r and t h e s e a . C l a i m i n g the r i v e r t o be t h e " f l o w o f man's l i f e 36 f r o m b i r t h t o d e a t h " , L o u i s M a r t z s e i z e s on one of the b a s i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h i s metaphor. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , i t s u g g e s t s the e n t i r e d i v e r s i t y o f phenomenal e x i s t e n c e " w i t h i t s c a r g o o f dead n e g r o e s , cows and c h i c k e n coops", and t h e l i m i t e d n e s s o f " t h e u s u a l r e i g n " — be i t o f an i n d i v i d u a l l i f e o r o f t h e l i f e o f t h e w o r l d . I t a l s o s y m b o l i z e s t h e f i n i t e ego i n c o n t r a s t t o the a b s o l u t e con-s c i o u s n e s s , and t h a t ego's w i l l f u l n e s s , p r i d e , and i n d e p e n d e n c e : " s u l l e n , untamed and i n t r a c t a b l e " . The rhythm o f t h e r i v e r i s t h a t o f t h e u n i q u e i n d i v i d u a l l i f e and "was p r e s e n t i n the n u r s e r y bedroom,/ 134 I n the rank a i l a n t h u s o f the A p r i l d o o r y a r d , / I n t h e s m e l l o f grapes on t h e autumn t a b l e , / A n d t h e e v e n i n g c i r c l e I n the w i n t e r g a s l i g h t . " The c y c l e of the s e asons and o f the ages o f man are t r a v e r s e d i n i t s f l o w . The r i v e r i s w i t h i n u s , the s e a a l l about us; I n c o n t r a s t to the i n d i v i d u a l , f i n i t e l i f e , t h e r e i s the e t e r n a l and b o u n d l e s s , s y m b o l i z e d by the s e a . Man's ego i s l i k e a drop o f w a t e r i n t h i s v a s t , l i m i t l e s s expanse. Here i t was where l i f e f i r s t began. A l l i n d i v i d u a l l i f e i s b u t a consequence o f b e i n g o r t h e A b s o l u t e . The s e a " v o i c e s " measure " t i m e n o t our t i m e " , b u t an e t e r n i t y " t h a t i s and was f r o m the b e g i n n i n g " . There i s a l s o i n the s e a metaphor an echo of A r n o l d i a n m e l a n c h o l y and a n x i e t y . To a l a r g e e x t e n t , E l i o t i s the i n h e r i t o r o f t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y d e s p a i r and s e a r c h f o r meaning. The s h a t t e r i n g o f t h e o l d r e l i g i o u s and c u l t u r a l f o u n d a t i o n s w h i c h t h e y e x p e r i e n c e d and l a m e n t e d was the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y p o e t s ' unhappy l e g a c y . E l i o t ' s s e a a l s o b r i n g s " t h e e t e r n a l n o t e o f sadness i n " , w i t h t h i s a d d i t i o n , however: t h e r e i s the hope o f the A n n u n c i a t i o n . The image o f t h e f i s h e r m e n f o r e v e r " s a i l i n g / I n t o the wind's t a i l , where t h e f o g cowers" i s a v i s i o n o f t h e p e r i l o u s and v u l n e r a b l e l i f e o f man and o f t h e e n d l e s s c y c l e o f r e p e t i t i v e a c t i v i t y . "Where i s t h e r e an end o f i t . . . ? " , a s k s E l i o t ; and t h e answer he g i v e s i s t h a t "There i s no end, b u t a d d i t i o n . . . . " Here we have a v i s i o n o f h i s t o r y t h a t i s n o t u n l i k e A r n o l d ' s i n "Dover Beach". The same p a t t e r n o f "human m i s e r y " has e x i s t e d f r o m time i m m e m o r i a l ; w i t h t i m e ' s p a s s i n g t h e r e i s o n l y more d e b r i s added t o the s e a . I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, A r n o l d ' s v i e w 135 o f the w o r l d s t r e s s e s i t s i l l u s o r y q u a l i t y and i t s b a s i c i n h o s p i t -a b i l i t y . (...This w o r l d , w h i c h seems/To l i e b e f o r e us l i k e a l a n d o f dreams,/So v a r i o u s , so b e a u t i f u l , so new,/Hath r e a l l y n e i t h e r j o y , n o r l o v e , n o r l i g h t , / N o r c e r t i t u d e , n o r peace, n o r h e l p f o r p a i n ; ) E l i o t , i n h i s s e a r c h f o r the meaning o f man's h i s t o r y , cannot b e a r t o t h i n k t h a t i t has no p u r p o s e . We cannot t h i n k o f a time t h a t i s o c e a n l e s s Or o f an ocean n o t l i t t e r e d w i t h w astage Or o f a f u t u r e t h a t i s n o t l i a b l e L i k e t h e p a s t , t o have no d e s t i n a t i o n . We have t o t h i n k o f them as f o r e v e r b a i l i n g , S e t t i n g and h a u l i n g , w h i l e t h e N o r t h E a s t l o w e r s Over s h a l l o w banks u n c h a n g i n g and e r o s i o n l e s s Or d r a w i n g t h e i r money, d r y i n g s a i l s a t dockage; Not as making a t r i p t h a t w i l l be unpayable F o r a h a u l t h a t w i l l n o t b e a r e x a m i n a t i o n . The meaning i s o n l y h i n t e d a t by the r e f e r e n c e t o the A n n u n c i a t i o n w h i c h p r o m i s e s the b i r t h o f One who w i l l "redeem the t i m e " . S i m i l a r l y , the v a l u e o f human e x p e r i e n c e l i e s i n t h e "meaning". The e x p e r i e n c e i t s e l f E l i o t r e g a r d s as a l m o s t u n r e a l o r i m p a l p a b l e ; o n l y i n s o f a r as i t i s " r e v i v e d i n the meaning" does i t come a l i v e and have any i m p o r t a n c e . The p e r s o n a l "agony" becomes b u r i e d i n t h e p l e t h o r a o f o t h e r e x p e r i e n c e s and so i s d i m i n i s h e d o r u n r e a l i z e d . F o r t h a t r e a s o n , s a y s E l i o t , we can u n d e r s t a n d the meaning o f the agony i n o t h e r p e o p l e s ' l i v e s b e t t e r t h a n i n our own, because we a r e o n l o o k e r s o f t h e i r s u f f e r i n g . The s u b j e c t -i v i t y o f our own c o n d i t i o n p r e v e n t s us f r o m s e e i n g i t i n the p r o p e r p e r s p e c t i v e . Immersed i n the f l u x o f l i f e , we s c a r c e l y pause t o r e a l i z e t h a t t h i s i s a l l p a r t o f an a b s o l u t e and i d e a l p a t t e r n . Though the f i s h e r m e n p e r f o r m the same a c t i v i t i e s t h r o u g h o u t a l l t i m e 136 and a r e t h e m s e l v e s caught i n t h e n e t o f phenomenal r e a l i t y f r o m w h i c h no one esca p e s save by death o r r e b i r t h , t h e i r u l t i m a t e d e s t i n a t i o n i s t h e A b s o l u t e . Man c h e r i s h e s the i l l u s i o n o f movement so l o n g as he e x i s t s , b u t once he has a c h i e v e d h i s l i b e r a t i o n he knows t h a t man's l i f e i s b u t a b r i e f s o j o u r n , a change between a c t s , o r a passage between two p o r t s . Drawing on the B h a g a v a d - G i t a , he q u o t e s K r i s h n a ' s s a l u t a t i o n : "Not f a r e w e l l , / B u t f a r e f o r w a r d , v o y a g e r s " . Some o f E l i o t ' s most b e a u t i f u l p o e t r y i s c o n t a i n e d i n t h i s s e c t i o n o f F o u r Q u a r t e t s w h i c h combines the se n s e o f man's i m p r i s o n m e n t i n the agony o f h i s t o r y and h i s p o t e n t i a l freedom f r o m i t . That a l l men seek answers t o t h e r i d d l e s o f e x i s t e n c e and e x p e r i e n c e i s e v i d e n c e d by the many o c c u l t a r t s t o w h i c h they have r e c o u r s e . H a v i n g no c o h e r e n t and sound p h i l o s o p h y on w h i c h t o i n t e r p r e t t h e a c c i d e n t s o f h i s t o r y — e i t h e r p e r s o n a l o r c o l l e c t i v e , they t u r n t o v a r i o u s f a l s e o r a c l e s . To communicate w i t h M a r s , c o n v e r s e w i t h s p i r i t s , To r e p o r t t h e b e h a v i o u r o f t h e s e a m o n s t e r , D e s c r i b e t h e h o r o s c o p e , h a r u s p i c a t e o r s c r y , Observe d i s e a s e i n s i g n a t u r e s , evoke B i o g r a p h y f r o m t h e w r i n k l e s o f t h e p a l m And t r a g e d y f r o m f i n g e r s ; r e l e a s e omens By s o r t i l e g e , o r t e a l e a v e s , r i d d l e t h e i n e v i t a b l e W i t h p l a y i n g c a r d s , f i d d l e w i t h pentagrams Or b a r b i t u r i c a c i d s , o r d i s s e c t The r e c u r r e n t image i n t o p r e - c o n s c i o u s t e r r o r s — To e x p l o r e t h e womb, o r tomb, o r dreams; a l l t h e s e a r e u s u a l P a s s t i m e s and d r u g s , and f e a t u r e s o f t h e p r e s s : And always w i l l b e , some o f them e s p e c i a l l y When t h e r e i s d i s t r e s s o f n a t i o n s and p e r p l e x i t y Whether on the s h o r e s o f A s i a , o r i n t h e Edgware Road. The enigma o f h i s t o r y i s , however, o n l y s o l v e d by an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f C h r i s t ' s I n c a r n a t i o n . T h i s m y s t e r y w h i c h c u t s a c r o s s t h e l i f e o f 137 the w o r l d i s " h a l f u n d e r s t o o d " by the p o e t t o s i g n i f y t h e r e -demption o f a l l t i m e . Here t h e i m p o s s i b l e u n i o n Of s p h e r e s o f e x i s t e n c e i s a c t u a l , Here t h e p a s t and f u t u r e A r e conquered, and r e c o n c i l e d , The I n c a r n a t i o n , t h e i n t e r v e n t i o n o f God i n t i m e , i s a l s o the t i m e l e s s moment o r " t h e s t i l l - p o i n t " o f h i s t o r y . T h i s u n i q u e d i v i n e a c t c o n f e r s meaning on h i s t o r y and on e x p e r i e n c e . F o r E l i o t , t h a t meaning i s summed up i n the r e v o c a t i o n o f O r i g i n a l S i n . "The Dry S a l v a g e s " moves beyond the s t a g e s o f n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y d e s p a i r and c o n f i r m s a new-found f a i t h , b u t i t does n o t r e a l l y come t o terms w i t h the a c t u a l i t y o f h i s t o r y . I t d e a l s w i t h i t o n l y i n t h e se n s e of t r a n s c e n d i n g i t . The "meaning" o f h i s t o r y and e x p e r i e n c e a r e n o t i n the t h i n g s t h e m s e l v e s b u t i n s o m e t h i n g t h a t i s beyond them. I t i s the i d e a l o r a b s o l u t e w o r l d t h a t c o n f e r s meaning and i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y on t h i s one. * The f o u r t h and c o n c l u d i n g poem o f t h e Q u a r t e t s marks t h e c u l m i n a t i o n and c l i m a x o f the s e r i e s . The tone becomes more s u b l i m e and the symbols more Dantesque as E l i o t a t t e m p t s t o convey t h e f i n a l v i s i o n toward w h i c h h i s m e d i t a t i o n has been l e a d i n g . The second h a l f o f p a r t two, w r i t t e n i n c o n s c i o u s i m i t a t i o n o f Dante, p r e p a r e s t h e way f o r the c o n c l u d i n g e v o c a t i o n o f r o s e and f i r e . Throughout the poem, i n f a c t , t h e imagery i s p r e d o m i n a n t l y c o n n e c t e d w i t h f i r e i n the s a c r e d s e n s e . E a r l i e r t he p o e t had quaked i n p u r g a t o r i a l f i r e s , b u t now t h a t he has been p u r i f i e d he r e c e i v e s t h e f i r e f r o m heaven i n t h e f o r m o f a p e r s o n a l P e n t e c o s t . 138 The o p e n i n g s e c t i o n o f L i t t l e G i d d i n g d e s c r i b e s the s t a t e o f t h e w a i t i n g s o u l as i t i s suspended "between m e l t i n g and f r e e z i n g " — l i f e and d eath — i n t h e t i m e l e s s moment. I t i s a s p i r i t u a l c o n d i t i o n d e s c r i b e d i n terms o f s e a s o n a l metaphor b u t o f w h i c h time r e a l l y has no p a r t . ...There i s no e a r t h s m e l l Or s m e l l o f l i v i n g t h i n g . T h i s i s the s p r i n g time But n o t i n t i m e ' s covenant. Now t h e hedgerow I s b l a n c h e d f o r an h o u r w i t h t r a n s i t o r y b l o s s o m Of snow, a bloom more sudden Than t h a t o f summer, n e i t h e r b u d d i n g n o r f a d i n g , Not i n the scheme of g e n e r a t i o n . R e b i r t h o c c u r s i n the w i n t e r o f the w o r l d , j u s t as the N a t i v i t y t a k e s on a s p e c i a l s y m b o l i c meaning by b e i n g c e l e b r a t e d i n December. A g a i n , we have the c o n t r a s t between the l i f e o f t h e w o r l d o r n a t u r e and the l i f e o f the s p i r i t . The f o r m e r i s s y m b o l i z e d by w i n t e r , c o l d n e s s , and d a r k n e s s , and the l a t t e r by summer, warmth, and l i g h t . E l i o t i n d i c a t e s t h a t the j o u r n e y toward t h i s "Zero summer" may be u n d e r t a k e n f r o m any number of s t a r t i n g p l a c e s and f o r any number of r e a s o n s . I n o t h e r words, a t w h a t e v e r s p i r i t u a l and t e m p o r a l s t a g e man i s , he can t u r n h i s s t e p s t o w a r d the A b s o l u t e . The " t i m e l e s s moment" i s always w a i t i n g f o r man b e h i n d the t a p e s t r y o f t i m e . F o r the p o e t , t h e r e f o r e , " t h e i n t e r s e c t i o n o f the t i m e l e s s moment/Is E n g l a n d and nowhere". Man's purpose f o r c h o o s i n g the p a t h t o e n l i g h t e n m e n t does n o t r e a l l y m a t t e r s i n c e i t i s a l t e r e d on the way. ...And what you t h o u g h t y o u came f o r I s o n l y a s h e l l , a husk o f meaning From w h i c h the purpose b r e a k s o n l y when i t i s f u l f i l l e d 139 I f a t a l l . E i t h e r y o u had no p urpose Or t h e p u r p o s e i s beyond t h e end y o u f i g u r e d And i s a l t e r e d i n f u l f i l m e n t . Only one t h i n g i s common t o a l l t h o s e who embark on the s p i r i t u a l j o u r n e y — abandonment o f s e l f . I f y o u came t h i s way, T a k i n g any r o u t e , s t a r t i n g f r o m anywhere, At any t i m e o r a t any s e a s o n , I t w o u l d always be t h e same: you w o u l d have t o put o f f Sense and n o t i o n . You a r e n o t h e r e t o v e r i f y , I n s t r u c t y o u r s e l f , o r i n f o r m c u r i o s i t y Or c a r r y r e p o r t . You a r e h e r e t o k n e e l Where p r a y e r has been v a l i d . . . . The t u r n i n g away f r o m the e x t e r i o r w o r l d t o t h e i n n e r o r i d e a l R e a l i t y i s e x p r e s s e d by a t e l l i n g metaphor. ...when y o u l e a v e the rough r o a d And t u r n b e h i n d t h e p i g - s t y t o t h e d u l l f a c a d e And t h e tombstone. B e f o r e t h a t R e a l i t y can be apprehended, man must f i r s t d i e t o h i s o l d s e l f and b u r y i t . T h i s i s the tombstone's message t h a t c o n f r o n t s h i m a f t e r he has made t h e f i r s t i m p o r t a n t a c t o f w i l l . The f o u r e l e m e n t s composing t h e phenomenal w o r l d — e a r t h , a i r , f i r e , and w a t e r — are t h e m s e l v e s d e s t r o y e d i n t h e o p e n i n g s t a n z a s o f p a r t two. E l i o t h e r e s t r e s s e s the t e m p o r a l i t y o f m a t t e r w i t h w h i c h man's l i f e i s so i n t r i c a t e l y bound up; h i s v e r y "hope and d e s p a i r " , " t o i l " , and " s a c r i f i c e " a r e c o n d i t i o n e d by n a t u r e . The p a s s a g e , coming as i t does a f t e r the e p i p h a n y o f p a r t one, f u r t h e r s u g g e s t s t h a t f o r t h e man who has a c h i e v e d l i b e r a t i o n , m a t t e r o r n a t u r e no l o n g e r r e t a i n s i t s power o v e r him. I t i s , i n e f f e c t , d e s t r o y e d s i n c e he has overcome n a t u r e w i t h i n h i m s e l f . A t t h i s p o i n t , E l i o t commences i n a f i n e i m i t a t i o n o f t h e I t a l i a n m a s t e r , s e l e c t i n g the passage o f Dante's m e e t i n g w i t h V i r g i l 140 as h i s theme. H i s own " m a s t e r " , E l i o t i n d i c a t e s , has n o t been one p e r s o n , b u t a c o m b i n a t i o n o f s e v e r a l g r e a t p o e t s : " B o t h one and many". From the v e r s