Thanks, Rick, for supplying the context.
I still don't see how Julius reconciles the fact that Wagner thinks Jews in
Western societies cannot write as anything but Jews, while Eliot thinks it
"miraculous" when they do precisely that.
Passing for the moment on their respective merits, the difference between
these position seems so obvious to me, I am baffled by Julius' suggestion
that they are in the same ballpark.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rickard Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2001 8:49 PM
Subject: Re: Eliot, Wagner and Julius
> Tom K. wrote:
> > Does anyone else who cares to consider the matter have an opinion as to
> > Julius may have been trying to say here?
> Skipping the review and going closer to the source we have Julius
> discussing Bleistein and then writing this paragraph.
> Anthony Julius
> T.S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism and Literary Form
> Cambridge University Press, 1995
> pp. 101-2
> Consider this remark of Eliot's:
> The poetry of Isaac Rosenberg ... does not only owe its distinction to
> its being Hebraic: but because it is in Hebraic it is a contribution
> to English literature. For a Jewish poet to be able to be able to
> write like a Jew, in western Europe and in a western European
> language, is almost a miracle.
> The two versions of libel I have just described are thus represented
> by Bleistein and Rosenberg respectively. Eliot's eccentric praise of
> the Jewish poet is consistent with his larger deprecations. 'That a
> Jew can do this!' registers the surprise of the anti-Semite. What is
> it like to write as a Jew? Richard Wagner explains: 'The Jew speaks
> the language of the country in which he has lived from generation to
> generation, but he also speaks it as a foreigner.' A Jew cannot
> compose German music; when it purports to do so, he deceives. The
> Jewish composer could only compose music as a Jew by drawing on the
> 'cermonial music' of the synagogue service, a 'nonsensical gurgling,
> yodelling and cackling'. These 'rhythms ... dominate his musical
> imagination'; they are irrestible. So while the talented Jewish
> composer is disqualified by his race from composing German music, he
> is disqualified by his talent from composing Jewish music. Rosenberg
> was luckier. He was able, by 'almost a miracle', to write in English
> 'like a Jew'. The difference between Eliot's anti-Semitism and
> Wagner's is defined, on this point, by the possibility of this
> To get even closer to the sources would be to go what Julius cited;
> T.S. Eliot, "A Commentary", "The Criterion", July, 1935;
> Richard Wagner, "Judaism in Music" in "Stories and Essays",
> ed. Charles Osborne, 1973
> Rick Parker