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TSE  February 2005

TSE February 2005

Subject:

Re: Eliot on Lawrence

From:

Vishvesh Obla <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Wed, 9 Feb 2005 08:27:58 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (109 lines)

Rick,

You never cease to amaze me by the relevant quotes you
could pull out from the web.

I enjoyed reading Herman Hesse's short article on D's
'Idiot'.

- vishvesh

PS : I am just curious to know if Eliot has made any
note on other Russian Novelists, Gogol in particular.

--- "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Vishvesh Obla wrote:
> >
> > That Eliot could relate Dostoyevsky when he spoke
> of
> > Lawrence is interesting to me precisely because of
> > what Lawrence thought of Russian Literature,
> > Dostoevsky in particular.
>
>
>
> Let me add the paragraph Eliot wrote just before
> Lawrence one.
> In this one he writes of Dostoevsky.  Remember, this
> is just after
> the English translations of Hesse's Dostoevsky
> essays from
> "Blick ins Chaos" were published in "The Dial."
> For info and text:
>
>
http://world.std.com/~raparker/exploring/books/hesse_glimpse.html
>
>
>    Both Miss Sinclair and Miss Stern--this type of
> fiction would appear
> to be practised rather by women, and rather by
> extremely intelligent
> women--are too shrewd, I imagine, to pass on to the
> third or
> Dostoevsky type of novel. I recall one very
> interesting essay in this
> kind, Mr Murry's Still Life revolting form of
> spiritual corruption:
> but the method has produced more failures than
> successes. All
> novelists are dangerous models for other novelists,
> but Dostoevsky--a
> Russian known only through one translation--is
> especially
> dangerous. For the method is only permissable if you
> see things the
> way Dostoevsky saw them. I would not disparage a
> great writer by
> pointing to the fortunes of his offspring. One
> reason of Dostoevsky's
> appeal to the British mind is that he appears to
> satisfy the usual
> definition of genius; that is, an infinite capacity
> for taking no
> pains. On the other hand it is no good making a
> gospel of taking
> pains, either; if a writer has not the standard of
> perfection in
> himself, he will not acquire it from public
> agitation in favour of
> "technique." (I have even read in a newspaper
> article in this country,
> that the highest form of literary genius is
> indifferent to very
> careful execution. It is truer to say that every
> good writer will be
> careful about what is important for his purpose--but
> purposes vary
> indefinitely.) My own view is that Dostoevsky had
> the gift, a sign of
> genius in itself, for utilizing his weaknesses; so
> that epilepsy and
> hysteria cease to be the defects of an individual
> and become--as a
> fundamental weakness can, given the ability to face
> it and study
> it--the entrance to a genuine and personal universe.
> I do not suppose
> that Dostoevsky's struggles were fundamentally alien
> to Flaubert's. I
> cannot believe, at all events, that Dostoevsky was a
> muddle-headed
> soul-struggler anymore than I can believe that Plato
> was an Oxford
> don. Of course, he sometimes parodies himself (his
> parodies are
> instructive); but anything, unless it is as well
> done as it can be
> done, may be ridiculous.
>





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