The Tatler's first imitators bear clear formal resemblances to their predecessor, most strikingly in their use of authorial/ editorial eidolons. These may be fully-developed personae, mere pseudonyms, or eponyms....
Osell argues that "eidolon" is actually better than "pseudonym" at describing the dynamics of the nom de plume.
In his view, these eidolons, all the separate objects, entities, structures and events in the visible or explicate world around us, are relatively autonomous, stable and temporary subtotalities derived from a deeper, implicate order of unbroken wholeness.
When speaking of the apparent independent aspect of a particle's reality, Bohm uses the term "eidolon," the ancient Greek term for a spirit.
Beyond thy lectures learn'd professor, Beyond thy telescope or spectroscope observers keen, beyond all mathematics, Beyond the doctor's surgery, anatomy, beyond the chemist with his chemistry, The entities of entities, eidolons
. An eidolon
is an apparition, and here it represents a higher mystery.
In his reading of Whitman's "Eidolons
" alongside the "eidola" educational interface, Schoberlein demonstrates that our software culture already promotes itself as a recurrence of the ancient in the digital world.
This is most visible, perhaps, in his later poem "Eidolons" (1881), which would instruct each reader on the first pages of each subsequent edition of Leaves about how to process the poet's arithmetic.
The entities of entities, eidolons. Unfix'd yet fix'd, Ever shall be, ever have been and are, Sweeping the present to the infinite future, Eidolons, eidolons, eidolons.
Of every human life, (The units gather'd, posted, not a thought, emotion, deed, left out,) The whole or large or small summ'd, added up, In its eidolon. (40) Here we are still adding up complexes (large or small) into values to assess human life, but said life is now individualized into a personhood that finds wholeness and metaphysical worth in an apparently spiritual center (an "eidolon," [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]).
Noting as an example the "steady increase" of the figures of metaphorical absence, in contrast to metonymy's figuring of contextual presence, in the 1870s poetry of "Passage to India" and "Eidolons," Hollis even speculates that a physiological impairment from Whitman's 1873 stroke might have contributed to the shift away from metonymy to metaphor (171, 224).
The poetry, however, seems largely metaphorical--to such an extent that one might include it with "Passage to India" and "Eidolons" in Hollis's listing of Whitman's metonymic decline: the metaphorical "bending, rough-cut Mask" of the face is elaborated in a series of grand metaphors including "This glaze of God's serenest, purest sky, / This film of Satan's seething pit, / This heart's geography's map" (TR, 24; LG, 382).
Above that line, in the penultimate stanza of "Eidolons," we read "Thy Body permanent, / The Body lurking there within thy Body" (TR, 20; LG, 8).
Throughout are words and phrases reminiscent of loci in Poe's works; e.g., "tempest-addled," "porphyry-smooth," "studied and deciphered the Granite Alphabet," "the Dark Shore," "airy rune cut in the Bedrock," "land of Poetry in the Sky," "unrhymed Rune," "terrible Eidolon" (p.
"Dreamland" demands explanation of a few words, such as "Thule" (emblem of "death" here, he says) and "eidolon" (see Part III).
"Walt Whitman's Eidolon
of Exile: Distribution and the Literary Imagination." In Johanna Hartmann and Hubert Zapf, eds., Censorship and Exile (Gottingen, Germany: V & R, 2015), 221-242.