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TSE  January 2006

TSE January 2006

Subject:

Re: Harold Bloom mentions Eliot

From:

Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Sat, 31 Dec 2005 23:00:17 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (141 lines)

Perhaps among discernning critics. His exposure is to the general reader,
but with the letters and position of an expert.
Peter
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, December 31, 2005 8:44 AM
Subject: Re: Harold Bloom mentions Eliot


> Not really.  Some people are influenced and just as many are simply put
> off.  He does not carry that weight.   Plenty of equally or more read
> critics would counter his views.
> Nancy
>
> >>> [log in to unmask] 12/27/05 2:33 PM >>>
> Bloom is also a noted and high influential member of an
> important English Dept. in an important university, who gets
> everything published he writes and who gets high profile
> interviews to  promote his works. His promotion of bad writing
> has serious consequences.
>
> Peter
>
> Quoting Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>:
>
> > Bloom is an individual, not a genre.  If he writes absurd blether, it
> > says nothing about the death of anything literary. A great deal of
> > dramatic trash was being written at the same time Shakespeare was
> > writing Hamlet and Lear.  Colley Cibber's bad writing made possible
> some
> > fine satire.  There is always a lot of bad writing and some good and a
> > rare bit of great.
> > Nancy
> >
> >
> > >>> [log in to unmask] 12/23/05 4:24 PM >>>
> > Just another symptom of the death of  the  genre.
> > P.
> >
> > Quoting Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>:
> >
> > > And if I were to say "If Margery Kemp and Christine de Pizan,
> between
> > > them, define the European self, then Mrs. Pontellier and "Emily
> > > Dickinson" (the persona, not the woman)  suggest a very different
> self
> > > from the European?
> > >
> > > How can such stuff still be written or read seriously?
> > > Nancy
> > >
> > >
> > > >>> [log in to unmask] 12/18/05 6:02 PM >>>
> > > Tabitha Arnesen wrote:
> > > >
> > > > This might be of interest:
> > >
> > > > He also says "...Hamlet and Don Quixote, between them,
> > > > define the European self..."
> > > >
> > > > Riiiiigghhhht....trying to define a continent of 47
> > > > countries (according to wikipedia) and 100's of
> > > > peoples by two books written 400 years ago is so
> > > > beyond moronic and pointless I need to invent new words.
> > >
> > > There was a rhetorical "If" starting that statement.  Bloom didn't
> > > seem as interested in in defining the European self as pointing out
> > > the importance of Whitman defining America.  The Bloom sentence in
> > > full is "If Hamlet and Don Quixote, between them, define the
> European
> > > self, then Captain Ahab and "Walt Whitman" (the persona, not the
> man)
> > > suggest a very different self from the European."  In this case, in
> > > the statement of "If X, then Y" the speaker glides over the X (note
> > > Bloom didn't make his case for X at all) into the Y hoping that the
> X
> > > seems so obvious that the Y should be as well.
> > >
> > >
> > > Bloom's article also had this statement:
> > >    The Waste Land initially was an elegy for Jean Verdenal, who had
> > been
> > >    to Eliot what Rupert Brooke was to Henry James.  Whitman's
> "Lilacs"
> > >    elegy for Lincoln became James's favourite poem, and it deeply
> > >    contaminates The Waste Land."
> > >
> > > Now this seems really sloppy.  Bloom has high regard for Whitman,
> > > Eliot and Eliot's "The Waste Land."  TWL is so heavy into allusion
> > > that you can't really say it contaminates the poem, it almost IS the
> > > poem.  So that leads one to believe that it is the allusion to
> Whitman
> > > alone that makes the poem impure. But that seems to go against
> Bloom's
> > > regard for Whitman.  I can see Bloom wanting to say that TWL is
> > > infused with Whitman but I can't see why he wants us to think of
> > > Whitman as a polluting influence.
> > >
> > > All in all, for me, the essay was a waste of time.
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > >     Rick Parker
> > >
> > >
> > > P.S.  Here is an elier Bloom on Whitman, Eliot and TWL:
> > >
> > >    The Waste Land is an American self-elegy masking as a
> mythological
> > > romance, a Romantic crisis poem pretending to be an exercise in
> > > Christian irony.  Mask and pretence, like the invention of more
> > > congenial fathers and ancestors, are customary poetic tropes, and
> > > certainly not to be censured. They are part of any poet's magic, or
> > > personal superstition, and they help to get authentic poems
> > > written. The Waste Land, rather than Four Quartets or the verse
> > > dramas, is Eliot's major achievement, a grand gathering of great
> > > fragments, and indisputably the most influential poem written in
> > > English in our century. I read it, on evidence internal and
> external,
> > > as being essentially a revision of Whitman's final great
> achievement,
> > > "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd," ostensibly an elegy for
> > > Lincoln, but more truly the poet's lament for his own poethood.
> Elegy
> > > rather than brief epic or quest-romance, The Waste Land thus enters
> > > the domain of mourning and melancholia, rather than that of
> > > civilization and its discontents.
> > >
> > > T.S. Eliot's 'The Waste Land.'  (Modern Critical Interpretations)
> > > Harold Bloom ed.  (Chelsea House Publishers, New York)  1986.
> > > pp. 1-7  (ISBN 1-55546-0380-0)
> > >
> >
>
>
> --
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.1.371 / Virus Database: 267.14.9/217 - Release Date: 12/30/2005
>
>

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