This discussion is not about "sides" or conspiracies against Eliot's
importance or anything so trivial and silly. It is about the meaning of
the words "author" or "writer." No one disagrees on what happened--we
have all read the material on the composition of the poem. The question
is about what that means for the relation of a creator of words on the
page and a sense of ownership. It is a large, complex issue and not
anything so simple as "sides."
It is counterproductive to any real insight to set up the discussion as
a competition of praise vs. derogation--no mattter how amused it makes
anyone to mock.
In any case, it becomes increasingly clear that we are not talking about
the same thing at all but conducting parallel monologues. If one thinks
this is about affirming Eliot's importance and protecting him from
conspiracies (a sad waste of time, as his work stands on its own)--or if
one thinks it is about sacralizing Eliot, then there is no point in
addressing the questions of meaning and author. And vice versa.
But I am at a loss as to why anyone can imagine that people spend their
lives writing about someone they are conspiring to reduce. There are
very different ways to affirm importance, and they are not limited to
constant praise or idealizing or protecting.
The desire to study and understand is the most serious way to
acknowledge importance, and it does not depend on withholding
critique--quite the contrary.
>>> [log in to unmask] 09/12/05 10:59 PM >>>
I'm with you, Marcia. I sense yet another conspiracy to downplay Eliot's
contribution/importance to modern poetry.
If Pound had contributed some actual verse, I believe the other side
might have a case. As it is, it is amusing to see the other side make
a case for McLuhan's adage that the medium IS the message.
If Pound was a co-authout, then so was Viv, but I don't see anyone
making a case for her. Alas poor Lady of Shallott. No one can see her,
even when it's to their advantage. Her support for what should remain
was as important as for what should be excised.
Marcia Karp wrote:
> Dear Jennifer,
> I know you weren't at the TSE Society meeting in Gloucester.
> Helen Vendler was quite vociferous, and I think, quite right, in
> taking on a claim someone made about Pound being E's collaborating
> author on TWL. I don't know if she is in print on this, but I wish
> she were, since I've lost the details of what she said.
> Like you, I believe there is a difference between wrote the poem
> and who didn't. I've yet to understand why it seems as if people
> discuss Eliot as if he is strange in being a poet who showed his work
> to other poets.
> Nancy Gish wrote:
>>I think this is a Jamesian quibble. No one thinks Pound held a gun at
>>Eliot's head and forced him to cut or die. We know he told him many
>>parts should be cut, and Eliot accepted the editing.
>>No one has to accept editing, true. But it was Pound who identified
>>this to be cut.
>>I don't care it you want to change the words because the facts are
>>known. A la James--it only makes a difference if it makes a
>>difference, and it doesn't.
>>>>>[log in to unmask] 09/12/05 12:28 PM >>>
>>I know we've had this quibble before, but, in contrary
>>to what you say this post (Revulsion) about Pound,
>>"[It was Pound who removed this stuff from TWL.]"
>>Pound did not, properly, remove anything from TWL. He
>>gave Eliot suggestions, and Eliot himself decided what
>>to alter and expunge; sometimes acting on Pound's
>>advice, sometimes disregarding it.
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
>Version: 7.0.344 / Virus Database: 267.10.19/92 - Release Date:
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.344 / Virus Database: 267.10.19/93 - Release Date: 9/8/2005