e i t s e l f , t h e two most o u t s t a n d i n g i n f l u e n c e s appear t o be Dante and Mallarme'. The f i r s t i s o b v i o u s , and the s e c o n d i s q u o t e d i n the f o l l o w i n g l i n e s : S i n c e our c o n c e r n was s p e e c h , and speech i m p e l l e d us To p u r i f y the d i a l e c t o f t h e t r i b e And urge the mind t o a f t e r s i g h t and f o r e s i g h t The S y m b o l i s t i n f l u e n c e , w h i c h I have e a r l i e r p o i n t e d o u t , i s once a g a i n c o n f i r m e d . I n p a r t f i v e , we see t h e p r a c t i c a l r e s u l t s o f t h i s i n f l u e n c e , c l a i m i n g f o r a r t no l e s s a g o a l t h a n p e r f e c t i o n . ...And e v e r y p h r a s e And s e n t e n c e t h a t i s r i g h t (where e v e r y word i s a t home, T a k i n g i t s p l a c e t o s u p p o r t t h e o t h e r s , The word n e i t h e r d i f f i d e n t n o r o s t e n t a t i o u s , An easy commerce o f t h e o l d and t h e new, The common word e x a c t w i t h o u t v u l g a r i t y , The f o r m a l word p r e c i s e b u t n o t p e d a n t i c , The complete c o n s o r t d a n c i n g t o g e t h e r ) E v e r y p h r a s e and e v e r y s e n t e n c e i s an end and a b e g i n n i n g , E v e r y poem an e p i t a p h . . . . Dante and M a l l a r m e are n o t an i n c o n g r u o u s p a i r as the f i r s t g l a n c e might s u g g e s t . A l t h o u g h h i s t o r i c a l c o n d i t i o n s s e p a r a t e them v a s t l y and pose d i f f e r e n t a e s t h e t i c p r o b l e m s , b o t h p o e t s worked f r o m an i d e a l c o n c e p t i o n o f the u n i v e r s e and w i t h t h e medium of symbols. M a l l a r m e ' s a r t , as i s E l i o t ' s , i s e v i d e n c e of t h e modern a t t e m p t t o approach and e x p r e s s t h e i d e a l w o r l d w h i c h i s t h e end o f a l l t h e i r s t r i v i n g . We can a p p r e c i a t e t h e d i f f e r e n c e between the M e d i e v a l and t h e modern c o n s c i o u s n e s s when we s u r v e y the p o e t r y ; t h a t c o h e r e n t and u n i f i e d r e l i g i o u s w o r l d - v i e w w h i c h i s so e s s e n t i a l and n o u r i s h i n g t o the s y m b o l i c i m a g i n a t i o n was p r e s e n t i n Dante's time b u t a l r e a d y d e s t r o y e d by the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y . 141 What th e " m a s t e r " t e l l s E l i o t i s b a s i c a l l y s o m e t h i n g he had a l r e a d y d i s c o v e r e d f o r h i m s e l f i n " E a s t C oker", namely, the r e w a r d l e s s n e s s o f o l d age. L e t me d i s c l o s e t h e g i f t s r e s e r v e d f o r age To s e t a crown upon y o u r l i f e t i m e ' s e f f o r t . F i r s t , t h e c o l d f r i c t i o n o f e x p i r i n g s e n s e W i t h o u t enchantment, o f f e r i n g no p r o m i s e But b i t t e r t a s t e l e s s n e s s o f shadow f r u i t As body and s o u l b e g i n t o f a l l a sunder. Second, the c o n s c i o u s impotence o f rage A t human f o l l y , and the l a c e r a t i o n Of l a u g h t e r a t what ceases t o amuse. And l a s t , the r e n d i n g p a i n o f r e - e n a c t m e n t Of a l l t h a t y o u have done, and been; the shame Of m o t i v e s l a t e r e v e a l e d , and t h e awareness Of t h i n g s i l l done and done t o o t h e r s ' harm Which once y o u t o o k f o r e x e r c i s e o f v i r t u e . Then f o o l s ' a p p r o v a l s t i n g s , and h onour s t a i n s . The " e x a s p e r a t e d s p i r i t " can f i n d no peace i n t h e w o r l d ; i t s o n l y hope i s t o e n t e r i n t o the " r e f i n i n g f i r e " o f God. T h i s f i r e i s a s s o c i a t e d i n p a r t f o u r w i t h "Love". The d o u b l e meaning o f the word i s p l a y e d upon h e r e as E l i o t t e n d e r s two a l t e r n a t i v e s t o man. The o n l y hope or e l s e d e s p a i r L i e s i n the c h o i c e o f p y r e o r p y r e — To be redeemed by f i r e f r o m f i r e . Two a b s o l u t e s a w a i t man — damnation o r s a l v a t i o n . The f i r e o f d e s i r e , as t h e s u b j e c t o f Buddha's sermon, consumes t h e w o r l d and i s i t s d e a t h . When man t u r n s a s i d e f r o m d e s i r e , the h o l y f i r e o f God's Love a w a i t s him. The s e c u l a r s i t u a t i o n a t t h e t i m e o f " L i t t l e G i d d i n g " ' s c o m p o s i t i o n no doubt r e i n f o r c e d the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f E l i o t ' s s ymbol. The d e v a s t a t i o n wrought by "The dove d e s c e n d i n g . . . W i t h f l a m e of i n c a d e s c e n t t e r r o r " showed t h e r e s u l t o f men's d e s i r e . The c o n t r a s t t o the above d e s t r u c t i o n , the c o n c l u d i n g l i n e s o f t h e poem evoke t h e e t e r n a l w e l l - b e i n g o f t h o s e who have chosen the way o f r e n u n c i a t i o n and c o n t e m p l a t i o n and who have a c h i e v e d t h e 142 h e a v e n l y v i s i o n . And a l l s h a l l be w e l l and A l l manner o f t h i n g s h a l l be w e l l When th e tongues o f f l a m e a r e i n - f o l d e d I n t o the crowned k n o t of f i r e And t h e f i r e and the r o s e a r e one. The symbol o f the s p i r i t u a l r o s e r e c a l l s the r o s e - g a r d e n o f " B u r n t N o r t o n " w h i c h i s p e r f e c t e d and t r a n s f o r m e d i n the i d e a l w o r l d . C h i l d r e n ' s l a u g h t e r l e a d s the p o e t back a g a i n " t h r o u g h the unknown, remembered g a t e " t o a s t a t e o f complete i n n o c e n c e and j o y . I t i s as i f t h e g a t e s o f P a r a d i s e , w h i c h had been c l o s e d t o our f i r s t p a r e n t s a f t e r t h e i r s i n , were now a g a i n opened a f t e r man's p u r i f i c a -t i o n . H a v i n g become l i k e a c h i l d , C h r i s t ' s p r o m i s e d Kingdom i s ready t o r e c e i v e him. P a r a d i s e has been r e g a i n e d i n the f o r m o f t h e new Kingdom t h r o u g h C h r i s t ' s I n c a r n a t i o n . T h i s i s the g o a l "And t h e end o f a l l our e x p l o r i n g " , says E l i o t . We a r e now i n a b e t t e r p o s i t i o n t o u n d e r s t a n d the l i n e s f r o m " E a s t C o k e r " : " I n my b e g i n n i n g i s my end", and " I n my end i s my b e g i n n i n g " . Man's s p i r i t u a l "end" o r d e s t i n a t i o n i s r e b i r t h ; by becoming l i k e a c h i l d , he r e t u r n s t o h i s " b e g i n n i n g " . I n a t h e o l o g i c a l s e n s e , C h r i s t ' s "end" o r e a r t h l y d e a th marked t h e " b e g i n n i n g " o f H i s e t e r n a l r e i g n and o f mankind's s a l v a t i o n . From E l i o t ' s h i s t o r i c a l p o i n t o f v i e w , t i m e moves i n c y c l e s and an age's " b e g i n n i n g " a l r e a d y s t a r t s the p r o c e s s o f d e t e r i o r a t i o n t h a t c u l m i n a t e s i n i t s "end"; and, v i c e v e r s a , t h e "end" o f a c y c l e h e r a l d s t h e " b e g i n n i n g " o f a n o t h e r one. " L i t t l e G i d d i n g " i t s e l f c o m p l e t e s the t h e m a t i c c y c l e o f F o u r Q u a r t e t s and i l l u s t r a t e s t h e motto by r e t u r n i n g t o the imagery o f t h e o p e n i n g poem. As t h e c o n c l u s i o n and c l i m a x o f t h e s e r i e s , i t n o t o n l y u n i t e s a l l t h e f o r e g o i n g s t r a i n s o f t h o u g h t i n 143 an i n t r i c a t e p a t t e r n , b u t a l s o a f f i r m s what James B e n z i g e r c a l l s 37 " t h e h o p e - b e a r i n g v i s i o n " . T h i s v i s i o n , the p r o d u c t o f a " m e t a p h y s i c a l l y - o r i e n t e d i m a g i n a t i o n " , was t h e g o a l o f t h e R o m a n t i c s ' and V i c t o