[ilds] Eliot's Burbank, again

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Sun Apr 22 18:35:28 PDT 2007

>the narrator envision himself as an Antony who will be left high and 
>dry by the musical departure of his God Hercules? 
That would be a significant problem, I think.  Even considering the 
narrator's willingness to dream of Justine as one of the great avatars 
of the City--and his dream of her just may well project her into that 
company, even as tawdry as her "reality" perhaps is--it has to be 
ironic.  Antony?  /This /narrator?  Especially Antony as eulogized by 
Shax's Cleo? 

        I dream'd there was an Emperor Antony:     
        O, such another sleep, that I might see     
        But such another man!   
        His face was as the heavens; and therein stuck     
        A sun and moon, which kept their course,     
        and lighted     
        The little O, the earth.
        His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm     
        Crested the world: his voice was propertied     
        As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;     
        But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,   
        He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,     
        There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas    
        That grew the more by reaping: his delights     
        Were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above     
        The element they lived in: in his livery  
        Walk'd crowns and crownets; realms and islands were     
        As plates dropp'd from his pocket.

Think of the narrator placing into the position of Antony, a lover 
recalled in those visionary terms, then remember that Justine tells 
Clea, "with a slight shrug: 'I had to put him out of my mind.' (4.3).  
What he learns in Balthazar sinks his Antonian ambitions even further 
into the tepid waters of the estuary.


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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