It was not funny, and for that reason (only) I too am surprised it came from Gunnar. I am not surprised due to the offensiveness of it, however: humorwise, Gunnar is an equal opportunity offender who (it is clear to me) bears no ethnic malice and therefore feels no fear of appearing malicious. The internet is a dangerous medium for such a one, not only because it is impersonal but also because it projects to areas where mores about such things may differ. My two cents.
To tie this in with Eliot and Poland, I just came across a copy of the Pilsudsky memoirs that someone recently noted Eliot had referenced. Any recollections as to what Eliot had to say about them, or greater details as to where he said it (I do not recall where that recent post is) would be appreciated.
In a message dated Thu, 19 Sep 2002 11:47:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
> Nancy Gish wrote:
> > Dear Jacek,
> > It was not funny, and I am shocked that it came from Gunnar. I just want
> > to say that and to say how sorry I am that happened.
> > Nancy
> Perhaps Gunnar is unware that in the U.S. "Polack jokes" are a genre
> with an almost allegorical subtext: they carry the burden of racism in
> circles where "Sambo" jokes are no longer tolerated. I
> suspect that this
> joke is even yet circulating re Blacks rather than Poles.