r i a n s ' s e a r c h , he s a y s , b u t was " h a r d t o a c h i e v e " i n t h e modern p e r i o d . As we have a l r e a d y seen f r o m "The Dry S a l v a g e s " , E l i o t , t o o , was c o n c e r n e d t o f i n d meaning i n man's e x i s t e n c e , "...one se n s e s f r o m the b e g i n n i n g " , n o t e s B e n z i g e r , "a s t r o n g m o r a l c o n c e r n m i n g l i n g w i t h t h e a e s t h e t e ' s f a s t i d i o u s d i s t a s t e o r e v a s i o n : l i f e s h o u l d perhaps be more b e a u t i f u l , b u t 38 i t s h o u l d c e r t a i n l y be i n f u s e d w i t h some l o f t i e r p u r p o s e . " T h i s p u r p o s e he c o u l d n o t f i n d i n t h e w o r l d i t s e l f . As t h e poems have shown, E l i o t p o s t u l a t e d an i d e a l o r a b s o l u t e R e a l i t y t h a t gave t h i s w o r l d i t s meaning and r a i s o n d ' e t r e . By t u r n i n g away from t h e w o r l d and from e x p e r i e n c e , he sought t h a t l o f t i e r R e a l i t y w i t h i n of w h i c h p h i l o s p h e r s and m y s t i c s have w r i t t e n . He was, t o be s u r e , n o t g o i n g t o d e p a r t p h y s i c a l l y f r o m the w o r l d i n o r d e r t o a c h i e v e l i b e r a t i o n , o n l y s p i r i t u a l l y . The n e g a t i o n o f n a t u r e t o w h i c h t h i s p a t h l e d i s amply documented by the v e r s e . I t i s i t s h i s t o r i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n t o w h i c h I w o u l d now l i k e t o t u r n . The i d e a l i s t n a t u r e o f E l i o t ' s c o n c e p t i o n o f t i m e may b e t t e r be r e a l i z e d by c o n s i d e r i n g t h e f o l l o w i n g d e s c r i p t i o n o f P l o t i n u s ' p h i l o s o p h y on t h a t p o i n t . H i s g u i d i n g i d e a i s t h a t one must s e a r c h f o r e t e r n a l l i f e n o t beyond t i m e but i n t i m e i t s e l f , f o l l o w i n g a p a t h t h a t i s a t once d i a l e c t i c a l and m y s t i c a l : d i a l e c t i c a l i n the sense t h a t t h e c h i e f t a s k i s t o f i n d v i a t h o u g h t t h e u n i t y , the 144 immobility, the e t e r n i t y that i s i n things; mystical because the soul must make t h i s journey by passing through a l l the stages of s p i r i t u a l l i f e to a r r i v e at being one with God. Perhaps P l o t i n u s ' most profound idea i s that t h i s i s not a dual but a sing l e e f f o r t ; that i s to say, by s t r i v i n g to transform the soul's successive states i n t o moments of thought we w i l l t r u l y win salvation.39 The notion that "There are two beings i n each of us. One beyond 40 time, one i n time." , i s corroborated by E l i o t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of the "timeless moment" i n time. The tendency to disparage the being i n time i s s u b s t a n t i a l , however. As man's l i f e i n time becomes more i n t o l e r a b l e — or, at l e a s t , not any better, as the disappoint-ments of youth are not remedied by the inauspicious comforts of age, as "the world moves/In appetency, on i t s metalled ways/Of time past and future", he turns h i s gaze toward an i d e a l state where time i s transcended. The ruthless r e a l i t y upon which man cannot bear to look too long i s t h i s world's. The b i r d i n "Burnt Norton" that urged the poet to "Go" and seek a be t t e r one i s the imagination of man which f e e l s e x i l e d "here, where men s i t and hear each other groan". We can appreciate to what extent the Pl a t o n i c or I d e a l i s t world-view helps E l i o t to surmount the agonies of time. By denying ultimate r e a l i t y to the temporal, he can bear i t s sufferings and enigmas with a s t o i c a l heart trained i n the v i r t u e of humility. The s o - c a l l e d sense of h i s t o r y f o r which Four Quartets always seem to be lauded i s , to me, rather n e g l i g i b l e . As analysis of the poems has shown, E l i o t i s not concerned with affirming h i s t o r y or with shaping i t ; h i s concern i s to transcend i t or, more unkindly, i f t r u l y , to abolish i t . The combination of Western Idealism and Eastern 145 r e l i g i o u s p h i l o s o p h y produces a pronounced w o r l d ( h i s t o r y ) n e g a t i o n . When E l i o t w r i t e s , " h i s t o r y i s a p a t t e r n / O f t i m e l e s s moments", he i s s t r e s s i n g t h e t r a n s c e n d e n t a l n a t u r e o f d u r a t i o n . The " t i m e l e s s moment" i s an a - t e m p o r a l e x p e r i e n c e ; and i f h i s t o r y i s r e a l l y r e d u c a b l e t o i t s t r a n s c e n d e n t a l common denom i n a t o r t h e n i t c eases t o be i m p o r t a n t as h i s t o r y . L i g h t i s thrown on E l i o t ' s p o s i t i o n by M i r c e a E l i a d e ' s book on a r c h a i c man's c o n c e p t i o n o f time and h i s t o r y , The Myth  o f t h e E t e r n a l R e t u r n . Men o f the o l d c i v i l i z a t i o n s , he shows, h e l d a c y c l i c a l v i e w o f h i s t o r y and b e l i e v e d i n the p o s s i b i l i t y o f r e g e n e r a t i n g time t h r o u g h p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a r c h e t y p a l r i t u a l s . " T h i s e t e r n a l r e t u r n r e v e a l s an o n t o l o g y u n c o n t a m i n a t e d by time and becoming. E v e r y t h i n g b e g i n s o v e r a g a i n a t i t s commencement e v e r y i n s t a n t . The p a s t i s b u t a p r e f i g u r a t i o n o f the f u t u r e . No e v e n t i s f i n a l and i r r e v e r s i b l e and no t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i s f i n a l . " E l i a d e i n t e r p r e t s t h i s w o r l d - v i e w as "an a t t e m p t t o r e t u r n t o i n n o c e n c e , ' p a r a d i s e ' " , and as b e i n g h o s t i l e t o h i s t o r y . By a n n u l l i n g t i m e t h r o u g h p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a s a c r e d r e a l i t y and i n cosmic rhythms, man p r o t e c t s h i m s e l f f r o m " t h e t e r r o r o f h i s t o r y " w h i c h he can n e i t h e r comprehend n o r c o n t r o l . The C h r i s t i a n v i e w , h i s t o r y as theophany, f i r s t made i t s appearance w i t h the Hebrews and s t a n d s opposed t o t h e t r a d i t i o n a l v i s i o n o f the c y c l e , " t h e c o n c e p t i o n t h a t e n s u r e s a l l t h i n g s w i l l be r e p e a t e d f o r e v e r " . Now time i s r e g a r d e d as l i n e a r and has a d i s t i n c t v a l u e . H i s t o r y i s t o l e r a t e d "because i t has an e s c h a t o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n " . F o r the C h r i s t i a n , " H i s t o r y i s thus a b o l i s h e d , n o t t h r o u g h c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f l i v i n g an e t e r n a l p r e s e n t ( c o i n c i d e n c e w i t h t h e a t e m p o r a l i n s t a n t 146 o f the r e v e l a t i o n o f the a r c h e t y p e s ) , n o r by means o f a p e r i o d -i c a l l y r e p e a t e d r i t u a l ( f o r example, the r i t e s o f t h e b e g i n n i n g 42 o f the y e a r ) — i t i s a b o l i s h e d i n t h e f u t u r e . " E l i a d e m a i n t a i n s t h a t even modern man i s n o t " c o n v e r t e d t o h i s t o r i c i s m " , and t h a t "we a r e even w i t n e s s i n g a c o n f l i c t between the two v i e w s : the a r c h a i c c o n c e p t i o n , w h i c h we s h o u l d d e s i g n a t e as a r c h e t y p a l and a n t i - h i s t o r i c a l ; and the modern, p o s t - H e g l i a n c o n c e p t i o n , w h i c h 43 seeks t o be h i s t o r i c a l . " C h r i s t i a n i t y , however, " . . . i s t he ' r e l i g i o n ' o f modern man and h i s t o r i c a l man, o f the man who s i m u l t a n e o u s l y d i s c o v e r e d p e r s