Eliot's relation to Vivienne is now very extensively documented. He quite
literally abandoned her in the legal sense: he went to America in 1932, and
when he got back to England, he simply did not go home and would not
talk with her and had his secretaries and friends warn him if she arrived so
he could leave the back way. He never visited her in the institution to which
her brother had her committed with Eliot's concurrence. That is
abandonment; it is not a matter of anyone's thoughts about him. And when
they were first married it is clear that although she had an affair with
Russell--or is said to have--it was with rather astonishing three way
awareness of some kind. Read the letters at McMasters U. And Tom was
horrified at sexuality immediately, well before that affair. So it is not a
matter of what one "thinks." His life is history now for which at least some
facts are not any longer in question.
Date sent: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 20:00:26 EST
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From: [log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Thoughts on "La Figlia che Piange"
In a message dated 1/24/02 8:23:39 PM !!!First Boot!!!,
[log in to unmask] writes:
> . Though I'm also intrigued by his alignment of the woman with
> the body in this violation--very much overturning Victorian readings of
> Woman as "angel in the house," that is, as pure spirit devoid of bodily
I wonder then how he would react to postmodern Florida, where the women
display their bodies in all seasons. But, Viv was hardly Victorian,
certainly not in thought or action . . . or in dress . . by all accounts.
If he was then made uncomfortable by overt signs of sexuality, I wonder at
him marrying Viv rather than a more plain, intellectual type.
As for abandonment, I cannot but think that he also felt abandoned.
Simple and faithless as a smile and shake of the hand