Ken Armstrong wrote:
> I was trying only to be accurate and to address Jacek at a level he
> might comprehend, judging from the level at which he posts. And I
> would never be snide to you, Nancy (how ever did you manage to insert
> yourself into this 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 in 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 hold forth on every opinion opined on
> the list. Now he thinks you are so kind. 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
> fashionable error, if you like. Your analytic strategy of separating
> what Eliot knew from what he did, and, incredibly, casting aspersions
> on his spirituality, doesn't stand up to even a cursory examination.
> That you and however many of your fellow critics pursue that line is
> really more a reflection on you and them than on Eliot. It is belied
> utterly by the poetry, a truth those 80's and 90's critics apparently
> have no purchase on.
> 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
> untouched. This is an absolute. This is an absolute, and someone who
> comprehended it 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 letters finally published in 2021.
> One's complexified view, when it does not grasp this fundamental
> truth, is 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 extremely
>> questionable, as witness the constant questions. It is pointless to be
>> snide to Jacek or to me, given the strong reaction against Eliot's
>> claims in--especially--the 80s and 90s. At this point (and Cassandra's
>> 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.
>>>>> [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
>>> F.R. Leavis, and recently departed David Daiches--he refused to be
>>> in, and genuflect in front of, Eliot's PR machine,
>> What baloney, Jacek. Now, I admit I still haven't pushed myself
>> all of the Eliot bio's, but I don't remember one single recounting of
>> "genuflection era." Taken in? Maybe they just weren't bright enough to
>> understand what was in front of them.
>> Ken A.
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