I'm sure you have the correct quotation. Bad memory and quick response.
I should have looked it up. I was focusing on the idea of precision and
remembered the line, and I should have taken the time to look it up.
Date sent: Sun, 18 May 2003 21:41:58 -0400
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Eliot's precision and Eliot precisely
To: [log in to unmask]
Nancy Gish wrote:
>It was Eliot who wanted to
>"purify the dialect of the tribe," and except in dramatic dialogue, his
>own language was precise, perfected, and always carefully edited. He
>was, after all, an editor. And he commented on the importance of
>editing. He said of editors when he sent TWL to the Dial "I hope they
>don't bitch the punctuation because it's essential."
Funny -- he wrote something similar, but more euphonic and precise to
Quinn in a letter July 19, 1922:
"I only hope the printers are not allowed to bitch the punctuation and
the spacing, as that is very important for the sense."
To my ear "because it's essential" sounds a rather clod-footed end to the
sentence. Are you sure that's what he wrote?