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TSE  November 2002

TSE November 2002

Subject:

Re: Love at first? sight

From:

Nancy Gish - Women's Studies <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Thu, 7 Nov 2002 12:30:56 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (147 lines)

Eliot's letters are full of his commitment to publication, intention to
publish, need to get published, concern about not having Prufrock
be a swan song.  I don't know the source of this claim that he did
not expect his work to have a public life.  In fact, he wrote over
and over in early letters that he remained in England specifically
to be a poet and to be able to make a difference in literature.
There was nothing casual about it and he was hardly surprised at
the outcome of what he persistently and intentionally strove to do.
If one becomes an editor and places one's own poem in one's
publication, it is hard to see how that constitutes not expecting a
public life.  What do you base this claim on and how does it
account for all those letters?

Also, Eliot was a creator AND a critic. I'm not sure what your
distinction is on this point.

Nancy

On 7 Nov 2002, at 8:30, John Ryskamp
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:





Creators look from the inside out, critics look from the outside in.
To begin with, Eliot never thought much of his work would have
much of a public life, and was surprised when it did.  Second, he
felt both form and the absence of form were somewhat
inappropriate for what he wanted to say.  And don't
underestimate the importance of contemporary word play--
particularly French (Roussel, Jarry and Duchamp)--on Eliot.  The
offhand, the less-than-serious, the casual: these were new
importations into poetry when Eliot picked them up.  So I think he
was considerably more detached from his poetry--and more
attached to his interests--than people understand.  And look at the
areas in which we know nothing about Eliot.  Did he know the
names Duchamp or Mondrian?  What did he know about Piero
Sraffa?  Did he ever actually read a word written by Einstein?
Did he ever listen to Bartok?  These are things about which we
know n! othing.  Think of all the ideas and works to which you are
exposed during a week--even without paying attention to what is
"new" in any field.  Things coursed in and out of Eliot's life just
like that--and some stuck to his poetry and some did not.  At this
point we don't really know enough to say.  And critics are
notoriously uneducated.  Who is this thread has read BOTH the
puns of Duchamp AND Sraffa?  And yet I wouldn't be a bit
surprised to learn, one day, that Eliot was quite familiar with them-
-although there is no documentation that he was.
My Eliot professor, Bob Sproat, said Eliot told him that he felt
works of art were the result of chance.  Which is interesting,
because it is exactly what Kenneth Clark told my uncle.
>From: Nancy Gish
>Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Love at first? sight
>Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2002 20:35:25 -0500
>
>Actually, this is pretty inaccurate historically. He wrote many
sections at
>different times, and he wrote drafts of the last version before he
showed
>them to Pound. The appendix to Lyndall Gordon's last bio gives
the
>specific order of composition, dates, places, etc., based on
evidence from
>paper, Valerie, letters, and so on.
>Nancy
>
>
>
>Date sent: Wed, 6 Nov 2002 16:57:35 -0800
>Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
>From: Peter Montgomery
>Subject: Re: Love at first? sight
>To: [log in to unmask]
>
>As I remember it, E. suffered from writer's block,
>went into a state of breakdown, spewed out a massive
>vomit from his soul, dumped it all on Pound and
>left town. So I'm not sure we can say he did much
>deliberately until it came to the editing process
>in which there was the influence of Viv, but
>really it is Pound isolating his favourite bits
>and dumping the rest. So can one say E. did anything
>on purpose in TWL?
>
>P.
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Rickard A. Parker
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2002 2:16 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Love at first? sight
>
>
>Marcia Karp wrote:
>
> > Why do you say Dido and Aeneas fall instantly in love? He
doesn't.
>
>Yes I know (and knew). I didn't feel like writing a paragraph on
each
>case. And we don't really know if the hyacinth girl fell in love
either.
>
>
> > And she doesn't love him until Cupid takes the place of
Ascanius.
> > While this is soon after they meet, remember that time is
compressed in
> > the Aeneid and other epics. In any event, it is not instant love.
>
>I believe it is instant after the the magic. Again, I really wanted
to
>point out places where instant love can be thought to be
happening and to
>leave the details for others to search for if they had the interest.
>
>
>I also threw in Acteon/Diana as a POSSIBLE case of being
smitten by love.
>That would only have been on Acteon's part of course and
maybe he was
>smitten with lust or a sense of sublime beauty. It depends on
how
>nit-picky you want to get in examining the poem.
>
>
>Do you think that (a) the instant love angle may have been put
into TWL on
>purpose? (b) that it is circumstantial--pick enough myths and
they will
>have something in common? (c) That I'm seeing things that
aren't there?
>(d) None of the above (e) all of the above (f) more than one of
the
>above (but excluding d and e except on the first Tuesday
following the
>first Monday in November)?
>
>Regards,
> Rick Parker

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