I was surprised to see this mail, for I didn't receive
Ken's interesting mail that preceded it. I still have
issues with my mails bouncing. The previous mail that
I sent which had a note of Eliot and Pope bounced
twice before it passed through. Could this be fixed?
--- Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dear Ken,
> When words like "address. . . at a level he might
> "trampled," "foolishly," "mundanely" "predictable,"
> "complexify," [there is a verb: it's "complicate"],
> "in error," "a
> reflection on you," "you don't seem to understand,"
> "brandished," and
> "casting aspersions" are set in opposition to
> "absolute"--to which you
> claim access, there is no room for discussion.
> I do not need to "insert myself": I'm on the list,
> as are you, and it
> is an open forum.
> I think you claimed an opportunity; I don't recall
> offering it.
> >>> [log in to unmask] 09/22/05 10:32 PM >>>
> I was trying only to be accurate and to address
> Jacek at a level he
> comprehend, judging from the level at which he
> posts. And I would never
> snide to you, Nancy (how ever did you manage to
> insert yourself into
> as if I'd in anyway addressed you?) because (ok, now
> I'll address you)it
> would have no effect. As usual, when Eliot is to be
> trampled upon, and
> this case rather foolishly and mundanely, you are
> quick to defend the
> tramplers. It has long been, in its frequency,
> pitch, and content,
> predictable. Not too long ago, Jacek was howling
> about how you had to
> forth on every opinion opined on the list. Now he
> thinks you are so
> See the dynamics here?
> Shall I point out that it makes no difference how
> many critics wish to
> complexify their view of Eliot and to encourage each
> other in this
> enterprise if they are, to be neutral, in error?
> Communal and
> error, if you like. Your analytic strategy of
> separating what Eliot knew
> from what he did, and, incredibly, casting
> aspersions on his
> doesn't stand up to even a cursory examination. That
> you and however
> of your fellow critics pursue that line is really
> more a reflection on
> and them than on Eliot. It is belied utterly by the
> poetry, a truth
> 80's and 90's critics apparently have no purchase
> Your belief in progress, and group progress at
> that, is in a way
> admirable, but you don't seem to understand that no
> matter how many new
> "facts" are unearthed and are brandished by how ever
> many new (as in
> recent, current) critics, what makes the poetry
> poetry remains
> This is an absolute. This is an absolute, and
> someone who comprehended
> in 1951 or 1936 or 1922 cannot be trumped by the
> latest "theory" and its
> numerous declaimers in the 80's, 90's or any other
> time, or by some
> finally published in 2021.
> One's complexified view, when it does not grasp
> this fundamental truth,
> distracted from distraction by distraction, i.e. is
> more accurately
> described as compromised.
> As far as what I can imagine about you, it is that
> you probably won't
> accept any of this. And why should you? It's not
> what you see yourself
> invested in. But thank you for giving me the
> opportunity to express it.
> Ken A.
> --On Thursday, September 22, 2005 12:07 PM -0400
> Nancy Gish
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > I am not sure it is just a "machine," but Jacek is
> not at all into
> > baloney. It is a fact (from reading nearly every
> book on him) that,
> > unlike most writers, Eliot gets treated as a
> figure of moral or
> > spiritual or cultural authority largely on the
> basis of his own
> > assertion of morality, piety, and/or knowledge.
> The knowledge is
> > unquestionable; the morality and spirituality are
> > questionable, as witness the constant questions.
> It is pointless to
> > snide to Jacek or to me, given the strong reaction
> against Eliot's
> > claims in--especially--the 80s and 90s. At this
> point (and
> > and my book is part of this) a rethinking is in
> process that seeks a
> > more complex understanding. But it is not at all
> going back to the
> > hagiography Jacek notes on the basis of a great
> deal of writing. It's
> > just there.
> > Nancyu
> >>>> [log in to unmask] 09/22/05 10:37 AM >>>
> > At 07:06 PM 9/21/2005, you wrote:
> >> At least one can say in Bowra's favor
> that--together with John
> > Sparrow,
> >> F.R. Leavis, and recently departed David
> Daiches--he refused to be
> > taken
> >> in, and genuflect in front of, Eliot's PR
> > What baloney, Jacek. Now, I admit I still
> haven't pushed myself
> > through
> > all of the Eliot bio's, but I don't remember one
> single recounting of
> > the
> > "genuflection era." Taken in? Maybe they just
> weren't bright enough to
> > understand what was in front of them.
> > Yrs.,
> > Ken A.
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