[Msa-discuss] Artificial Light in Modernist Literature

Robin Blyn rblyn at uwf.edu
Tue Oct 18 21:01:17 EDT 2011


The green light in *Gatsby*

On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 7:49 PM, Dennis Coyle <dcoyle at drew.edu> wrote:

>  Stephen,
>
> I was convinced "the patient etherized upon the table" lines of Prufrock
> had a direct reference to artificial light!  I looked at that specific
> section and was shocked I was wrong so I am glad to see that Shannon did
> find a reference that could also be useful with some interpretation.  For
> the lines I am referring to specifically, I think it could be interpreted as
> the sky is as dissected and torn apart (or awaiting that violence--as
> Lawrence would associate surgery) just as a patient laying upon a table in
> an operating room would be.  Thus, the sky would be colored and shadowed not
> by the stars but by the streetlights Prufrock is walking by.
>
> Depending upon what you are looking to do with this, extending your
> interest to environments addressing areas more likely to be in artificial
> light might also help.  Thus, Willa Cather's "The Novel Demeuble" with its
> interest in interior, cluttered rooms that need to be simplified may be of
> use (pulling in her ideas about the conception of THE PROFESSORS HOUSE, the
> need to throw open the windows to let in fresh air and new light to refresh
> and rejuvenate).
>
> Lawrence's "Surgery or the Bomb" would also become productive as the bomb
> in the wall of the room would transform the space from one lit artificially
> to one lit naturally (though obviously some other transformations are
> entailed as well).
>
> These potentialities could then easily be connected to the principles of
> Impressionist painting (with its interest in painting outdoors and in the
> immediacy of the moment).
>
> Again, though, it's a matter of where you are looking to go....
>
>
>  Dennis
>
> >>> Thomas Travisano <travisanot at hartwick.edu> 10/18/2011 7:54 PM >>>
> Eliot, Prufrock, lines 104-105
>
> It is impossible to say just what I mean!
>
> But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
>
>
>
>    On Oct 18, 2011, at 7:38 PM, Shannon Winston wrote:
>
>
>   Virginia Woolf's "The Searchlight." Here is the link:
> http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91h/chapter15.html
>
>
>   Best,
>
> Shannon Winston
>
>
>   On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 3:38 PM, Stephen Pasqualina <spasqual at usc.edu>
>  wrote:
>
>>  Could anyone suggest examples from modernist writers—essays, novels,
>> plays, poems, or even letters—in which artificial light figures prominently?
>>
>> Many thanks,
>> Stephen
>>
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