Jim Loucks wrote:
> TSE was taken by Buddhism in his latter Harvard years, and once told
> Stephen Spender that at the time of writing TWL he was thinking of
> a Buddhist. (Ackroyd 37; from SS, in Tate coll).
Jim, welcome back. It has been a while since your last post.
Here is a paragraph of the Spender I mentioned earlier (well I thought I saw
my post on this from work but it didn't seem to make it back home.)
Eliot also attended Josiah Royces's course, "Study of Various Types of
Method," and became particularly interested in primitive religion and
ritual. After his return from Paris in 1911, He joined C.R. Lanman's Indic
philology course and studied Sanskit and Indian philosophy for two years.
He became rather mystical, though distrusting this tendency in himself. But
Buddhism remained a lifelong influence in his work and at the time when he
was writing The Waste Land, he almost became a Buddhist--or so I once heard
him tell the Chilean poet Gabriele Mistral, who was herself a Buddhist. The
Buddhist and Christian mysticisms in the Four Quartets seem very close.
Stephen Spender, T.S. Eliot, The Viking Press, 1976, p. 20