PEL Presents: (sub)Text: Disturbing the Universe in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot

PEL Presents: (sub)Text: Disturbing the Universe in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot

By Mark Linsenmayer, Wes Alwan, Seth Paskin, Dylan Casey

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

Sunday, 20 June

It was T. S. Eliot’s first published poem. Written when he was only in his early 20s, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” rode the crest of the wave of literary Modernism, predated World War I, and presaged an age of indecision and anxiety. The poem is the dramatic interior monologue of the title character, a middle-aged man whose passivity and ambivalence are threaded with artistic allusions, epigrammatic observations, and meditations on the nature of time, the fraudulence of relationships, and the risks of eating a peach. Should Prufrock dare disturb the universe? Should we? Wes & Erin discuss. 

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Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.

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