Rick Parker wrote:
> Seriously though, I've seen something written where Eliot got this by
> modifying something said by Charles Maurras. Can anyone supply the
> Maurras quote?
I thought of a new way to search and this might help.
Michael R. Stevens
The Bones in Mr. Eliot's Closet
Rediscovering the patron saint of all the flawed and haunted seekers
Kenneth Asher comes closer to pinning down these socio-political
concerns in his book T.S. Eliot and Ideology. Asher sees Eliot's
early attraction to the proto-Fascist ideas of Charles Maurras
and his organization L'Action Franšaise, as the enduring and
dominant feature in Eliot's development, spiritual and otherwise.
Indeed, it is no accident that Eliot's famous pronouncement in
the preface to For Lancelot Andrewes is an echo of an early
manifesto from the newspaper of L'Action Franšaise, published
around the turn of the century (a formula that included the
necessity of anti-Semitism in the mix). Eliot had also made a
very public defense of Maurras, in the pages of The Criterion,
when the Frenchman was condemned by the Vatican in 1926 for
espousing and promulgating a form of Catholicism which valued the
Church's political function while denying Christ.
BTW, the essay ends with:
We are left finally with a sense of Eliot's importance, not as a
model political theorist nor humanitarian nor chaste and ethereal
thinker nor even congenial neighbor; he seems to have been flawed
in every category. But his flaws, or rather his recognition and
expression of the flaws of human existence, made for beautiful
and meaningful poetry.
When I teach Eliot to my students, I like to finish by mulling
over a line from the final section of "Little Gidding," the last
of the Quartets and practically the final lyric poetry of his
career: "Every poem is an epitaph." Usually the students get it:
for the artist, the art is the intended legacy, the definitive
statement to the world. If this is so, then Eliot deserves to be
remembered not for what he may have hidden and obscured, but
rather for what he certainly gave and revealed.