THE ELDERSTATESMAN has as its base, Sophocles' OEDIPUS AT COLONUS,
in which Oedy's presence in a grove figures significantly. Claverton's
under the beech tree at the end, reflects OE @ C. The difference is that
OE @ C's grove consists of shade giving vines, olive trees and laurel,
if the translation I have is accurate. Eliot's variance is obviously then,
meant to be
significant. The beech is obviously not an olive, nor a yew, nor is it a
The ASH WEDNESDAY white leopards wouldn't fit here very well.
OFF TOPIC ISSUE:
At least I know you (ie Nancy G.) have read the point of the play.
The Oxford lexicographers made no such note as yours.
They also observe the use of MAN as generic in the entry on that word
(much too longt o reproduce here). It is given as the second entry
and then here and there throughout. They indicate that it can be used
as synonymous with person or one. They do observe that some people
consider it sexist.
Should you wish to welcome them to your club as well,
their address is Oxford University Press,
70 Wynford Drive,
Don Mill, Ontario M3C 1J9
My own preference to the phrase "politically correct" is a bit awkward
but I think more precise: "infected by sexual politics".
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 11:29 PM
Subject: Re: Elderstatesman
> And disputing what is part of the history of the language is a form of
> political correctness that assumes a political value in making males the
> norm. The dispute is simply a result of the long sustaining of a
> political claim. So welcome to the comically deplorable group of the
> politically correct of 17th C conservative politics.
> >>> [log in to unmask] 04/10/06 11:59 PM >>>
> I love it. :) You almost scked me in.
> I guess ifwe are going to commit the blatant kind of
> list abuse which Gunnae sucked us into, we might as well be
> on topic.
> I am findng the Oxford Canadian Dictionary an invaluable
> resource. It confirmswhat I read in THE WHITE GODDESS
> too long ago to be useful, that the etymology of the word "book"
> takes "book" back to "beech" the bark oif which was used for
> Now, to connect that with THE ELDER STATESMAN one
> has to look at the symbolic use o the book there-in.
> It is an objective correlative for life. Eliot looking at the end of his
> career in an elaborate book shop.
> Just for the sheer impish pleasure of it, I also looked up
> "they, their &c" in The Oxford Canadian Dictionary.
> Under #4 it registers the usage with the word DISPUTED,
> mentioning it as common in speech, less so but growing in writing.
> It also says it is deplored by some people. It doesn't mention that
> among those people would be my English dept (20 odd members),
> two-thirds of whom are women. The usage is just plain officially
> not accepted. I am so happy to be amongst such deplorable company.
> When the topic comes around to politically correct usage, everyone
> just laughs.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 3:23 PM
> Subject: Re: Elderstatesman
> > Peter Montgomery wrote:
> > >
> > > Now that we have all that out of our systems, I would like to raise
> > > a question I raised before, and for which, as far as I can recall,
> > > I got no response:
> > > Why does Eliot have Lord Claverton face his mortal end under a
> > > beech tree?
> > This is an allusion to Dante's "Inferno" Canto XXIV where Dante and
> > Virgil meet Count Tutti di Frutti who also died under a beech tree
> > but by being torn apart by a supposedly friendly dog which was way
> > to aggressive in defending her litter (this allusion also being used
> > by Eliot in "Dans le Restaurant" and "The Waste Land".) Anyway,
> > di Frutti summarizes his death with the well-known quote
> > (Longfellow translation): "Life's a beech, then you die."
> > Regards,
> > Rick Parker
> > --
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