This paper investigates the functions of the topos of pilgrimage (as quest) in T.S. Eliot’s Journey of the Magi (1927) and shows how many images, charged with symbolic meanings, play in this poem an essential role in the production of sense, which here depends on archetypal and religious sources, on personal spiritual experience, and on the implied comparison between the age of the Roman Empire, imbued with the sense of the supernatural and the twentieth century spiritual dryness. This comparison, in turn, issues in oppositions that are typical of the “mythical method” – such past vs. present; youth vs. old age; innocence vs experience, birth vs death, etc. – but are here employed in a new way, that is in accordance with the “allegorical method”, which implies the trust in the possibility to find a way out of that epistemological, axiological, spiritual ‘paralysis’ that was Eliot’s central theme in the first stage of his poetic career, the idea that the journey (the archetypal metaphor par excellence of human existence) can be transformed into a quest and reach a permanent goal; a goal Eliot clearly identifies with the retrieval of religious faith.

" were we led all that way for/ Birth or Death?": Journey of the Magi di T.S. Eliot / PISSARELLO G. - (2011), pp. 249-258.

" were we led all that way for/ Birth or Death?": Journey of the Magi di T.S. Eliot

PISSARELLO, Giulia
2011

Abstract

This paper investigates the functions of the topos of pilgrimage (as quest) in T.S. Eliot’s Journey of the Magi (1927) and shows how many images, charged with symbolic meanings, play in this poem an essential role in the production of sense, which here depends on archetypal and religious sources, on personal spiritual experience, and on the implied comparison between the age of the Roman Empire, imbued with the sense of the supernatural and the twentieth century spiritual dryness. This comparison, in turn, issues in oppositions that are typical of the “mythical method” – such past vs. present; youth vs. old age; innocence vs experience, birth vs death, etc. – but are here employed in a new way, that is in accordance with the “allegorical method”, which implies the trust in the possibility to find a way out of that epistemological, axiological, spiritual ‘paralysis’ that was Eliot’s central theme in the first stage of his poetic career, the idea that the journey (the archetypal metaphor par excellence of human existence) can be transformed into a quest and reach a permanent goal; a goal Eliot clearly identifies with the retrieval of religious faith.
978-88-8101-777-5
" were we led all that way for/ Birth or Death?": Journey of the Magi di T.S. Eliot / PISSARELLO G. - (2011), pp. 249-258.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11388/150764
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