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TSE  August 2001

TSE August 2001

Subject:

Yeats and personal life.

From:

"Richard Seddon" <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 8 Aug 2001 11:11:24 -0600

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Steve:

A very interesting topic.  I'm glad you brought it up.

I've taken one of those courses.  The one on Dante.  It was great but I =
was frustrated through not being able to ask questions and thereby =
understand the instructors' (Cook and Herzman) positions better.  In =
this case I will relieve the frustration a little by throwing the =
questions back to you, thereby  incurring the remark "How the hell =
should I know?".

Dr. Perl considers Yeats a Modernist.  I guess this is because of the =
symbolist/Mellarme link.   I had thought that Yeats went from symbolism =
to the occult and would not be thought of as  a mainline Modernist.  An =
essential germ and greatly admired by the Modernists but prefatory and =
not Modern.  I think of the late Yeats as very mystic although Nancy has =
previously taken exception to this.

 Was it Yeats' personal life that is being referred back to in the poem =
or is it his developing  intellectual life?  The poem could be viewed as =
illustrative of Yeats move from symbolism to the mystic..  Yeats was =
constantly revising his work and when taken to task for this stated that =
"It is myself I remake".??? see Walter Starkie's introduction to "The =
Celtic Twilight and a selection of early poems"  Yeats was very much =
into the occult; an anathema to mainline modernists.  This interest in =
the occult makes Yeat's spiritual and intellectual life perhaps of more =
interest in reading his poetry than that set of inter-personal relations =
that we think of as a "personal life".  I think it would be essential =
for a critic to separate Yeat's spiritual life from his personal life.  =
Yeats felt that his study of Walter Savage Landor was a watershed in his =
spiritual and intellectual life.  Dr. Perl ignores Landor in your =
excerpt.

Where does Dr. Perl get the idea that synthesis might apply to =
Modernism?  This sounds like an intellectual straw man.  I think that =
one must differentiate between synergism as a goal of the authors and =
synergism as a result of critical analysis.  Modernism was often =
deliberately jarring and disruptive.  It was the intent of the authors =
to break the intellectual complacency of the Victorians.  To break away =
from the rhetorical writing of poetry into a new "Modern" way.  How to =
represent the "Real"  was one of the many things that they struggled =
with on a highly individual basis.   =20

Does "Modernism" mean the same to today's critics as it did to the =
writers involved?  TSE and Pound (probably mostly Pound) went around =
adjudging poets as "modern" or not but the poets were much too =
independent too be forced into a bag.  A case in point is D.H. Lawrence =
who is at once referred to as a "Georgian" (another group of =
nongroupies) and "Modernist".  Lawrence probably didn't care what the =
label was as long as the intellectually rigorous read his work.  In your =
brief excerpt  Dr. Perl seems to blur between Modernism as a =
retrospective term of critics  and as a set of operating guidelines for =
the Modernist poet.

Rick Seddon
McIntosh, NM, USA   =20

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<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Steve:</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>A very interesting topic.&nbsp; I'm glad you brought =
it=20
up.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>I've taken one of those =
courses.&nbsp; The one=20
on Dante.&nbsp; It was great but I was frustrated through not being able =
to ask=20
questions and thereby understand the instructors' (Cook and Herzman) =
positions=20
better.&nbsp; In this case I will relieve the frustration a little by =
throwing=20
the questions back to you, thereby&nbsp; incurring the remark &quot;How =
the hell=20
should I know?&quot;.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Dr. Perl considers Yeats a =
Modernist.&nbsp; I=20
guess this is because of the symbolist/Mellarme link.&nbsp;&nbsp; I had =
thought=20
that Yeats went from symbolism to the occult and would not be thought of =

as&nbsp; a mainline Modernist.&nbsp; An essential germ and greatly =
admired by=20
the Modernists but prefatory and not Modern.&nbsp; I think of the late =
Yeats as=20
very mystic although Nancy has previously taken exception to =
this.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT><FONT color=3D#000000=20
size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>&nbsp;Was it Yeats' personal life =
that is being=20
referred back to in the poem or is it his developing&nbsp; intellectual=20
life?&nbsp; The poem could be viewed as illustrative of Yeats move from=20
symbolism to the mystic..&nbsp; Yeats was constantly revising his work =
and when=20
taken to task for this stated that &quot;It is myself I remake&quot;.??? =
see=20
Walter Starkie's introduction to &quot;The Celtic Twilight and a =
selection of=20
early poems&quot;&nbsp; Yeats was very much into the occult; an anathema =
to=20
mainline modernists.&nbsp; This interest in the occult makes Yeat's =
spiritual=20
and intellectual life perhaps of more interest in reading his poetry =
than that=20
set of inter-personal relations that we think of as a &quot;personal=20
life&quot;.&nbsp; I think it would be essential for a critic to separate =
Yeat's=20
spiritual life from his personal life.&nbsp; Yeats felt that his study =
of Walter=20
Savage Landor was a watershed in his spiritual and intellectual =
life.&nbsp; Dr.=20
Perl ignores Landor in your excerpt.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Where does Dr. Perl get the idea =
that synthesis=20
might apply to Modernism?&nbsp; This sounds like an intellectual straw=20
man.&nbsp; I think that one must differentiate between synergism as a =
goal of=20
the authors and synergism as a result of critical analysis.&nbsp; =
Modernism was=20
often deliberately jarring and disruptive.&nbsp; It was the intent of =
the=20
authors to break the intellectual complacency of the Victorians.&nbsp; =
To break=20
away from the rhetorical writing of poetry into a new &quot;Modern&quot; =

way.&nbsp; How to represent the &quot;Real&quot;&nbsp; was one of the =
many=20
things that they struggled with on a highly individual =
basis.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;=20
</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Does &quot;Modernism&quot; mean the =
same to=20
today's critics as it did to the writers involved?&nbsp; TSE and Pound =
(probably=20
mostly Pound) went around adjudging poets as &quot;modern&quot; or not =
but the=20
poets were much too independent too be forced into a bag.&nbsp; A case =
in point=20
is D.H. Lawrence who is at once referred to as a &quot;Georgian&quot; =
(another=20
group of nongroupies) and &quot;Modernist&quot;.&nbsp; Lawrence probably =
didn't=20
care what the label was as long as the intellectually rigorous read his=20
work.&nbsp; In your brief excerpt&nbsp; Dr. Perl seems to blur between =
Modernism=20
as a retrospective term of critics&nbsp; and as a set of operating =
guidelines=20
for the Modernist poet.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Rick Seddon</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>McIntosh, NM, USA&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;=20
</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

------=_NextPart_000_0027_01C11FFA.DCAD1420--

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