Eliot's line, "In my end is my beginning," has pleasantly echoed through our ears this semester. It is a line that indicates the perpetual connection of the start and the finish of a journey. The journey that we embarked on in the beginning of January has been full of unfamiliar allusions and novel musical sounds, a combination that has made us tirelessly struggle to find meaning in the unknown. But it is this struggle that we now try to illuminate, without a focus on the outcome: "For us there is only the trying. The rest is not our business." Setting out to write papers about abstract concepts, which can hardly be explained by our beloved professor, let alone Eliot's struggle to write them, is a task that asks us to situate ourselves amidst T.S. Eliot's difficult difficulty opaque works.
From his earliest poetry to his final poem The Four Quartets, and the music that links it to an experience of the poetry, our group has compiled various interpretations that contextualize Eliot within the confines of struggling students. Thus, we present to you our search for meaning in this course. "We shall not cease from exploration," which we have learned is all we can do.
[...] She surrenders her power as the storyteller and leaves, along with Alex who follows suit. In the same way, Edward tells lies in his explanation of Lavinia's whereabouts. Her absence prompts Julia to jokingly reply, “Perhaps she's in the / pantry / Listening to all we say!” (17). Edward quickly responds with a number of seemingly made up excuses of where she actually is. But this storytelling is much different than Alex and Julia's works of fiction. Edward tries to manipulate the circumstances to protect his reputation. Unfortunately for Edward, it fails. [...]
[...] Eliot goes through the same struggle of expression, but with words. Every movement 5 in The Four Quartets expresses the difficulty of expression. The struggle and resultant suffering due to the inability to convey meaning through language, ending up in inevitable failure, focuses our attention elsewhere: the attempt. Eliot announces at one point that he, even the most renowned poet of his day, is still “Trying to learn to use words, and every attempt / Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure,” and “each venture / Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate” (Eliot “EC” 174-179). [...]
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