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TSE  January 2002

TSE January 2002

Subject:

RE: TSE gay? Should this be discussed?

From:

Tom Gray <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 10 Jan 2002 08:59:24 -0800 (PST)

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (225 lines)

This brings up the principle that one should always be
precise in identifying the topic that one is
addressing. To discuss TWL as an elegy for Verdenal is
not at all the same as discussing TSE's sexuality and
discussing TSE's sexuality is not at all the same as
speculating as whether he was gay. If the issue is not
precisely defined the discussion will be tainted by
all sorts of irrelevancies and collateral baggage that
will distract from genuine understanding of the poems.


Tom Gray



--- "Earls, JP" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Ron--
> Discussion of Eliot's sexuality shouldn't
> necessarily pull a person's
> attention away from discussion of the poems.  It's
> hardly to be equated
> with discussing whether he preferred Stilton to
> Camembert.  That recent
> contributions to the list can mention TWL as an
> elegy for Verdenal
> (rather than merely a commentary on the sterility of
> modern life) is
> evidence that talking about his sexuality has had an
> effect on how some
> of us read his poetry.
> 
> J. P. Earls, OSB 
> English / St. John's University 
> Collegeville, MN 56321 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ron Houssaye [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2002 2:13 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: TSE gay? Should this be discussed?
> 
> 
> Nancy,
> 
>    Yes, clearly Eliot scholars have investigated
> this and will.  My
> reason
> for not desiring to is because for me it distracts
> from discussion of
> the
> poems.
> 
> Ron Houssaye
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2002 8:36 AM
> Subject: Re: TSE gay? Should this be discussed?
> 
> 
> > In a few words, "Why not, since it has been a
> topic for serious
> scholars
> for
> > a very long time, including James Miller, Wayne
> Koestenbaum, Collen
> > Lamos, and Tim Dean?"  Or, more important, why
> should any topic
> treated
> > seriously be excluded from discussion and debate?
> > Nancy
> >
> >
> > Date sent:      Wed, 9 Jan 2002 00:07:15 -0800
> > Send reply to:  [log in to unmask]
> > From:           "Ron Houssaye"
> <[log in to unmask]>
> > To:             <[log in to unmask]>
> > Subject:        Re: TSE gay? Should this be
> discussed?
> >
> > Ah, in a word, no.
> >
> > Ron Houssaye
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2002 11:18 PM
> > Subject: TSE gay? Should this be discussed?
> >
> >
> > > Rick Seddon wrote (1/8/2002):
> > >
> > > >  Steve and Rick P are both convinced that TSE
> > > >  was gay (just joking, just joking).
> > >
> > >    Well, Rick P has already spoken for himself,
> so let me say that,
> yes,
> > >    I
> > > think that TSE was gay, or had gay desires,
> whether or not he acted
> on
> > them.
> > > Why does this matter?? It only matters if you
> conclude, as I have
> > concluded,
> > > that a powerful force behind TSE's poetry is his
> guilt over these
> > > desires
> > and
> > > how God would judge a man with such desires.
> > >
> > >    You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the
> only one. Carole
> > Seymour-Jones,
> > > the author of "PAINTED SHADOW: A LIFE OF
> VIVIENNE ELIOT" also
> clearly
> > > indicates (repeatedly) in her book that she
> thinks TSE was gay,
> although
> > she
> > > presents scant direct evidence. For the curious,
> here's a few
> excerpts
> > from
> > > "Painted Shadow" that will show you what I mean.
> The excerpts are
> > > scanned
> > in,
> > > so please forgive any typos from the scanning
> process.
> > >
> > >   And, yes, the 600 page book is centered on
> **Vivienne**, despite
> the
> > > impression these excerpts may give that the book
> is only about TSE's
> > "secret
> > > sex life".
> > >
> > > -- Steve --
> > >
> > > ==================================
> > >
> > > >From "Painted Shadow":
> > >
> > > P211
> > > In his twenties, it seemed, Eliot struggled with
> contradictory
> urges, to
> > > confess and yet to repress his homosexual
> feelings: it was a kind of
> > torture,
> > > but one which explains to some extent the
> obscurity of poetry in
> which
> > > so many secrets demanded concealment.
> > >     Among those secrets was his grief for Jean
> Verdenal...
> > >
> > > P 348
> > > The flat Tom rented in early 1923 was to be the
> hub of his secret
> life,
> > > a place where he could throw off
> conventionality. Burleigh Mansions,
> a
> > > block
> > of
> > > portered flats on Charing Cross Road, looked out
> on St Martin's
> Lane,
> > > and
> > was
> > > favoured by actors. Ellen Terry and Donald
> Wolfit both at times
> lived
> > there.
> > > Eliot rented number 38, thus securing for
> himself a pied a terre in
> the
> > heart
> > > of theatreland. At Burleigh Mansions he
> underwent a metamorphosis:
> here
> > > he was no longer 'Mr. Eliot', banker and dutiful
> husband, but
> 'Captain
> > Eliot',
> > > hero of the Colombo verses, captain of his crew.
> Among that crew was
> in
> > all
> > > probability Leonide Massine, who danced the
> French sailor in Les
> > > Matelots,
> > a
> > > 'light-hearted romp' which he choreographed for
> Diaghilev after
> > > divorcing
> > his
> > > wife Vera in 1924 and returning to the bosom of
> the Ballets Russes
> and a
> > > bed-sitting room in Bloomsbury .
> > >    Osbert Sitwell noticed, when he visited Eliot
> in the 'bizarre'
> > atmosphere
> > > of the Charing Cross Road flat, that 'Visitors
> on arrival had to
> enquire
> > at
> 
=== message truncated ===


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