Wasnt Eliot sarcastic on Arnold for his belief that
poetry would replace religion or for his belief that
the best part of religion in only in the 'poetry' of
--- Jennifer Formichelli <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dear Peter,
> I cannot, I am afraid, agree with this summation:
> > Interesting. The only reason I use the word
> > touchstone is because it is a modern synonym for
> > a proof rock. Conceivably Eliot was making his
> > own commentary on Arnold by using that name.
> I should need to see some evidence to be convinced
> that this line has
> any sort of allusion in it (ie references to Eliot's
> knowledge of
> Arnold at the time, his concern with his work, and
> comparing this to
> the specific context in which Arnold uses the word).
> It seems from here
> even very unlikely to be a coincidence . Therefore,
> the summation you
> make from such an unsupported inference seems to me
> a rather precarious.
> Eliot's quarrel with the idea that the arts, esp.
> > poetry could be a source of salvation for man
> > seems to have started very early in his critical
> > development.
> If you are interested, however, you might look at a
> book called Poetry
> and Religion, by Santayana (c 1908 r 1909). As you
> know, Eliot
> mentioned Santayana's Three Religious Poets on
> several occasions, and I
> believe he studied with him at Harvard. The
> complaint about poetry and
> salvation does not surface until 1932, in his talk
> on Arnold given in
> UPUC (I believe it is also levelled in a more minor
> way against
> Richards in the last lecture in 1933). This talk was
> of course given
> when he went back to Harvard; but I should certainly
> need to see more
> evidence to the effect that this was latent in
> Eliot's mind from 1911,
> or 'very early', as you put it.
> This list is not only for scholars, but it may not
> be a bad idea for
> any poster to back their claims with scholarship
> (which, as Eliot said,
> even in its humblest forms, has its rights).
> By the way, I see no reason for being unwarrantedly
> suspicious of the
> title of Professor; respect, I should guess, is due
> to those who earn
> Sincerely, Jennifer
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