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TSE  April 2005

TSE April 2005

Subject:

The personal?

From:

Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Fri, 1 Apr 2005 12:47:15 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (275 lines)

Dear Vishvesh,

Please read "The Love Song of St. Sebastion" and then see if anything you say here deals with it.  There is nothing IN the poem except an image of murder and S & M.  If you can find some "Poem" here that has nothing to do with the description (not "idea) here, I would be interested in what it is.  In any case, a poem is not simply an idea, but it is also not separate from ideas.  Poems often state ideas and often assume them or represent them.  To acknowledge that is not to reduce the poem to only an idea.  But I was not talking about ideas at all.

Example of "perversity":

I would come with a towel in my hand
And bend your head beneath my knees;
Your ears curl back in a certain way
Like no one's else in the world.
When all the world shall melt in the sun,
Melt or freeze,
I shall remember how your ears were curled.
I should for a moment linger
And follow the curve with my finger
And your head beneath my knees--
I think that at last you would understand.
There would be nothing more to say.
You would love me because I should have strangled you
And because of my infamy;
And I should love you the more because I had mangled you
And because you were no longer beautiful
To anyone but me.

Exactly what "ought" this to mean that has nothing to do with what it represents?

And surely you do not imagine that I add "spam."  I have no connection to the computer gods, who are arbitrary and peevish.
Nancy

>>> [log in to unmask] 04/01/05 11:55 AM >>>
Dear Nancy,

I think I meant the same what you had inferred when I
made a note of my usage of 'concern'.  Anyway, that is
not important here.

I didn't see any poem that you seem to have noted
earlier.  But I see your point in what you have
written now.  I would call this precisely as looking
for an 'idea' in a poem and not what the work as a
'poem' ought to mean.  You seem to me to already have
set your mind as to what you are going to look for in
the poem.  That it may have elements which may relate
to our general definition of 'perversity' doesn't
appear to me as a necessary interpretation for me. 
For all you could explain it, your definition of
perversity may itself be totally different to what
someone a hundred years before could have interpreted
it as !   

And a poem has its own perspective which we seem to
forget often in our reading of poetry.


PS : I can't figure out why the {spam} tag appears
only in the correspondence you have with me ! I remove
it every time but it appears when you reply.  Perhaps
it implies that you have already passed judgment on me
as a 'spammer' :) 



--- Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Dear Vishvesh,
> 
> I did not take "concern" personally; I took "mind"
> personally.
> 
> I did explain.  See the poems I noted.  I will be
> glad to quote them and add a definition of
> "perverse" if you wish.  By any standard, a poem
> about strangling a woman and sleeping with her is
> "perverse." So is a poem about Sweeney after sex,
> with an epileptic straining on the bed while he
> ignores her.  So is a poem about imagining oneself a
> young girl raped by an old man in a forest and also
> imagining oneself as the old man.  I can give a long
> list if you like.  
> 
> I was not in the least illogical.  You simply assert
> that term, but I was noting material in Eliot's
> work--which is simply there--and labeling it.  That
> is not logic; it is a judgment about perversity:  it
> fits the dictionary definitions.  There is no
> argument even to evaluate for logic.
> 
> And I quoted to cliché about consistency to make the
> point that it is not in itself a good, and that view
> is so common as to be a cliché.
> Nancy
> >>> [log in to unmask] 3/31/05 12:32:15 PM >>>
> Lets look at your third point, Nancy.  I am sorry if
> my choice of the word 'concern' hurt you.  It wasn't
> my intention.  I wanted to point out the lack of
> reasoning in that argument of yours.  Your personal
> feelings of hurt makes you only more illogical with
> irrelevant quotes, as it seems to me.
> 
> You have the choice to like or dislike Eliot.  But
> then when you make a public statement you also have
> the 'obligation' to defend it.  I made allusions to
> what needs to be concerned with by what seemed to me
> as lacking the logic of reasoning, in your
> statement. 
> You have taken it personal.  And I have always found
> one hardly makes a meaningful statement when one
> takes
> an argument personal.  
> 
> As to 'perverse', I am totally at a loss to
> understand
> what you mean by it.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> --- Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> > Dear Vishvesh,
> > 
> > First,
> > "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little
> > minds."    
> > Eliot's was neither consistent nor little.
> > 
> > Second, anyone who wrote "The Love Song of St.
> > Sebastion"  and the King
> > Bolo poems and the description of Fresca and the
> > Sweeney poems has an
> > element of perversity at least in the poetry.  So
> > does Dostoevsky, for
> > example.
> > 
> > Third,
> > Neither I not anyone has any obligation to think
> > anything or say
> > anything.  I have an obligation to what I think is
> > true.  Neither I nor
> > anyone--especially--has any obligation to admire
> or
> > respect or idealize
> > Eliot or anyone.  A public figure who publishes
> > poetry full of rapes and
> > images of murder must deal with whatever response
> > that evokes.
> > 
> > But I think it very rude to express concern about
> my
> > mind.  I'm sorry
> > you have no better concern.
> > Best,
> > Nancy 
> > 
> > >>> [log in to unmask] 03/31/05 9:30 AM >>>
> > "The 
> > idealized
> > Eliot is not--to me--of much interest. 
> Fortunately,
> > he too was much
> > more complicated, perverse, and inconsistent."
> > 
> > Dear Nancy,
> > 
> > Eliot doesn't need to 'idealized' or hagiographed.
> 
> > Any reader who has the habit of reading poetry
> > recognizes their worth for what they are.  
> > 
> > I don't really understand what you are trying to
> > prove
> > by saying that he was 'inconsistent'.  To say he
> is
> > complicated is one thing, as it appears to me, but
> > to
> > associate it in the same breath that he was
> > 'perverse'
> > and 'inconsistent' is another, which raises
> concern
> > not about Eliot but about the person who said it. 
> > There are apparent flaws in his prose, which have
> > been
> > critically censured by equally great critics as
> > Richards and Leavis.  I gave myself an example of
> > how
> > his criticism could be skewed at times (as regards
> > D.H.Lawrence), but then it was, I believe, an
> > outcome
> > of the literary factors that shaped his mind than
> > any
> > mere personal qualities of inconsistency or
> > perversity.  
> > 
> > I think you need to say a lot more if you want to
> > find
> > fault with Eliot, for he is, whether you accept it
> > or
> > not, a towering figure in the literary world who
> > matters to anyone to whom Literature is a source
> for
> > life.  
> > 
> > - vishvesh
> > 
> > - vishvesh
> > 
> > --- Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > > Dear Peter,
> > > 
> > > I apologize for thinking you said something
> > > interesting.  I do not think
> > > hagiography is interesting, but apparently you
> do.
> > > 
> > > What was becoming an interesting discussion of
> > > "personality" in poetry
> > > is once again reduced to personal remarks and
> > > idealizing.  The idealized
> > > Eliot is not--to me--of much interest. 
> > Fortunately,
> > > he too was much
> > > more complicated, perverse, and inconsistent.
> > > Nancy
> > > 
> > > >>> [log in to unmask] 03/30/05 4:07 PM >>>
> > > You did not. Carrol is just being mischievious.
> > > I did make a booboo when I wrote faulty instead
> of
> > > fault.
> > > It should have read "The fault is not so much in
> > > Eliot
> > > as in his starry-eyed followers." Eliot was a
> > > powerful
> > > thinker in a time which did not provide him with
> > all
> > > that much
> > > competition. He got the most attention, and so
> his
> > > pedestalis-
> > > ation ensued, especially in academia. Even
> though
> > he
> > > was anti-
> > > cademic in a lot of ways, he was viewed as
> > academic,
> > > again
> > > because of the power of his mind and
> imagination.
> > > 
> > > P.
> > > 
> > > Nancy Gish wrote:
> > > 
> > > >Perhaps I misread Peter:  I thought he was
> > calling
> > > those who idealize
> > > >Eliot "starry-eyed," not those who find fault.
> > > >
> > > >????????
> > > >Nancy
> > > >
> > > >  
> > > >
> > > >>>>[log in to unmask] 03/29/05 11:17 PM >>>
> > > >>>>        
> 
=== message truncated ===



		
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