o n a l freedom and c o n t i n u o u s t i m e 44 ( i n p l a c e o f c y c l i c a l t i m e ) . " From the above commentary, we can see where E l i o t s t a n d s on t h e h i s t o r i c a l i s s u e . He i s , as I have e a r l i e r s a i d , n o t commit-t e d t o h i s t o r y and r a t h e r s e e k s t o escape i t . F u r t h e r m o r e , h i s C h r i s t i a n i t y i s much i n f l u e n c e d by p h i l o s o p h i c a l I d e a l i s m and E a s t e r n r e l i g i o n . We must ask o u r s e l v e s , what i s t h e d i s t i n c t i v e p o s i t i o n o f C h r i s t i a n i t y as opposed t o Buddhism and Hinduism? Whereas the l a t t e r t e a c h endurance o f t h i s w o r l d and i t s s u f f e r i n g s by f o c u s i n g t h e mind on a b s o l u t e r e a l i t y , t h e e s s e n c e o f C h r i s t i a n i t y i s w o r l d - a f f i r m a t i o n . C e r t a i n l y , t h e r e has always e x i s t e d an i d e a l i s t s t r a i n i n C h r i s t i a n thought w h i c h has c o n t r i b u t e d t o an o t h e r - w o r l d l y e mphasis, b u t i t s most f u n d a m e n t a l m y s t e r i e s , such as t h e I n c a r n a t i o n and the P a s s i o n , a t t e s t t o t h e w o r t h i n e s s o f the w o r l d and o f e f f o r t . The v e r y i n t e r v e n t i o n o f God i n h i s t o r y s u g g e s t s i t s v a l u e and i m -p o r t a n c e ; and the example o f C h r i s t t e a c h e s man t o t a k e up t h e yoke o f time and t o s h o u l d e r t h e w e i g h t o f the w o r l d . By so d o i n g , man 147 changes h i s t o r y . C h r i s t i a n i t y p r e s e n t s t h i s c h a l l e n g e t o men who have come o f age, t o men who a c c e p t t h e agony o f m a t u r i t y and who do n o t w i s h t o renounce i t f o r a c h i l d - l i k e i r r e s p o n s i b -i l i t y . I f E l i a d e ' s judgement t h a t the m a j o r i t y o f the w o r l d ' s p o p u l a t i o n w i s h e s t o evade t h e " t e r r o r o f h i s t o r y " by c l i n g i n g t o an a r c h a i c c o n s c i o u s n e s s i s c o r r e c t , t h e n t h e c y c l e becomes a f r i g h t e n i n g t r a p , and t h e b e l i e f t h a t " t h e p a s t i s b u t a p r e f i g u r a t i o n o f t h e f u t u r e " a s e l f - f u l f i l l i n g p r o p h e c y . By thus a n a l y z i n g E l i o t ' s p o s i t i o n and i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s f rom t h i s c r i t i c a l s t a n d p o i n t , I do n o t w i s h t o undermine ( i f t h a t were even p o s s i b l e ) the p o e t r y of F o u r Q u a r t e t s ; on t h e c o n t r a r y , however b e a u t i f u l o r c o r r e c t t h e a r t , i t s s u b s t a n c e must be i n v e s t i g a t e d t o y i e l d i t s f u l l meaning. H a v i n g t r a c e d h i s p o e t i c development f r o m b e g i n n i n g t o end, we can r e c o g n i z e i n F o u r Q u a r t e t s t h e c u l m i n a t i o n o f h i s s p i r i t u a l q u e s t t h a t began w i t h S t r e e t s t h a t f o l l o w l i k e a t e d i o u s argument Of i n s i d i o u s i n t e n t To l e a d y o u t o an o v e r w h e l m i n g q u e s t i o n . . . F o r E l i o t , t h a t " q u e s t i o n " was a m e t a p h y s i c a l one and was answered i n t h e m y s t e r y o f " t h e f i r e and the r o s e " . F o o t n o t e s C h a p t e r V I I I 1. W. B. Y e a t s , A V i s i o n , r e v . ed. 1956 (1961 r p t ; New Y o r k : The M a c m i l l a n Co., 1961), p. 226. 2. B a r b a r a Seward, The S y m b o l i c Rose. (New Y o r k : C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1960), p. 161. 3. Seward, pp. 160-1. 4. Hugh Kenn e r , ed. " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , T. S. E l i o t : A C o l l e c t i o n  o f C r i t i c a l E s s a y s (New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , I n c . , 1962), p. 3. 5. L e o n a r d Unger t r a c e s t h e l i n e t o C a v a l c a n t i i n "Ash Wednesday," T. S. E l i o t : A S e l e c t e d C r i t i q u e (New Y o r k : R u s s e l & R u s s e l , 1 9 6 6 ) , pp. 350-1. 6. Seward, pp. 161-2. 7. T h i s i s a p o i n t w e l l documented i n F. C. Happold's book M y s t i c i s m : A Study and an A n t h o l o g y ( E n g l a n d : P e n g u i n Books, 1963), p. 60. "By t u r n i n g i n w a r d , away from the f l u x o f phenomena, towards the c e n t r e o f t h e s o u l , by p u t t i n g a s i d e a l l c o n c e p t s and images, s p i r i t u a l as w e l l as b o d i l y , i n a s t a t e o f s t i l l n e s s and p a s s i v -i t y , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o p e n e t r a t e t h r o u g h t h e s e s e p a r a t i n g s c r e e n s , and t o see deeper i n t o t h a t w h i c h more c o m p l e t e l y i s ; p e r h a p s , i n t h e end, t o ascend t o the c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f God H i m s e l f . " 8. L. Unger, "Ash Wednesday," pp. 357-9 t r a c e s the "bone" imagery t o E z e k i e l , c h a p t e r 37. 9. See L. Unger, "Ash Wednesday," p. 360 f o r a d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the l e o p a r d s . 10. G e r t r u d e J o b e s , The Handbook o f M y t h o l o g y and F o l k l o r e , v o l . 2 (New Y o r k : The S c a r e c r o w P r e s s , 1962), p. 985. 11. L. Unger, "Ash Wednesday," p. 372 b e l i e v e s the yews t o be " r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f p a s t and f u t u r e t i m e " . 12. J o b e s , p. 1700. 13. I n h i s I d e a o f a C h r i s t i a n S o c i e t y , (London: F a b e r & F a b e r L t d . , 1939), p. 8. E l i o t s t r e s s e s t h a t C h r i s t i a n i t y i s " p r i m a r i l y a m a t t e r o f thought and n o t o f f e e l i n g " . 14. Jacques Maritain, A Preface to Metaphysics (London: Sheed & Ward, 1948), p. 6. 15. Maritain, p. 7. 16. Lloyd Frankenberg, The Pleasure Dome (Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n Co. , 1949), p. 99. 17. Maritain, p. 7. 18. T. S. E l i o t , " T r a d i t i o n and the Individual Talent," Points of  View (London: Faber & Faber, 1941), p. 25. 19. Yvor Winters, "T. S. E l i o t , or the I l l u s i o n of Reaction," In Defense of Reason (Denver: University of Denver Press, 1943), pp. 460-501. 20. Arthur Lovejoy, Essays i n the History of Ideas, 1st ed. (1948; rpt. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1960), p. x i v . 21. E l i o t , Points of View, p. 40. 22. A s i m i l a r observation i s made by Lloyd Frankenberg (The Pleasure Dome, p. 116) and linked with the poet's sense of g u i l t or "taboo" about earthly experiences. 23. Milton C. Nahm, ed., Selections from E a r l y Greek Philosophy, 3rd ed. (New York: F. S. Croft & Co., 1947), pp. 84-5. 24. H e r a c l i t u s , Fragment 46, Selections from Early Greek Philosophy, p. 91. 25. E t h e l F. Cornwell, The " S t i l l Point" (New Jersey: Rutgers U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1962), p. 4. 26. Cornwell, p. 67. 27. Mircea E l i a d e , The Myth of the Et e r n a l Return, trans, from 1st ed. by W i l l a r d R. Trask (1949; rpt. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1955), pp. 17-18. 28. R. W. H a r r i s , Reason and Nature i n 18th Century Thought (London: Blandford Press, 1968), pp. 21-47. 29. Ernst Cassirer, An Essay on Man (New York: Bantam Books, 1970), pp. 42-55. See also The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, v o l . 1-3, trans, from 1st ed. by Ralph Manheim (1953; rpt. London: Yale University Press, 1968). 30. L e o n a r d Unger, "T. S. E l i o t ' s Rose Garden," T. S. E l i o t ; A S e l e c t e d C r i t i q u e (New Y o r k : R u s s e l & R u s s e l , 1966), p. 384. Mr. Unger h e r e makes a s i m i l a r comment. 31. L o u i s L. M a r t z , "The Wheel and t h e P o i n t : A s p e c t s o f Imagery and Theme i n E l i o t ' s L a t e r P o e t r y , " T. S. E l i o t : A S e l e c t e d  C r i t i q u e , p. 445. 