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TSE  March 2003

TSE March 2003

Subject:

Re: Soma !

From:

Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Tue, 4 Mar 2003 22:10:42 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (220 lines)

In Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD the people are kept controlled and
oppressed and given "soma" to make them oblivious.  I think that is the
reference.  (?)




Date sent:              Tue, 4 Mar 2003 16:31:27 -0800
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Vishvesh Obla <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Soma !
To:                     [log in to unmask]

On a lighter side, what do you mean by "Soma" addicts
? My guess is, that you assume it as the juices of
some kind of poppy that made the Vedic Brahmins
intoxicated, but in its reality it has mystic
connotations which could reverse the meaning of your
passage !  Eliot might have himself liked to drink the
juices of Soma. (He had a fascination for ancient
Indian thought, didnt he?)

vishvesh


--- Vishvesh Obla <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Here are some quotes I managed to type(They are from
> Leavis' book: D.H.Lawrence: novelist.  I dont have
> the
> original source)
>
> "Lawrence has three aspects, and it is very
> difficult
> to do justice to all.  I do not expect to be able to
> do so.  The first is the ridiculous: his lack of a
> sense of humour, a certain snobbery, a lack not so
> much of information as of the critical faculties
> which
> education should give, and an incapacity for what we
> ordinarily call thinking.  …secondly there is the
> extraordinarily keen sensibility and capacity for
> profound intuition – intuition from which he
> commonly
> he drew the wrong conclusion.  Third, there is a
> distinct sexual morbidity". (After Strange Gods)
>
> "He never succeeded in making a work of art"
> (criterion)
>
> "He was an impatient and impulsive man (or so I
> imagine him to have been; for, like the author of
> the
> book, I never knew him).  He was a man of fitful and
> profound insights, rather than of rationcinative
> powers; and therefore he was an impatient man; he
> expressed some of his insights in the form least
> likely to make them acceptable to most of his
> contemporaries, and sometimes in a form which almost
> willfully encouraged misunderstanding…Wrong as he
> often was (I think) from ignorance, prejudice, or
> drawing the wrong conclusions in his conscious mind
> form the insights which came to him from below
> consciousness: it will take time to dissociate the
> superficial error from the fundamental truth.  To
> me,
> also, he seems often to write very badly: but to be
> a
> writer who had to write often badly in order to
> write
> something well.  As for his religious attitude… we
> can
> now begin to see how much was ignorance, rather than
> hostility; for Lawrence was an ignorant man in the
> sense that he was unaware of how much he did not
> know... "
>
> Of Lawrence's mother:
> "Vague hymn-singing pietism…which does not seem to
> have provided her with any firm principles by which
> to
> scrutinize the conduct of her sons".(Foreword to
> D.H.Lawrence and Human Existence, by Fr. William
> Tiverton)
>
>
>
> --------------------------
>
> Peter Montgomery  wrote:I don't see anything wrong
> with being provocative.All ideas need to be
> challenged. My concern iswith the generalities,
> which
> imply that Eliot had anegative attitude to Lawrence.
> Fine. I agree that heprobably did. All I want is to
> see some of thestatements on which your, possibly
> valid, assertionis made.I haven't looked at that
> side
> of Eliot recently, so I'mnot familiar with the
> literature. How about a quote ortwo. Seems to me
> that
> Eliot was consistent with hisoriginal assertions in
> After Strange Gods that modernwriters like Lawrence,
> and I think he even cited Pound,crreated characters
> who lacked real will. They arepeople to whom things
> happen. He got Pound flippingmad on that subject,
> and
> as I remember they carriedon an endless
> correspondence
> in NEW about it. Nowthe question is, to what degree
> was Eliot influencedby another writer with his own
> anti-semetic bonesin his closet, Percy Wyndham Lewis
> and his book,MEN WITHOUT ART in which he tore into a
> numberof writers (including Eliot whom he called a
> PSEUDOIST)in some cases because they created
> characters wholacked executive will and
> intelligence.
> He drove Hemingwayto utter destructiveness with that
> criticism. Ol' Pappytore Shakespeare and Company to
> bits when he read that.Seems to me those are really
> important qurestions.So there. I've put some minimal
> specifics on the table,which I think are provocative
> and worth serious discussionin an age of Prufrocks
> who
> have no will, and littleintelligence. They are
> consumers. Soma addicts.Unfortunately I don't have
> time to look up more textsto broaden the
> discussion.So
> lets see some of your texts which show Eliot
> beingnegative about Lawrence.If I'm being critical,
> it
> is only about the lack of specifics,not about being
> provacative as such. Being provocativewithout
> specifics comes across as game playing. Fine.I'm
> happy
> to take you at your word as being serious.I just
> don't
> see how I can answer you without specifics.And I'm
> just an 'umble instructor at yer service. Noreal
> prof.:)Cheers,Peter.Dr. Peter C. Montgomery Dept. of
> English Camosun College 3100 Foul Bay Rd. Victoria,
> BC
> CANADA V8P 5J2 [log in to unmask]
> www.camosun.bc.ca/~peterm -----Original
> Message-----From: Vishvesh Obla
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]Sent: Tuesday, March
> 04, 2003 9:16 AMTo: [log in to unmask]: Re :
> Eliot and LawrenceDear Professor Montgomery, Let me
> say that I am sorry if I had offended anyone.  No, I
> didn't try to be provocative, but if I sounded so,
> let
> me first apologize for it.  I am quite baffled by
> Eliot's attitude towards Lawrence and I am only
> trying
> to see how far I have been right in understanding
> it.
> For, Eliot matters much  to me as Lawrence and
> Leavis
> do.  But I feel that behind the animosity shown by
> Eliot there is a key to a finer perception of both
> their art, and this is worth scrutiny.  Let me
> repeat
> again, that if I appear provocative in doing it, it
> is
> not intentional.   Dear Nancy,Thanks for your kind
> words. Nancy Gish  wrote:It is interesting that
> Eliot
> does provoke provocation to a serious end.
> Thecurrent
> issue of Modernism/Modernity is very provocative,
> but
> a set of veryserious scholars all seem to think the
> stakes important--on both sides ofthe anti-Semitism
> issue. I appreciate the post from Vishvesh as
> opening
> areal question about the ways Eliot spoke on
> culture.Had Eliot stuck to poetry and especially
> nonprovocative poetry (did hewrite any?), no doubt
> these questions would not come up. But Eliotchose to
> make cultural pronouncements. That is what creates
> the
> debate.NancyDate sent: Mon, 3 Mar 2003 19:29:36
> -0800Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
> From: Peter Montgomery Subject: Re: Re : Eliot and
> LawrenceTo: [log in to unmask]: Vishvesh Obla
> [mailto:[log in to unmask] COM]I remember some
> remarks made earlier that Eliot with his kind
> ofeducational, Elizabethan and religious background
> couldn't have foundLawrence to his liking. But when
> you read Eliot's comments on Lawrence,they appear
> much
> more than that ; nor can they be considered
> passingremarks or minor judgements, which could be
> flawed and hence not viewedseriously. There is a
> cynical force behind them which makes them all
> themore
> to be
>
analysed.===================================================You
> have some interesting generalisations here that make
> onethink that Eliot's view on Middleton might be
> brought into play,but without specifics, it's not
> really worth the effort. It's a wholelot easier just
> to think you are just being provocative to no good
> end.Dr. Peter C. MontgomeryDept. of EnglishCamosun
> College3100 Foul Bay Rd.Victoria, BC CANADA V8P
>
[log in to unmask]
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