I hope you will respond to the new topic I hope to try out on how your
reading of Eliot changes over time and with new information. I agree
that long education in Eliot limits the sudden insights others get at
the same time as it opens other insights. So I feel I can track my own
intellectual interests and reactions on much broader issues by how I
felt about or read Eliot at different times. He seems to me one of
those writers whose meanings alter as we do, and that is the reason we
keep finding his work fascinating: it is not confined to the ways he
was read before. I find that especially interesting for a poet with so
narrow a range of emotional expression (despite its great intensity).
I agree also on your qualification about wikipedia--it could become a
good source with time and corrections. But it is so for you, I think,
because you have learned to distinguish what to rely on and what not.
Maybe its real value is for discussion by serious people and should not
be thought of as a form of encyclopedia for reliable information.
>>> Paul Meahan <[log in to unmask]> 05/27/07 11:05 PM >>>
I too have stayed away from posting for an extremely long time (so
long that I'd imagine few of you even remember me). There are aspects
of this list that are disheartening. I find that this has little to
do with the academic qualifications of the poster, and more to do with
the nature of the posts themselves. I am, I suppose, an "academic"
(as I am not an "artist" or whatever other qualifications/categories
that we have represented here). As far as I know, I have never
butchered rabbits and I rather enjoy change. This is to say, that
certain readings of poems are at times pooh-poohed on this list
because they are "academic" and I have no idea where that kind of
animosity comes from. Sometimes, not all times but upon occasion, a
person with an academic background in Eliot knows something more about
a poem because of what he or she has read, written, or studied. That
should be obvious, and should not be threatening. Conversely, I (as
one of the self-styled academics) ought to remember that my reading of
Eliot is constrained by my education despite my love for him. I miss
things all of the time that "non-academics" on this list prioritise.
It gives me pause to think. If I disagree with what you have said, I
do not believe that telling you so diminishes you. It may diminish
your ideas, or you may diminish mine ... that is the nature of a
debate and I am willing to accept that. It does not, as far as I am
aware, cause harm to furry animals of any species.
Oh, and I love Wikipedia, though I also caution my students against
using it. The selling point for me is the discussion tab, where many
serious people are trying to asymptotically "get it right". It is a
project that grows, and hopefully its accuracy will also grow over
time. The more concerned and knowledgeable posters, the better the
I will again endeavour to participate on the list. But I am sorry,
Nancy, that I have very little knowledge concerning WWI and TWL other
than the usual stuff that you can read anywhere.
Quoting Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>:
> First, this falls into the typical personal attack I have been
> Second, I have nothing more to say on this topic. I am interested in
> the issue of wikipedia because it is, in fact, a serious concern that
> students now use online sources without understanding how to find
> reliable ones. And I am interested in how we understand Eliot and his
> work as a whole. I am not at all interested in your analysis of my
> If there is anyone left on this list who is interested in discussion
> poetry and ideas, I'd love to participate; in fact, I think a serious
> discussion of the implications of online materials would be valuable
> possibly fascinating if it opened up access to Eliot materials not
> everyone can find otherwise and that can be explained to students who
> need to know how to use it. My point from the beginning has been that
> do not want to participate in the kind of thing said here.
> Okay, hands up everyone who didn't see that coming....
> *rolls eyes*
> Seriously, if you fail to see why people react to your posts the way
> they do, might I suggest re-reading your first three paragraphs,
> particularly for tone and preferably in a workshop of people unaware
> the author? I suspect the words "bellicose," "indignant" and
> "hectoring" would come up immediately (c.f., the "IF I HAD"
> cyber-shouting). But don't take my word for it; gather your own
> evidence. I guarantee, though, that no one will offer "magnanimous."
> Except perhaps the author.
>>>> Dr J <[log in to unmask]> 05/27/07 4:48 PM >>>