> Given TSE's belief, Gunnar, that ours is an age (ours and his are not
> different in that character, are they?) worm-eaten by liberalism, what do
> you think he would make of a "fiercely liberal" commentator on his poetry,
> from the Preface of After Strange Gods.
> "The acrimony which accompanies much debate is a symptom of differences so
> large that there is nothing to argue about. We experience such profound
> differences with some of our contemporaries, that the nearest parallel is
> the difference between the mentality of one epoch and another. In a
> like ours, worm-eaten with Liberalism, the only thing possible for a
> with strong conviction is to state a point of view and leave it at that."
We can of course draw several conclusions from this:
1. We should wind up the list, since discussion is worthless.
2. To quote from an essay written shortly after ASG: "we know that
parasites, when they become too numerous, are pests". Hence, there should be
a quota for self-declared liberals on the list. A large number is clearly
3. Since TSE was explicitly hostile to liberalism, liberals should stay away
from his work. Only card-carrying conservatives need apply. As Ken should
remember, we've already had suggestions that reviews of Eliot-related
material should only be entrusted to 'decent reviewers', i.e. people who
share Eliot's political and religious views.
4. We should forget Eliot's willingness to engage with liberal voices like
Woolf, Russell or John Middleton Murry.
5. Never mind the fact that Eliot himself was embarrassed by After Strange
Gods. This list exists to show that it was a major text full of the most
profound wisdom. We've already been treated to several defences of the most
controversial passages it contains. Prospective listmembers should get
themselves a copy and declare that they agree with its contents.
6. Any other nonsense you care to propose.
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