T.S. Eliot, Dante, and the European Tradition: An International Symposium
January 19th - 25th , 2008
  Promoted by:
Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation
Palazzo Coppini Via del Giglio, 10
50123 Florence (Italy)


Author : Prof. Mario Domenichelli

"Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina. Memory and oblivion: Figures of fire, light, silence and the still point of the turning world in T. S. Eliots' Poetry".

All the fire, light, and silence figures in Eliot's works, directly or indirectly come from the Divina Commedia, and seem to me a sort of web of significance mixed as they are with other sources, Budda, Upanishad, the Tao. I believe all these figures define a metamovement, and a dialectic of memory and oblivion in the poem. The poem itself, "The Waste Land", or "Four Quartets", as it moves to the heart of light, the silence, the still point of the turning world, comes to coinncide with the veiling and unveiling purifying fire in which the voice of poetry reaches to its own roots never to be found and told. It is a paradoxical movement swinging between the drive to remember and the necessity of oblivion shaping the eternal unreedemable present (Nietzsche, of course) mentioned in the incipit of "Four Quartets".

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