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From: Peter Stephenson <pws@ibmth.df.unipi.it>
Subject: (urth) other observations and prufrock
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999 16:05:16 +0100

I would tend to caution against seeing Prufrock as anyone too specific ---
he may well be a horny old man, but Eliot is saying `there's a lot of it
about'.  To me he stands for all (or much of) the impotence and apathy of
the modern world, just as, for example, the `small house agent's clerk' in
the Wasteland (`one of the poor on whom assurance sits Like a silk hat on a
Bradford millionaire', not guaranteed to be an exact quotation) stands for
its degeneration and pettiness.

For that reason, I don't think there are many general structural resonances
between Prufrock and Wolfe, even Peace, since Wolfe's major characters
often have wide-reaching, if subtle, effects on the universes of the novels
--- Weer certainly does, however negative they may seem in retrospect; if
Weer's tale is of being part of other people's stories (which is a very
nice idea), then to a lot of them he's been a golem in the gears, which
Prufrock was never capable of being.  But I'm agog to hear any specific

till human voices wake us,

Peter Stephenson <pws@ibmth.df.unipi.it>       Tel: +39 050 844536
WWW:  http://www.ifh.de/~pws/
Dipartimento di Fisica, Via Buonarroti 2, 56127 Pisa, Italy

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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