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· Pointed Takes on Style Delineated ·
June 5, 2003
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· Tradition and the Individual Talent: Aristotle Does the Blog ·
To which Languagehat replied: "I mean, some people seem to think blogging started with Caesar."
That constitutes, I believe, a Tip o' the Hat.Permalink
Do you have any comments about T.S. Eliot — Tradition and the Individual Talent?
Perhaps only that in "Tradition and the Individual Talent" T. S. Eliot stresses too much the role of platinum and too little that of "pressure" in the famous chemical analogy he makes. Check the word out. Maybe you'll see what I mean.
err, no. i checked out 'pressure' and it meant exactly what i thought it meant, which means that statement makes no sense. i can only assume you were taking Eliot's metaphor of platinum as a catalyst encouraging the binding of elements as an allegory. thought i better point this out to any unwitting students lookin for advice on Eliot, who might take this goon seriously.
Ah, flunked chemistry? So perhaps did T. S. Eliot, although he apparently knew that while platinum plays a necessary role chemically and metaphorically in "Tradition and the Individual Talent," it can't — whether allegorically or not — play a sufficient one. My point is quite simple, wiles: "Mind the gap."
However objective a poet is, we always find in his/her poetry the traces of subjectivity. Platinum is there in the background.
Yes, with even a proper Kantian spin on the point. But "it is not the 'greatness,'" as Eliot's text says, "the intensity, of the emotions, the components, but the artistic process, the pressure, so to speak, under which the fusion takes place that counts" (my emphasis). Eliot's pressure remains in the foreground. My thanks, mansoor, for your note — you've seconded my point.
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