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TSE  March 2001

TSE March 2001

Subject:

Re: TSE and Jean Verdenal

From:

"Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 27 Mar 2001 02:37:03 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (187 lines)

Dear Anand,

Yes, I'm the same Nancy Gish, and I hope you did some serious looking at 
the MLA Biblioraphy.  Here is some more help on how one does research:  
start from the present and work back.  The commentary and the citations 
will send you to key discussions.  Also, that is a very diverse set of 
readings, so think carefully about the ways the authors use the same 
material.  My discussion is partly limited by the number of words I was 
allowed and the requirement that it be written for a nonspecialist audience.  
That is why it is written in a deliberately clear style, but also it is why I 
include both the traditional ways of reading Weston and myth and allusion,
and a beginning toward a reading that looks at Eliot's own "rhythmical 
grumblings."  If you look at Grover Smith, you will see that he focuses very 
much on the sources, but that was 1950.  He recently published a very 
different kind of discussion of Eliot that is more interested in other kinds of 
research and some biography.  Bush is much later, and Gordon's _T. S. 
Eliot:  An Imperfect Life_ is the most recent thorough biography.  So there 
will be differences depending on when it was written and by whom.  You 
should look for those as much as you can in a limited assignment and not 
try to assume they all will be the same or can just be merged together.  
You also do not want to rely primarily on the older sources; they are 
important to know, but they are also what all the later writers have read and 
responded to.  That is another reason to start now and read back.

Also, I don't know what your teacher's policy on internet sources is, but 
since I read that the average life of a web site is about 2-3 years, they are 
not very good sources, though they can send you to some.  So you should 
find out how that kind of research is part of your assignment.

Also, I did not guess. I teach; that is why such assignments are given.

Best,
Nancy




Date sent:      	Mon, 26 Mar 2001 20:29:07 -0800
Send reply to:  	[log in to unmask]
From:           	"Anand Iyer­" <[log in to unmask]>
To:             	[log in to unmask]
Subject:        	Re: TSE and Jean Verdenal

I have read Nancy Gish's Waste Land: A poem of memory and desire and 
of course I have read some of Grover Smith's works. And I also found that I 
have enough information in my sources to write my report, while I was 
getting worked up and frustrated about it. I found Stephen Spender's book 
and many writings by Hugh Kenner useful. I am currently starting to write it 
up now. I got much help Ronald Bush's book and others. Oh and Nancy 
Gish, if you're the same one who wrote Waste Land: A Poem of Memory 
and Desire, you did a good job on it. It helped me understand the Waste 
Land better. And Nancy, you actually guessed the point of my report! It is
more intended to teach high schoolers to do research than it is to write a
great paper. My teacher said he was giving 3 equal grades on it: MLA, 
research, and the essay itself.  


>From: "Richard Seddon" <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: [log in to unmask]
>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Re: TSE and Jean Verdenal
>Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 20:29:58 -0700
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>Anand Iyer:
>
>I hope I do not offend by offering basic advice.  That is not my
>intention.
>
>Don't get so lost in Verdenal and the titillating idea of prying into
>TSE's "secret life" that you lose track of the poem.   Be sure you are
>well familiar with the more mundane readings of "The Waste Land" such as
>Nancy Gish offers in her "The Waste Land: A Student's Companion to the
>Poem", Jewel Spear Brooker and Joseph Bentley's "Reading The Waste Land"
>and of course the measuring stick, Grover Smith's "The Waste Land".  BTW,
>each of these works I cited have remarkably different insights to the
>poem.  None of them are simple so be prepared for hard study with any of
>them.   As it is the shortest and more directly pointed at the student,
>Nancy Gish is probably the best place to start.  There are numerous other
>readings of "The Waste Land".  My personal library has at least 6 more
>books where TWL is dealt with in detail.  None of these "traditional"
>readings assign any significance to Verdenal at all.  This is not to say
>that they are right but just to caution against assigning undue
>significance to Mr Eugenides and Verdenal.  The Waste Land is a very
>complex poem and operates on many levels.  TSE's allusions point in many
>directions.  A single minded inquiry can easily lose much of the texture
>that is in The Waste Land such as shadows under red rocks where I often
>hide from the list in embarrassment
>
>Rick Seddon
>McIntosh, NM, USA
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Rickard Parker <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
>Date: Monday, March 26, 2001 7:56 PM
>Subject: Re: TSE and Jean Verdenal
>
>
> >Anand Iyer wrote:
> >
> >> While doing research for my report, I have come across some
> >> information on Eliot and Verdenal having "more" than a friendship
> >> with each other. One book pointed out that in The Waste Land, Mr.
> >> Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant, was being gay to the protagonist. Can
> >> anyone shed some more light on this? What do y'all personally
> >> believe.
> >
> >For a quick synopsis you want to read my web page on Eliot and Verdenal
> >
>at
> >    http://world.std.com/~raparker/pub/jean.html
> >That will direct you to a paper by John Peter, one by George Watson,
> >Miller's book and John T. Mayer's "T.S. Eliot's Silent Voices." Lamos
> >also has a bit on Verdendal on pp. 113-114.  Fred D. Crawford's "Mixing
> >Memory and Desire" has some interesting stuff in the chapter on Richard
> >Aldington.  In "The Letters of T.S. Eliot." vol. I you will find a
> >number of letters from Verdenal to TSE in French and in translation. 
> >The best of all this bunch is Miller's book which deals mainly with
> >Verdenal and Eliot's first marriage.
> >
> >You are not going to find smoking gun type evidence in any of the above
> >nor as I recollect even an accusation.  You are going to have to make
> >up your own mind about the exact nature of the relationship.  I have
> >come to the conclusion that it does not matter if the relationship was
> >a homosexual one or not.  To me it comes down to a strong attachment
> >and perhaps feelings of guilt on TSE's part for some wandering thougths
> >that he may have had.
> >
> >I have more on Verdenal at a different part of my web site.  Go to
> >http://world.std.com/~raparker/exploring/thewasteland/table/explore5.ht
> >ml (or explore6.html if you have a large monitor and many dpi).  From
> >there check out the gray "comment" links to the right of some of the
> >lines in 
>the
> >poem (the yellow ones are not so daring.)
> >
> >As for Eugenides the general consensus was that he made a homosexual
> >propostion.  B.C. Southam's "A Guide to the Selected Poems of T.S.
> >Eliot," p. 170 discusses Eugenides as a real incident.  The currants
> >may be an allusion to Walt Whitman's "These, I, Singing in Spring"
> >where the narrator collects objects for lovers and comrades.  The poem
> >can be found at http://www.bartleby.com/142/38.html   Another image
> >though for the currants is withered grapes where the grapes represent
> >Christ (from his sermon on the fruit of the vine.)
> >
> >Also there is this comment I just posted:
> >
> >> I think that there is another reason for Mr Eugenides being from
> >> Smyrna, other than the London Conference.  Smyrna also happens to be
> >> the name of Adonis' mother.  She had an "unholy love" for her father
> >> and this incest produced Adonis.  This reinforces the
> >> unshaven/unclean Mr. Eugenides making an "unholy" proposition.  It
> >> also causes me to see this as the negative side to the resurrection
> >> of Phlebas (or the Hyacinth girl.)  Eliot sees his friend reborn in
> >> poetry but it is not all good, guilty thoughts arise with the dead
> >> too.  And before I'm accused of gay bashing let me say that I'm using
> >> the words "unholy" and "unclean" above in a way that the poet might
> >> use them (if he ever discussed his work.)
> >
> >
> >Regards,
> >   Rick Parker
> >
> >
> >
>

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