32. C h a r l e s B a u d e l a i r e , "Journaux I n t i m e s , " Oeuvres Completes de  B a u d e l a i r e ( P a r i s : L i b r a i r i e G a l l i m a r d , 1954), p. 1228. 33. The s a c r a l i z a t i o n o f the word and i t s s h r o u d i n g i n o b s c u r i t y and m y s t e r y by a code o f symbols i s e v i d e n t l y b a s e d on a d i v i s i o n o f r e a l i t y i n t o t h e s a c r e d and the p r o f a n e . T h i s h e l p s us t o u n d e r s t a n d the l o g i c b e h i n d the m y s t e r y c u l t a s s o c i a t e d w i t h language i n S y m b o l i s t a r t . 34. J . J . Sweeney, " E a s t Coker: A R e a d i n g , " T. S. E l i o t , A  S e l e c t e d C r i t i q u e , pp. 399-400. 35. Compact B i b l e : J e r u s a l e m B i b l e V e r s i o n ( B e l g i u m : H e n r i P r o o s t & Co., 1 9 6 9 ) , pp. 653-660. I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, s c h o l a r s h i p has shown t h a t t h i s Book r e v e a l s t h e f i r s t c o n t a c t w i t h h e l l e n i s m ( d a t e , c. 3 B.C.) and c o n s e q u e n t l y m i r r o r s the d e s p a i r o f a p e r i o d o f J e w i s h t r a n s i -t i o n . The o l d c o n v e n t i o n a l c o n v i c t i o n s have been shaken and as y e t n o t h i n g has t a k e n t h e i r p l a c e ; thus Hebrew t h o u g h t e x p r e s s e s the i n f l u e n c e o f S t o i c , E p i c u r e a n , and C y n i c p h i l -o s o p h i e s . I t i s n o t u n l i k e l y t h a t E l i o t ' s p e r i o d was a l s o one o f " t r a n s i t i o n " , and t h e r e f o r e r a i s e d s i m i l a r problems f o r t h e p o e t . 36. L o u i s L. M a r t z , "The Wheel and t h e P o i n t . . . , " pp. 458-9. 37. James B e n z i g e r , Images o f E t e r n i t y : S t u d i e s i n t h e P o e t r y f r o m Wordsworth t o T. S. E l i o t ( C a r b o n d a l e : S o u t h e r n I l l i n o i s U n i v . P r e s s , 1 9 6 2 ) , p. 6. 38. B e n z i g e r , p. 244. 39. Jean G u i t t o n , Man i n Time, t r a n s , f r o m 1 s t ed. by A d r i e n n e F o u l k e (1961; r p t . London: U n i v e r s i t y o f N o t r e Dame P r e s s , 1 9 6 6 ) , pp. 56-7. 40. G u i t t o n , p. 58. 41. M i r c e a E l i a d e , pp. 88-89. 42. E l i a d e , pp. 111-112. 43. E l i a d e , p. 141. 44. E l i a d e , p. 161. CHAPTER I X CONCLUSION I n the f o r e g o i n g s t u d y we have seen how t h e " d i s s o c i a t i o n o f s e n s i b i l i t y " i s the c e n t r a l awareness f r o m w h i c h Romantic a r t p r o c e e d s . B e h o l d i n g modern l i f e i n c o n t r a s t t o an i d e a l i z e d C l a s s -i c a l a n t i q u i t y o r C h r i s t i a n M i d d l e Ages th e R o m a n t i c s saw o n l y d i s u n i t y and f r a g m e n t a t i o n as opposed t o o r d e r and w h o l e n e s s . F r i e d r i c h S c h l e g e l , t h e f i r s t p r o p ounder and t h e o r i s t o f R o m a n t i c a r t , was i n many ways an a r c h e t y p a l R o mantic; t h e s t a g e s o f h i s c a r e e r p a r a l l e l t h o s e o f many subsequent R o m a n t i c s : the i n i t i a l r e p u d i a t i o n o f modern f r a g m e n t a t i o n and the t u r n i n g t o t h e C l a s s i c s , t h e n the r e v o l u t i o n a r y b r e a k - t h r o u g h t o an a f f i r m a t i o n o f modernism b a s e d on t h e a c c e p t a n c e o f man's p e r e n n i a l d u a l i t y , and f i n a l l y the somewhat r e a c t i o n a r y t u r n i n g t o w a r d the p a s t once more i n t h e hope o f c r e a t i n g a C h r i s t i a n " o r g a n i c s t a t e " . I f S c h l e g e l has been a shadow f i g u r e t h r o u g h o u t t h i s s t u d y i t i s o n l y b ecause h i s a e s t h e t i c e x p r e s s e d the Romantic s o u l and mind so c o m p l e t e l y and gave R o m a n t i c -i s m i t s b a s i c p l a n . I n the " d i s s o c i a t i o n of s e n s i b i l i t y " , t h e n , i s c o n t a i n e d t h e germ o f the Romantic a e s t h e t i c . B a u d e l a i r e and E l i o t a r e i t s most i m p o r t a n t expounders f o r our t i m e ; I say " o u r t i m e " because we have today n o t y e t come t o terms w i t h the p r o b l e m t h e y I n h e r i t e d , and u n t i l we do no new p e r i o d may be u s h e r e d i n . I n t h e i r a r t we see r e f l e c t e d t h e f a t a l d u a l i s m between S p i r i t and N a t u r e and the a t t e m p t t o r e s o l v e t h a t c o n f l i c t . T h i s 149 c o n f l i c t i s n o t o n l y an i n t e r n a l o r p r i v a t e one, b u t one t h a t i s m i r r o r e d i n a r t ; t h e r e i t becomes the m a l a d a p t i o n o f " f e e l i n g " and " l a n g u a g e " , o r c o n t e n t and form. A u n i f i e d o r whole a r t depends on a u n i f i e d c r e a t o r . A r t o n l y a c c u r a t e l y r e f l e c t s o u r own w e a l t h o r p o v e r t y , o u r v e r y d e e p e s t problems and c o n c e r n s . The b a s i c dilemma o f t h e modern age, w h i c h t h e Romantics were t h e f i r s t t o p o i n t out b u t not always t o s o l v e , i s how t o r e c o n c i l e t h e s e o p p o s i t e s , how t o u n i t e and h a r m o n i z e them so t h a t t h e i n d i v i d u a l and a r t may once a g a i n a t t a i n t o t h a t i d e a l w holeness o f the a n c i e n t p a s t . The r e v o l u t i o n a r y i n s i g h t o f a S c h l e g e l and l a t e r , o f a B a u d e l a i r e , was t h a t t h e modern a r t i s t h ad t o f i n d h i s own i d e a l , an i d e a l r e l a t i v e t o h i s h i s t o r i c c i r c u m s t a n c e s . The C l a s s i c a l p a s t p r o v i d e d o n l y an a r c h e t y p e o f w h o l e n e s s , and t h e moderns had t o s e t about a c h i e v i n g t h e i r own u n i t y s u i t e d t o the p r e s e n t . The achievement o f t h i s u n i t y was, however, confounded i n the cases o f b o t h B a u d e l a i r e and E l i o t . As I have t r i e d t o i n d i c a t e , a p e r f e c t u n i t y c o u l d n o t be a c h i e v e d b e c a u s e b o t h men h e l d e s s e n t i a l l y wrong v i e w s about one h a l f o f the human e q u a t i o n : N a t u r e . B a u d e l a i r e , I s u g g e s t e d , came t o h o l d h i s n e g a t i v e v i e w o f N a t u r e as t h e p r i n c i p l e o f e v i l b ecause o f two f a c t o r s : the p e r s o n a l one o f a s p i r i t u a l s e n s i b i l i t y t h a t p r e - d i s p o s e d h i m t o w a r d the i d e a l o r a b s o l u t e , and the r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t E n l i g h t e n m e n t - b a s e d v i e w s about the e s s e n t i a l goodness o f N a t u r e . A g a i n s t t h e l a s t s t a n d , h i s C h r i s t i a n s e n s i b i l i t y and common sense r e v o l t e d . What do we see when we l o o k a t N a t u r e ? h e , i n e f f e c t , a s ked. C o n t r a r y t o the Neo-C l a s s i c i s t s who w o u l d have answered, " t h e p e r f e c t model o f a l l b e a u t y , 150 the s o u r c e o f a l l v i r t u e and m o r a l i t y " , B a u d e l a i r e saw t h e r e a l i t y o f e v i l . A l l o f N a t u r e seemed t o be p e n e t r a t e d w i t h c o r r u p t i o n , and the cause o f t h i s he a t t r i b u t e d t o o r i g i n a l s i n . Thus, he c o n c e i v e d o f man's, and e s p e c i a l l y t h e a r t i s t ' s , d u t y t o " d i m i n i s h the t r a c e s o f o r i g i n a l s i n " by a t t e m p t i n g t o t r a n s f o r m N a t u r e , t o s p i r i t u a l i z e i t . The agent p a r e x c e l l e n c e f o r t h i s h e r o i c endeavor was the i m a g i n a t i o n . We have a l r e a d y seen the d e s p a i r i n t o w h i c h B a u d e l a i r e was p l u n g e d be cause o f the