[lit-ideas] Re: The Dylan Thomas Songbook

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2014 07:19:46 +0000

>Unlike Grice, [Dylan] Thomas was a familiar figures, loaded with string  
bags full of shopping, in the Cornmarket on Saturday afternoons, while Grice 
was  taking a siesta after  his busy Saturday mornings with J. L. Austin and 
P.  F. (later Sir Peter) Strawson.>

This person, loaded with string bags full of shopping, was still there when I 
went to Cornmarket on busy Saturday mornings in the late 80s, when Thomas had 
long passed, so Thomas should perhaps not be confused with this rather 
shambling and confused looking figure. Though an easy mistake to make.

D



On Tuesday, 28 October 2014, 19:26, "dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" 
<dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
 


Of the potential monetary value of Dylan Thomas's drinking song, the  
executor said: "A two-sentence letter by Thomas to the portreeve of Laugharne,  
has recently been auctioned. 

It's just a, if I may say, boring letter. It reads:

'Sir,
am sorry I couldn't turn up to your festival,
Love,
Dylan'

and it's dated from around 1952. 

When auctioned at Sotheby's, it went for several thousand -- So  you can 
imagine what something like his drinking song would go for. "I wouldn't  be the
person to consult, but you would be looking at five figures, I would have  
thought."

Unless the implicature is that the figures are five 0 0 0 0 0?

(The tune is good).

In a message dated 10/28/2014 1:19:01 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
these are soon to be published as "Odes to  a Gricean Urn".

Unless the editor changes the spelling, perhaps rightly, to  "Griceian".

Indeed, from January 7th 1946 until March 21st 1947 [Dylan] Thomas lived at 
Holywell, the home of Professor A.J. P. Taylor, in the grounds of Magdalen 
(pronounced "Modlin", to contrast it with the less prestigious Magdalene 
in  Cantab) next to the river Cherwell, a tributary to the Isis.

And Grice used to fish on the Cherwell.

Then, from September 15th 1947 until February 9th 1949, [Dylan] Thomas  
lived at the Manor, South Leigh, a suburb of Oxford, bought for them by  
Professor Taylor, who became Dylan’s patron. 

From now until Thomas's death, Professor Taylor provided a place to live  
for [Dylan] Thomas.

Professor Taylor (and his wife) ran a "literary salon" (as they called  it) 
at Holywell, and they would invite, oddly, not Grice (who was  University 
Lecturer in Philosophy, affiliated with the richest of all the  Oxford 
colleges, St. John's), but Graham Greene, Joyce Cary, Louis MacNeice  and 
Elizabeth Lutyens.

[Dylan] Thomas would appear as "a poetic turn", as Professor Taylor  called 
him ("To invite Grice would mean he would appear as a "philosophical"  
turn, and me and the wife thought that would be p'rhaps a bit _too_ much"). 

While Grice would rather be seen dead if not drinking at the Lamb &  Flag 
and Bird & Baby, [Dylan] Thomas, just to be different, and  antagonistical in 
nature, drank at the Turf, Gloucester Arms or at White’s  Club and while 
Grice could LUNCH and drink at the Lamb and Flag and Bird  & Baby, [Dylan] 
Thomas had to move to lunch, as he would lunch at what Grice  called the 
"rather pretentious" Randolph Hotel -- with BBC -- or "aunt Beeb", as  Grice 
called it -- colleagues.

The path from these set of experiences to [Dylan] Thomas's writing "The Ode 
to a [Griceian] urn" is short.

Unlike Grice, [Dylan] Thomas was a familiar figures, loaded with string  
bags full of shopping, in the Cornmarket on Saturday afternoons, while Grice 
was  taking a siesta after  his busy Saturday mornings with J. L. Austin and 
P.  F. (later Sir Peter) Strawson. 

"Deaths and Entrances" had consolidated [Dylan] Thomas's literary  
reputation, as Grice's "Theory of Conversational Implicature" had consolidated  
his 
[i.e. Grice's] philosophical reputation; and, unlike Grice, [Dylan] Thomas's 
voice was a popular and familiar one on BBC radio, working and  drinking 
with John Arlott, Louis MacNeice, Reggie Smith and Bob Pocock. Norman  
Cameron, Roy Campbell, Dan Jones and others visited him.

On the other hand, Grice participated in the Third Programme with the BBC  
only once, and only because D. F. Pears invited him. The result was a 
Macmillan  Press publication, "The nature of metaphysics", whose introduction 
was 
written  out of the speech on metaphysics delivered by Grice.

>"these are soon to be published as "Odes to a Gricean Urn""

Oddly, Grice wrote on the disimplicatures of 'to' and 'on':

"Keats is justly famous for his five odes: "Ode to a Nightingale", "Ode to  
Psyche", "Ode on Melancholy", "Ode on Indolence", and "Ode on a Grecian 
Urn".  Note that if we exchange prepositions, we would have, "Ode on a 
Nightingale",  Ode on Psyche", "Ode to Melancholy", "Ode to Indolence" and "Ode 
to a 
Grecian  Urn". But problems arise: "Ode on a nightingale" sounds rude, 
while "Ode on  Psyche" sounds scientific in tone. The ambiguity of 'to' versus 
'on' as regards  the Grecian urn is perhaps a different matter. 

Cheers,

Speranza


------------------------------------------------------------------
To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: