I remember a time from the late 50's up to about the mid-70s when Eliot
was considered the high priest of poetry and poetics. His effect on people
interested in mysticism was also very strong, but morality? Maybe in the
Church of England, I really couldn't say. I know he was extremely involved
in all the discussions going on, one way and another, and maybe his poetic
aura rubbed off on his admirers engaging in the debate. He certainly had a
lot to say on the subject, and illustrated much of his thinking through
but neither his prose, nor his drama had hit status on the basis of
In fact only THE COCKTAIL PARTY had anything like hit status at all, being
the only play ever to be popular on Broadway and Shaftesbury Ave at the same
time, and that because of its entertainment value. If he was promoting
as the high priest of morality, he certainly didn't achieve the status.
I suppose the critical negativity is inevitable. As the great Mexican
between left and right in the US shows that, in some quarters, raising
of morality in public at all, is considered more revolting than letting
go a good
Ken Armstrong wrote:
> 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 machine,
> 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.
> Ken A.
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