Oblivion, waters of


English Bay 2014

 [Eliot] did, though, behave with characteristic punctilio over the rent. This strange combination of self-distancing and financial propriety was well caught by Bob Dylan in “Too Much of Nothing” (written in 1967):
Say hello to Valerie
Say hello to Vivian
Send them all my salary
On the waters of oblivion

r e s o n a n c e
Sometimes what’s news is inarguable—the the outbreak of war, a head-of-state transition, natural calamity—but very often it falls into the category of the resonant incident.

l o s t     f u t u r e s
Furet valued the belle epoque partly for what it was—cultured and civilized—but also for the promises that it had seemed to hold. He was, like many disillusioned left-wingers, nostalgic for a vanished future.

e x a m i n a t i o n
Q: What did T.S. Eliot have to say about April?
He is thinking of a song he heard on the radio this morning: something about the waters of oblivion. Send her all my salary / from the waters of oblivion. What he heard, the rhyme he understood, was celery. Send her all my celery, he heard. Now he thinks of the tall green celery growing there, the pale green stalks waving wetly in the murky deeps, in the waters of oblivion. He knows these waters well; he has seen the celery. Valerie, I’m sorry, you can keep the car, the furniture, the dishwasher, the children. And the celery, if you must. There are so many bodies here in the examination room, and I am filled with desire.
The gardeners wear flippers and masks, pale green, who go down into the waters of oblivion. Gently, they weed and prune. Their bodies  are smooth, with the smoothness of damp plaster, in that light. They make no sound . . . the gardeners use small, ivory-handled knives, souvenirs of the Jubilee, to slice the celery, to sever the tall green stalks.
At the end, proofread.
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