enormous d i f f i c u l t y o f t h i s t a s k ; N a t u r e always b r o k e t h r o u g h the p o e t ' s dreams and s h a t t e r e d h i s hopes. The r e s u l t w h i c h we see i n Les F l e u r s du M a l i s an e x t r e m e l y s i g n i f i c a n t a t t e m p t t o come t o terms w i t h r e a l i t y , e s p e c i a l l y w i t h e v i l , and the c o m b i n a t i o n o f the r e a l i t y and the i d e a l . The two p r i n c i p l e s , however, were n e v e r h a r m o n i z e d and B a u d e l a i r e r e m a i n e d t o r n between them. I n E l i o t , on the o t h e r hand, p o e t r y has t a k e n a f u r t h e r s t e p away f r o m N a t u r e . F a r f r o m s e e k i n g a u n i o n o r harmony o f t h e two p r i n c i p l e s , S p i r i t and N a t u r e , E l i o t e x a l t e d the f i r s t a t t h e expense o f the s e c o n d . He e x t e n d e d the S y m b o l i s t l i n e o f s e a r c h f o r p e r f e c t i o n , t h e i d e a l , and the a b s o l u t e . A l t h o u g h r e p u d i a t i n g the Romantic t r a d i t i o n c o n s c i o u s l y , he was, as I have h o p e f u l l y shown, d e e p l y e n t r e n c h e d i n i t and even came t o a s i m i l a r c o n c l u s i o n — r e f u g e i n C h r i s t i a n i t y and M e d i e v a l i s m . As s u c h , he f a i l e d t o come t o terms w i t h t h e t a s k i n h e r e n t l y s e t by R o m a n t i c i s m : the c o n f r o n t a -t i o n w i t h h i s t o r y . E l i o t , as i s e v i d e n t f r o m F o u r Q u a r t e t s , sought a means t o escape f r o m t h e h o r r i b l e r e a l i t y o f h i s t o r y and t i m e ; r e l i g i o n p r o v i d e d t h o s e means. He i s an e x t r e m e l y i m p o r t a n t f i g u r e 151 f o r modern p o e t r y because h i s i n f l u e n c e has n o t y e t been s u r p a s s e d . P o e t r y has f a i l e d t o o f f e r a n y t h i n g s i g n i f i c a n t i n p l a c e o f E l i o t ; b u t E l i o t i s o n l y t h e c u l - d e - s a c o f one l i n e o f R o m a n t i c i s m . J u d g i n g f r o m Mr. Beach's summary o f t h e p o s t - E l i o t g e n e r a t i o n , i t appears t h a t no new d i r e c t i o n has y e t been found. A l l a r e s t i l l w a n d e r i n g i n the d e s e r t — l e t us hope n o t f o r a n o t h e r f o r t y y e a r s ! Roughly s p e a k i n g , n e a r l y a l l o f t h e most p r o m i s i n g p o e t s o f the moment may be r e g a r d e d as stemming from E l i o t , Pound, o r H o p k i n s , o r as h a v i n g some t i n c t u r e o f the " m e t a p h y s i c a l " t e n d e n c i e s o f t h e s e p o e t s . . . . The p r e s e n t - d a y p o e t s have g i v e n up n a t u r e , h a v i n g f o u n d i t b a n k r u p t . 1 Mr. Beach c o n c l u d e s h i s book w i t h t h e a s s e r t i o n t h a t "we may h a r d l y l o o k f o r a r e v i v a l o f the concept o f n a t u r e t i l l t h e r e s h a l l a ppear a d i s c o v e r e r as g r e a t as Newton o r D a r w i n , a t h i n k e r as p r o v o c a t i v e as K a n t o r P l a t o , t o o f f e r a new s y n t h e s i s , and g i v e n a t u r e a new 2 l e a s e on l i f e . " W i t h the need f o r a "new s y n t h e s i s " I am i n complete agreement. But even w i t h t h i s t h ought one touches on the p u l s e o f t h e modern a i l m e n t . Such a s y n t h e s i s o r "harmony" o f man's d u a l be-i n g — and w i t h i t t h e d u a l i t y o f a r t — i s t h e i d e a l g o a l o f Roman-t i c i s m , b u t i t cannot be a c h i e v e d u n t i l R o m a n t i c i s m i t s e l f i s r e v i v e d f r o m i t s death-bed. R o m a n t i c i s m t o o k a f a l s e d i r e c t i o n when i t sought t o r e s o l v e t h e S p i r i t - N a t u r e d u a l i t y by e l i m i n a t i n g one h a l f o f t h e e q u a t i o n . The p r o b l e m was n o t thus s o l v e d , o n l y p o s t p o n e d f o r someone e l s e t o s o l v e i n the f u t u r e . The v e r y s o u l o f Romantic a r t i s t h i s t e n s i o n between t h e r e a l and the i d e a l ; i f once t h e 152 s c a l e s a r e t o o g r e a t l y u p s e t i n one o r the o t h e r d i r e c t i o n , i t i s no l o n g e r t r u e t o i t s b e i n g . But i t i s u n d e r s t a n d a b l e t h a t man cannot a b i d e l o n g i n a s t a t e o f u n r e s o l v e d t e n s i o n ; soon t h e s c a l e s d i p i n one o f the two d i r e c t i o n s and the n we have e i t h e r p u r e r e a l i s m and n a t u r a l i s m , o r s y m b o l i s m and i d e a l i s m . The r e a l t a s k of R omantic a r t , however, i s t o s t r i v e f o r a b a l a n c e between t h e two f o r c e s t h a t c o n s t i t u t e a l l l i f e and a r e t h e b a s i s o f a r t i t s e l f : S p i r i t and N a t u r e . Now t h i s has n o t been p o s s i b l e i n t h e p a s t , as we have s e e n , b e c a u s e o f t h e f a l s e v i e w o f N a t u r e h e l d by men. N a t u r e , i t seems, has e i t h e r been w o r s h i p p e d as the s o u r c e and t y p e o f the Good o r as the s o u r c e and embodiment o f E v i l . B o t h a r e i n c o r r e c t a t t i t u d e s ; so the f i r s t s t e p i n a r e v i v a l o f Romantic a r t must be the c o r r e c t i o n o f f a l s e i d e a s about N a t u r e . When t h a t has been done, o n l y t h e n we can b e g i n t o t h i n k about a new s y n t h e s i s . A t p r e s e n t , we t r u l y i n h a b i t a "waste l a n d " ; E l i o t a t l e a s t gave us the c o r r e c t symbol f o r our t i m e . L i f e l e s s , w a t e r l e s s — b u t y e a r n i n g f o r l i f e and w a t e r — we grope f o r the l o s t c l u e t o o u r s a l v a t i o n . B u t t h e answer w i l l n o t come f r o m t h e " t h u n d e r " , f r o m t h e S p i r i t i n t h e i d e a l o r r a t i o n a l s e n s e ; i t w i l l — because i t must — come fr o m the v e r y e a r t h we s c o r n and m a l t r e a t . I see i n t h e symbol o f the "waste l a n d " a p r o m i s e as w e l l as a c u r s e . We o n l y u n d e r s t a n d t h e c u r s e now, b u t t h e p r o m i s e i s w a i t i n g t o be r e v e a l e d t o a l l who w i l l h e a r . Our time has t r u l y s p e n t i t s f o r t y y e a r s w a n d e r i n g i n the d e s e r t , b u t t h e e x p e r i e n c e i t s e l f i s a 153 p u r g a t i v e one and w i l l l e a d i n t o the " p r o m i s e d l a n d " , t h a t i s , back t o the e a r t h t h a t i s o u r s f r o m the b e g i n n i n g . The e a r t h , the w o r l d , has become a w a s t e l a n d f o r t h e modern because he has f a i l e d t o comprehend N a t u r e . W i t h o u t N a t u r e and t h e power o f e r o s t h a t u n i t e s a l l t h i n g s t o one a n o t h e r and makes them i n c r e a s e , the psyche o f man becomes d r y and s t e r i l e . Our w o r l d b u t r e f l e c t s the drama o f o u r i n n e r m o s t b e i n g , and when we have stamped N a t u r e out o f our h e a r t s we must pay f o r i t d e a r l y . T h i s w a s t e l a n d t h a t i s t h e modern psy c h e can o n l y be r e s t o r e d by t h e s a v i n g t o u c h o f N a t u r e t h a t w i l l make a l l t h i n g s grow a g a i n . B u t , what i s N a t u r e ? I s i t t h e e x t e r n a l phenomena o f l i f e i n a l l t h e i r v a r i e t y — t h e f l o w e r s , t r e e s , a n i m a l s , e t c . ? Y e s , i t i s t h a t , b u t more. T h e r e f o r e , a l l a t t e m p t s t o " r e t u r n t o N a t u r e " by s u p e r f i c i a l methods o r by p u e r i l e N a t u r e - w o r s h i p m i s s the mark. I f e v e r y f a c t o r y w o r k e r o r c i t y d w e l l e r were t o s e t t l e on a f a r m n o t h i n g w o u l d be changed e x c e p t the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n . As