Oh don't be silly. I just finished my third book on Eliot (this one co-
edited). No one spends a life doing that out of animus. If you can't
make a point, why blether?
Katherine Anne Porter, like everyone before the necessary research
on language, was taught that "man" and "he" were grammatically
correct terms for the third person. Everyone else was taught the
same. It happens to be nonsense.
The gendered third person was created in the late 17th-early 18th C
by grammarians (happened to all be male) on grounds that the male
was "more inclusive." It has nothing to do with grammar and
everything to do with the historical construction of maleness as the
human norm. In fact in Anglo-Saxon there is a distinction between
"man" (adult human), "wifman" (female human), and "werman" (male
human). If you want to understand the issue, read the OED entry
on "man" or take a course in history of the language. If you know
nothing about it (as your comment suggests), why carp?
I have decided it is pointless to respond courteously to trolling and
Date sent: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 15:11:37 -0500
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Poets on poetry
To: [log in to unmask]
At 12:07 PM 12/1/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>Eliot was so often pronouncing from on high that he may not have
>noticed that expression is altered all the time by non-genius.
I think if you get your animus for Eliot behind bars, you'll agree that
the above is at best a pretty weak proposition.
> It is
>being altered now by advertising and computer, though I can't say I
>like the changes, and it is certainly not driven by genius (nor by "a
I haven't tried to track down the quote, but I wonder if TSE might
have been referring to artistic expression? If I quote my old thesis
subject Katherine Anne Porter and she used, fifty years ago, a
phrase like "man of genius" or the pronoun "he" for "the artist," is it
important that at each eruption of the way we were I point out that
that isn't the way we need to be? Would I be giving the false
impression that KAP was particularly prone to that "mistake."