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Title: Revisiting the Flâneur in T. S. Eliot's 'Eeldrop and Appleplex - I'
Authors: Yang, Carol L.
Contributors: 英文系
Keywords: a hermeneutic of seeing;Eeldrop and Appleplex - I;T. S. Eliot;textual flânerie;the flâneur;the virtual gaze of urban spectatorship
Date: 2011-04
Issue Date: 2016-01-15 15:55:08 (UTC+8)
Abstract: In the Little Review for May 1917, when Prufrock and Other Observations was first advertised, T. S. Eliot published 'Eeldrop and Appleplex - I,' a prose piece that has been read as based on a conversation between himself and Ezra Pound. It is about the secret life of a bank clerk called Eeldrop (closely resembling Eliot himself) and his acquaintance Appleplex (possibly modeled after Ezra Pound), who indulge their taste for slumming in order to smell out evil with the 'implacable curiosity of a master detective.' This article analyzes Eliot's 'Eeldrop and Appleplex - I' and explores Eliot's writings on the experience of the city. I will examine Eliot's urban poetics of flânerie, which are made up of a hermeneutic of seeing, as well as his marginal figures - such as the lonely Londoner, the flâneur, and the stranger - that populate the contested terrain of the city, or the fetish commodity of the market. I will argue that Eliot's only piece of fiction, especially 'Eeldrop and Appleplex - I,' presents his most prescient critique, his most intimate literary journalism of the problematic 'public privacy,' especially of the so-called virtual gaze of urban spectatorship. Instead of merely offering an indictment that focuses exclusively on the oppressive privacy and compartmentalization of urban life, Eliot's piece attempts to read and write London as a text, with the flâneur as the key phenomenon to understanding the emergent metropolis of modernity, as well as providing a methodological apparatus to indulge in a kind of textual flânerie, a kind of double-codedness of perspectives to upset any traditional narrative resolution. 'Eeldrop and Appleplex - I' should not be read as a unique part of Eliot's authorship, but should be viewed as a development and intensification of the speculative conception of urban experience that informs his philosophical, critical, and aesthetic writings.
Relation: Orbis Litterarum, 66(2), 89-120
Data Type: article
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Appears in Collections:[英國語文學系] 期刊論文

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