f a r as man's estrangement f r o m N a t u r e i s c o n c e r n e d , one can be i n t h e h e a r t of a thousand b e a u t i f u l c o u n t r i e s o r on a t h o u s a n d farms and N a t u r e i s n o t any more u n d e r s t o o d f o r i t . T h i s s h o u l d be a g r e a t encouragement to modern, i n d u s t r i a l man, f o r he can be i n d u s t r i a l i z e d and s t i l l be i n t o u c h w i t h N a t u r e . N a t u r e , t h e n , i s a l i f e - p r i n c i p l e , a power t h a t works i n e v e r y man u n t i l he d e s t r o y s i t . And i t i s n o t u n t i l he b e g i n s t o d e s t r o y i t w i t h i n h i m s e l f t h a t he b e g i n s t o do t h e same t o e x t e r n a l n a t u r e . N a t u r e , l i k e a S l e e p i n g B e a u t y , has been l y i n g dormant and i g n o r e d w i t h i n the psyche o f man, r e n d e r e d l i f e l e s s by a c u r s e , and i s o n l y w a i t i n g 154 f o r t h e i n d i v i d u a l who w i l l r e s c u e h e r f r o m h e r c e n t u r i e s ' l o n g s l u m b e r so t h a t the l a n d may once a g a i n awaken t o l i f e . When she awakens, th e p o e t i c , c r e a t i v e f a c u l t y i n man w i l l a l s o be r e v i v e d and w i l l r e c e i v e a new impetus and i n s p i r a t i o n . But t h e poem o f tomorrow t h a t a w a i t s t o be w r i t t e n w i l l have t o t a k e e v i l i n t o a c c o u n t . B a u d e l a i r e s u r e l y , has t a u g h t us t h i s much. Whoever seeks o u t N a t u r e w i l l soon f i n d e v i l i n h i s p a t h — much i n the same way as Dante was i n i t i a l l y c o n f r o n t e d by the t h r e e b e a s t s . U n l i k e h i s p r e d e c e s s o r s , the new p o e t w i l l n o t a t t r i b u t e e v i l t o N a t u r e , however; r a t h e r , he w i l l see t h a t a l l o f N a t u r e i s i t s e l f u n w i l l i n g l y i n t e r p e n e t r a t e d w i t h i t f r o m the s m a l l e s t t h i n g t o t h e g r e a t e s t . He w i l l s e e , i n S t . P a u l ' s w o rds, t h a t " . . . f r o m the b e g i n n i n g t i l l now the e n t i r e c r e a t i o n has been g r o a n i n g i n t r a v a i l " , h o p i n g "one day t o be s e t f r e e f r o m i t s s l a v e r y t o decay" (Romans 8:21) and he w i l l be moved by com-p a s s i o n f o r i t . Where, t h e n , w i l l he f i n d the s o u r c e o f e v i l , t o where s h a l l he t r a c e i t ? The p o e t o f tomorrow w i l l have as h i s g u i d i n g m o t t o : "The h e a r t o f man i s the h e a r t o f t h e w o r l d " . A c c o r d i n g l y , i t i s t h e r e t h a t he w i l l f i n d the r o o t o f e v i l ; a t t h e h e a r t o f the r o s e f e e d s t h e worm. He w i l l n o t p r o j e c t h i s e v i l o_r h i s goodness i n t o the heavens o r i n t o N a t u r e ; he w i l l r e a l i z e t h a t t h e h e a r t o f man c o n t a i n s a l l p o s s i b i l i t i e s t h a t e x i s t — f r o m t h e s u b l i m e s t t o t h e meanest. Working f r o m h i s own h e a r t , t h e new p o e t w i l l f r e e N a t u r e p a r t i a l l y f r o m the c u r s e man's mind has l a i d upon i t ; p a r t i a l l y , b ecause the f i n a l l i b e r a t i o n o f N a t u r e must re m a i n a m y s t e r y . Here, 155 t h e n , i s m a t e r i a l enough f o r a f u t u r e e p i c , the e p i c o f modern man w h i c h has y e t t o be w r i t t e n . But when i t i s , man w i l l have r e c e i v e d a new l e a s e on l i f e , w i l l have had h i s u n i q u e s t o r y t o l d , and w i l l once a g a i n have become a h e r o . L e t me h a s t e n t o add t h a t he w i l l a l s o be p a r t i a l l y v i l l a i n , f o r the d u a l i t y o f man i s t h o r o u g h g o i n g . However, N a t u r e w i l l have been f r e e d f r o m the b u r d e n of b e a r i n g t h e e v i l ; e v i l i s a t t h e h e a r t o f man, b u t goodness i s t h e r e a l s o . W o n d e r f u l p o s s i b i l i t i e s a w a i t man and a r t once N a t u r e i s a g a i n r e l e a s e d f r o m bondage. The p o t e n t i a l of Romantic a r t i s h e r e most e v i d e n t . I t o n l y needs t o be g i v e n a new d i r e c t i o n , a f r e s h i n s p i r a t i o n . The harmony t h a t i t s e e k s , t o t r a n s f o r m t h e human chaos i n t o o r d e r , w i l l be a c h i e v e d o n l y when N a t u r e w i t h t h e power o f e r o s q u i c k e n s men's h e a r t s t o a new b i r t h . S t i l l , by i t s v e r y n a t u r e , R omantic a r t can n e v e r be e x h a u s t e d , can n e v e r r e a c h f u l l p e r f e c t i o n ; t h e r e w i l l a l ways r e m a i n the v i s i o n o f t h a t i d e a l t o e n t i c e men's s o u l t o s t r i v e f o r i t . B u t t h e s t r i v i n g i t s e l f c o n f e r s b e a t i t u d e ; the f r u i t s o f the l a b o r s cannot be c o u n t e d u n t i l the v e r y end. What we must r e c o n c i l e o u r s e l v e s w i t h — and t h i s i s a d i f f i c u l t t h i n g f o r man — i s t h e i d e a o f i m p e r f e c t i o n , b u t of b e a u t y no l e s s p r e s e n t i n t h a t i m p e r f e c t i o n . The g o a l o f the new Romantic a r t must be t o h a r m o n i z e t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f S p i r i t and N a t u r e , b u t n o t t o become r e a c t i o n a r y as d i d the o l d R o m a n t i c i s m . Romantic a r t must n o t e s c a p e l i f e , b u t b o l d l y i n t e r s e c t i t and a l t e r i t f o r the b e t t e r . The new p o e t o f tomorrow w o u l d do w e l l t o h eed the words o f V. K l e m p e r e r b e f o r e b e g i n n i n g h i s work, namely, " t h a t Romantic c r e a t i o n w i l l be n e c e s s a r i l y f r a g mented c r e a t i o n . " 156 H i e r m l t meine i c h n i c h t , d a ^ das r o m a n t i s c h e Kunstwerk immer B r u c h s t i i c k s e i n mu£, s o n d e r n da(J es s e i n Thema n i c h t nach A r t des K l a s s i s c h e n i n einem g e s c h l o s s e n e n K r e i s e e r s c h o p f t ; d e r K r e i s b l e i b t o f f e n , und wenn a l l e s g e s a g t i s t , ware noch v i e l e s z u sagen, und es h e r r s c h t d i e stimmung d e r D a n t e s c h e n S e e l e : Oh me l a s s a ! C h ' i o non son p o s s e n t e  D i d i r q u e l ch'odo d e l l a donna m i a ! Wo a b e r g e s c h l o s s e n e Gedankensysteme g e s c h a f f e n worden s i n d , da kann man n u r annMherungsweise von r o m a n t i s c h e r P h i l o s o p h i e r e d e n : wer z u r Ruhe i n e i n e r l e t z t e n s y n t h e s e g e l a n g t i s t , d e r h a t das Romantische uberwunden.3 F o o t n o t e s C h a p t e r I X 1. J . W. Beach, The Concept o f N a t u r e . . ., p. 558. 2. Beach, p. 559. 3. V. K l e m p e r e r , "Romantik und f r a n z o s i s c h e Romantik," B e g r i f f s b e s t i m m u n g d e r Romantik, pp. 62-3. T r a n s l a t i o n C h a p t e r I X By t h i s I mean n o t t h a t t h e Romantic work o f a r t must always be a f r a g m e n t , b u t t h a t i t does n o t e x h a u s t i t s theme i n the C l a s s i c a l s t y l e o f a c l o s e d c i r c l e ; t he c i r c l e remains open, and when a l l has been s a i d , t h e r e w o u l d s t i l l be l e f t more t o s a y , and t h e r e r u l e s t h e mood o f t h e Dantesque s o u l : Where, however, c l o s e d t h o u g h t systems a r e m a n u f a c t u r e d , t h e r e one can speak o n l y a p p r o x i m a t e l y o f Romantic p h i l -osophy: whoever has come t o r e s t i n a f i n a l s y n t h e s i s has s u r p a s s e d the Romantic. 15 7 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Arnold, Paul. Le Dieu de Baudelaire. Paris: Savel, 1947. . Das Geheimnis Baudelaires. Trans. Gerd Henniger. Berlin: K. H. 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