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TSE  November 2006

TSE November 2006

Subject:

Re: Eliot's creative process

From:

Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Sat, 25 Nov 2006 17:51:47 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (125 lines)

Dear CR:  I've heard world-renowned physicists on "Nova" express 
bewilderment as to how on earth Einstein came up with his General Theory, 
even as they now are amazed by Witten's development of M-theory. Einstein's 
and Witten's insights are so extra-rational that their source seems 
unfathomable.

I suppose anyone who goes so far beyond the most brilliant people in his or 
her field will seem to have almost shamanistic access to that field's 
secrets. As a poet, I feel that way about Eliot. No matter how much one 
studies his work and his prose writings, the gift that enabled him to create 
poetry that is among the best if not the best of his time remains a mystery. 
It seems he was a bit bewildered as to its sources himself! Best wishes and 
thanks for expressing the amazement about Eliot that I for one share. Diana
.


From:  cr mittal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:  "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To:  [log in to unmask]
Subject:  Re: Eliot's creative process
Date:  Thu, 23 Nov 2006 10:43:17 -0800



Thanks, Diana, for your very heart-warming note. Absolutely right --

I have been thinking along these lines too, intrigued by what you

aptly put in the subject-line as "Eliot's creative process". Yes, it has

so many dimensions to it and has engaged the critics' attention all

along. It's something that intrigued Eliot himself and he attempted to

describe it now-in-this-now-in-that fashion -- no wonder there have

been contradictions which cease to be so as part of an all-inclusive

whole, as you put it.



Thanks too for putting in the article "T.S. Eliot and the Poem Itself"
by Denis Donoghue. I have yet to read it though. I've been awfully

busy with family and friends.



And I'm grateful to María Laura Balbín for that quotation from Peter
Ackroyd. Since I had Ackroyd's book, I instantly rushed to read it

and found it was precisely this experience of Eliot vis-a-vis poetic

creation that accounted for the way how 'What The Thunder Said'

got composed.



Peter Montgomery's observations in this regard have been

greatly illuminating.



Well, I'm in the process of typing out some interesting material on

this from Peter Ackroyd (including the English version of what Laura

quoted in German).



And I'd like to read that article by Donoghue before I finally

get back to the List.



Best regards.



~ CR



Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:




Dear CR:

One wonders what all Eliot scholarship implies if it is not an explication 
of his creative process -- not only why he chose this image or phrase or 
cadence, but how it came to him, and what part it plays in his larger 
vision. Eliot himself asserted that he did not understand his own creative 
process. The remark he made about keeping his hand in with practice verses 
so he would be ready when real poetry arrived testifies to that.

Bergonzi quotes Eliot's assertions that the creative process is irrational 
and possibly dangerous. Eliot himself believed its source to be a 
"primitive" part of the psyche. Perhaps the discussion in this list on Eliot 
and the primitive is pertinent to developing insight into his creativity.

The source of great work is always mysterious, even to the artist who 
produces
it.  Beethoven, Picasso, the Beatles, Stravinsky, Jackson Pollock....what 
possessed them? Where did their originality come from? This curiosity is not 
the exclusive possession of Eliot admirers. If the public's ongoing interest 
in the wellsprings of genius constitutes a cult, it is a very inclusive one. 
Diana

.




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