On p158 of Ship of Theseus, S and his friends Corbeau, Stenfalk, Ostrero, and Pfeifer stumble onto the double quincunx crater left by Vevoda’s weapon test. Above the charnel pit, vultures circle. But they don’t tighten their rings over the pit itself. Eric Husch and Jen Hayward discuss this in the margins…
NOTE, THOUGH: THEY’RE NOT COMFORTING, BUT THEY’RE NOT MAKING THINGS WORSE. THEY’RE ATTRACTED, BUT KEEPING DISTANCE.
Just below this discussion is a seemingly disconnected comment by Jen…
Next paper’s going to be just as hard – it’s on The Waste Land. Which I hated.
Sensible vultures followed by T.S. Eliot. Is there a connection here?
T.S. Eliot coined the literary term dissociation of sensibility. This term is used by Eliot to explain that after the metaphysical poets of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century, English poetry suffered a regrettable disconnect between thought and emotive experience, particularly using metaphors known as conceits.
Reconnecting sensation and thought was Eliot’s goal, as is evident in The Waste Land.
The phrase sensible vultures appears to be deliberately calling us to better understand the concept of the dissociation of sensibility and the overarching metaphor (conceit) alluded to by the Ship of Theseus concept.
(Continue to Part 2: The Commingled Joy of Terror and Creation)