I'll try to start one. I have been rereading Grover Smith's 1956 T. S.
ELIOT'S POETRY AND PLAYS: A STUDY IN SOURCES AND MEANING. It is an
amazing book in the totality of knowledge he brought to it and the
massive sources he identified. But he fascinates me because he reads
Eliot through sources, but he also states several times that the poetry
had to come also from personal experience and feeling. Yet at the time,
almost no personal information was available. For example, he says at
one point that if we knew the personal background of BN, it would
probably alter how we read it. Now that Lyndall Gordon has revealed so
much of that background, it does change it profoundly for me since I
first read it. I also once read it and wrote about it almost totally
from its relation to philosophies of time. But knowing that Eliot
visited Burnt Norton with Emily Hale at that time changes the images and
So I would love to know if others find their own ways of reading
changing as we know more and more about Eliot. Interestingly, Eliot
himself insisted that new work altered the past as well as the present,
and that new information changed our readings.
Cheers and Hello Marcia and Simon,
>>> Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]> 05/27/07 6:21 PM >>>
The balance of interests on this forum changes from time to time. I,
too, am not happy with the current state of back-patting and over-praise
(both of Eliot and of list members). Things will change again if a
compelling discussion gets going, but it has been a long time since one
of those has occurred.
I don't think difficulties here have to do with academic/non-academic
posts, but with claims that are presented as belonging to unspecified
critics, for instance, when they are personal claims. These latter are
fine when identified as such.
I am glad, Nancy, to see you back.
Simon Kershaw wrote:
> Dr J wrote:
>> Okay, hands up everyone who didn't see /that/ coming....
> For goodness' sake this is all rather pathetic, isn't it? Did. Didn't.
> Did. Didn't. Did. I'll thcream and thcream and thcream until I'm
> How about we all discuss Eliot? That's what I joined this list for.
> Personally I am happy to see both academic and non-academic posts and
> a range of views. I think that I'm able to judge each type of post on
> its merits.