PAPER second part

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Oct 13, 2018 00:24
PAPER second part

An attempt of interpreting the poem departing from Dante is made by Camacho and Perez (2017). Their paper, full of erudition and knowledge, leaves behind the influence of the two Italian medieval poets and bases the whole analysis of the poem on biblical texts. They also claim for the influence of Freud and psychoanalysis, and infer a platonic origin for the division between internal and external world present in Eliot`s text. The derivation of some words and concepts from Cavalcanti`s work is completely overlooked, as the initial quote wasn`t even there. Trying to account for such a neglection is not an easy task. The reason initially given, referring to a manifest Dante admiration could be integrated by the well known Pound`s eulogy, which defines Eliot as ‘the only dantescan voice’ in modern times. This could partially explain the silence on Cavalcanti`s influence.
Another source of bias toward Cavalcanti`s presence in Eliot`s work is the alleged atheism and the accusation of idolatry. (Martinez, 2003). The bad reputation of ‘Donna me prega’ cantor has probably reached modern commenters who preferred and still prefer to make a more conventional portrait of Eliot as a poet and as a man. His troublesome version of Lent in ‘Ash Wednesday’ has to express the pathos of a tormented Christian toward redemption, not the profane intellectual freedom of a man as in Cavalcanti. Eliot`s critics have showed no interest in investigating Cavalcanti`s suffering and torment, the reason for which can be found in his gracious irony and impudent attitude toward love and sexuality. Two early critics who refused the above mentioned stereotyped image of the Italian poet are Pound and Shaw. (Wilhelm, 1974). The poet of the ‘Cantos’ recognizes Cavalcanti`s love as mystic and transcendental path toward knowledge and interprets it as derivative of Plato`s World of Ideas. He was fascinated by the poet unconventionality and scientific mind. The other one pushed the interpretation even further. He claims for a quasi-orthodoxy in Cavalcanti.
In the present paper it will not be analyzed in deep Cavalcanti`s point of view on religion. No arguments for his orthodoxy or atheism will be employed. Being in a poet`s mind, deciding for his sentiments and feelings is not a task for a literature critic. What it will be interesting is to see the connection between Cavalcanti and Eliot in terms of poetic and rhetoric elements. They surely have in common an idea of world as a fragmented whole that no human mind can fully comprehend. Far from Dante, and from different perspectives, both believe in subjectivism; in other words, the world as we see it is not the objective result of given categories but the products of our mind. Accessing a common intellectual vision is not a gift granted once and for all to the humanity but a process that starts from the sensitive and physical world. This contemplation, and sort of passivity that both men experience at the peak of their poetic path, is not the peaceful vision of the God presence in the universe. On the contrary it has to do with the doubts of a difficult relation, the medium for which is for both a woman.
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