Due to business issues, this is the first chance I've had to respond to
your posts addressed to me. Please excuse the delay.
I think that everyone who has been on this list for any length of time
occasionally posts things that, on further reflection, they wish had been
phrased differently or perhaps not posted at all. I definitely have. It's the
long-term discourse that matters to me. I appreciate your efforts to set a
good tone on this list, and of course I accept your apologies.
That being said, it is true that facing mostly negative reaction to posts
makes me question the value of posting, both to the list and to me. It takes
time to compose the posts and time for you to read them. I think lots of
listers felt as you did about my posts. You just took the time to put it into
words. But life is short, so why are we spending time like this?
I've been painfully aware for a long time now that there is something in
my phrasing (and my analyses) that grates on people in the literary
profession. If I understood the specifics I could avoid it, but I don't
understand and so I keep making the same mistakes over and over again and
continuously irritate people. This has been going on since I joined the list
three-and-a-half years ago. If I haven't figured it out by now, I'm not going
As I study Eliot, I've come across interesting works of which I've posted
excerpts, such as the TSE articles by William Arrowsmith. If I find more
articles or books of that quality I'll share them with the list. As to my
own views, I think it's best if I keep them to myself. It's a compromise that
works to everyone's advantage.
I had doubts from the beginning that a list could work that mixed literary
professionals and non-professionals. Between those groups there's a huge gap
in knowledge, theory, use of language, and a million other nuances that cause
friction and offense when none is intended.
-- Steve --