[lit-ideas] Re: When Lil's Husband Got Demobbed

> [Original Message]
> From: Robert Paul <robert.paul@xxxxxxxx>
> To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 1/31/2006 10:39:15 PM
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: When Lil's Husband Got Demobbed
>
> [snip]
>
> >>Well, if Albert won't leave you alone, there it is, me said,         
> >>What you get married for if you don't want children?        
> >>HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME    
> >>Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,   
> >>And they asked I in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot? 
> >>HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME   
> >>HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME   
> >>Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.        
> >>Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.  
> >>Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.       
>
> The author would like to take this opportunity to correct a printing 
> error in two of the foregoing lines, which should read, capitals for 
> indexical purposes, not emphasis:
>
>  >>Well, that Sunday Albert was home, THEM had a hot gammon,  
>  >>And THEM asked I in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot?        
>
> One reader writes:
>
> > I like Prufrock better but I like anything Eliot (even Eliot himself,
with
> > all his low lifey foibles).  Why does he say Hurry up please it's time,
I
> > wonder, capital letters, repeated several times?   I'm tempted to think
> > he's playing around, in a sophisticated setting (the poem, not the
pub). 
> > Any ideas?
>
> Coco Nutshells, in her monograph, Last Bus to Clapham, writes 'The 
> repeated calls of the barkeep at closing time breaking through the 
> desolate exchange between Lil and her companion remind us of the 
> finitude of human existence and the vanity of desire. They recall for
> us Brecht's intrusive props and slogans, flourished in the midst of the 
> claustrophobic metaphysics of the stage, and, like them, they ringingly 
> haunt us when the time-denying arrows of Zeno are still.' Aside from 
> that they simply mean the pub's closing.
>


I woke up this morning and there it was, Eliot is working with Time in
Prufrock as well.  This passage also probably is best seen in the entire
context, it might work structurally, even the lower class speech style
contrasted against the earth, air, fire and water of earlier passages.  The
Wasteland is not my favorite primarily because of all the mythological
allusions (it really needs to be studied), but I can feel there's something
powerful working there.  It's a bit too consciously serious for me.  I much
prefer Prufrock.  Maybe I'm just not ready for The Wasteland and it was
wishful thinking (coupled with sleep deficits) that he was injecting a bit
of lightness.  Eliot is hands down my favorite poet.  I can't think of
anyone who comes close to him.  Brecht might deserve another look.  All
this stuff I once read in college, I don't know why I bothered.  What a
waste (okay, all together now: land).



> Robert Paul
> Mutton College
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