Very interesting. It almost looks like sabotage, or really bad editing/typesetting -- or the author's trying to recall these quotations from memory -- there are just too many errors to be believed in Rainey's work under review. (In an oddly parallel way, TSE occasionally quoted from memory, without checking the quotations against the original text.)
Because I knew Rainey (slightly, from Valparaiso Univ, where he was a student and I faculty, 35 years ago) I asked him for a piece on TSE for my essay collection published in ANQ. (A mutual friend had told me Lawrence had discovered evidence on the sequence of composition of TWL based on analysis of the letter bond with which TSE typed the Ms.) I tried to obtain it from Lawrence, but he already had other plans for it. -- cheers, -- Jim Loucks
James Loucks, Ph.D.
Ohio State University-Newark
1179 University Dr.
Newark, OH 43055-1797
[log in to unmask]
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. on behalf of Peter Montgomery
Sent: Fri 27-Jan-06 5:31 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Lawrence Rainey! Duck!!
A hit sir, a palpable hit!!! ;->
That old pedastel just won't let go of its honoured guest.
He's on there with crazy glue, to stay.
Lay on MacDuff.
Quoting Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>:
> Quite an article in the new Essays in Criticism on Lawrence Rainey's
> unreliable handling, in all respects, of The Waste Land. By one J. McCue. A
> couple of samples:
> "Whatever the audience, it is an editor's first duty to present a reliable
> text. Yet whether in the poem itself or in Eliot's notes, in the supporting
> material from his journalism or in the editorial apparatus, Rainey fails to
> print the right words. Eliot did not write 'A poet like Donne, or like
> Baudelaire or Laforgue, may also be considered the inventor of an attitude'
> (p. 146); he wrote 'may almost be considered the inventor of an attitude'.
> He did not write 'But the effect of the portraits of Dryden is to turn the
> object into something greater' (p. 177); he wrote 'is to transform the
> object into something greater'. He did not write 'I can say nothing about
> either of the two new ballets' (p. 184); he wrote 'either of the new
> ballets'. He did not write 'He has his favourites, and they are chosen by
> his emotion rather than design' (p. 185); he wrote 'and these are chosen'.
> He did not write 'Mr. Strachey never seems to impose himself, he never
> drives towards a theory' (p. 186); he wrote 'he never drives a hint towards
> a theory'. He did not write 'the poets of the seventeenth century (up to
> the Revolution) were the direct and natural development of the precedent
> age' (p. 196); he wrote 'direct and normal development'. He did not write
> 'if we are to judge of styles of poetry by their abuse, examples may be
> found in Cleveland to justify Johnson's condemnation' (p. 194); he wrote
> 'enough examples'.
> Enough examples to justify condemnation? Clearly, and these all come from
> the sixty-five pages of 'Eliot's Contemporary Prose'. Failures in
> transcription continue throughout the book. As well as in Eliot's prose and
> poetry, English and French, there are errors in quotations from Augustine,
> Baudelaire, the Bible, Catullus, John Day, Dryden, Gautier, Goldsmith,
> Hazlitt, Hesse, Henry King, Kyd, Marvell, Milton, Gérard de Nerval, Poe,
> Sappho, Shakespeare, Spenser, Tennyson, Verlaine and Webster. Almost
> anywhere the reader stops to compare a quotation with its original, he will
> find something wrong with it, and these failings are especially damaging
> because The Waste Land makes so much of quotation and misquotation. It may
> be a poem about the loss of cultural memory, but an editor need not
> demonstrate by example."
> Rainey even publishes (and copyrights!) the poem as _Waste Land_. No "The"
> for this latter day revision.
> A close readings go, McCue's article reveals more than a near miss. Or
> less. It seems clear that the what moves Rainey in his Eliot criticism, as
> with not a few others, is his dislike of Eliot.
> "Eliot could scarcely have been more prescient about The Waste Land and the
> change of perspective it effected. As if to confirm his continued adherence
> to this highly original and immensely influential vision of tradition, he
> quoted it soon after The Waste Land, at the beginning of 'The Function of
> Criticism' in 1923. Rainey sceptically comments that the writings of 1921
> could be called classicist 'only by a remarkable extension of the term',
> without realising that this extension is precisely what Eliot achieved.
> What is so new about The Waste Land is the way it makes use of the old.
> Yet Rainey thinks Eliot was fiddling the record when, 'perhaps innocently',
> he misdated 'Tradition and the Individual Talent' to 1917 (rather than
> 1919) and made it 'the gateway into that vast graveyard known as his
> Selected Essays'. Since the running order of Selected Essays was explicitly
> non-chronological (and its earliest essay is from 1919 anyway), the
> suspicion is unwarranted,"
> Well, these are only snippets. But it doesn't get better.
> Ken A.
> Ken A.