> But I had been nevertheless puzzled by the attitude he
> was hell bent on maintaining towards D.H.Lawrence. The
> damaging remarks that he made on Lawrence don't appear
> to be becoming of a critic of his caliber.
Eliot's most egregious remarks on Lawrence are found in After Strange Gods,
a book Eliot quickly disowned. He explicilty said that he'd gone over the
top in his treatment of Lawrence.
Nevertheless, Eliot's unease with Lawrence persisted. In so far as
Lawrence's work finds its roots in Blakean romanticism, English dissent and
a Protestant tradition of novel-writing, Eliot's hostility isn't just a
quirk, or an expression of disgust at that great Leavisian absolute, 'Life'.
It was consistent with his intellectual, artistic and political choices:
classical, orthodox, Anglican.
As for Leavis, I think there is much of the disappointed lover in his
remarks on Eliot's life-deying tendencies. Ideally, he would have liked to
enlist both Eliot and Lawrence in the Great Tradition- and then he realised
that that was not what Eliot meant, at all.
What Leavis meant by Life isn't always too clear (he would probably have
said that an attempt at defining it was life-denying). But I suspect that,
to Eliot, Leavis's Life sounded too much like a vitalist fantasy that had
its place in Romantic thinking or Bergson's philosophy - two influences he
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