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TSE  June 2007

TSE June 2007

Subject:

Re: {Disarmed} Re: Of "awful daring"

From:

Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Thu, 14 Jun 2007 15:40:33 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (272 lines)

I think that what was being addressed was not his comfort but Emily's.
No doubt he did what he felt was best for himself.
Nancy

>>> Kate Troy <[log in to unmask]> 06/14/07 11:10 AM >>>
No doubt, he was flattered by the attention and the declarations of love
and devotion from these woman, as unlike Vivian, he was not attractive,
outgoing, flirtatious and didn't attact the attention of women in
general. Who can say whether or not he felt anything deeper than
friendship for them. Then, add into the mix the question of his
homosexuality. Obviously, the disastrous marriage to Vivian may have
made him a bit hesitant to propose marriage again to anybody. By the
time he met Valerie, he was older and he obviously trusted her greatly
and found comfort in their relationship.

Regards,

Kate







-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 7:50 am
Subject: Re: Of "awful daring"



Many people on this list find it a constant need to idealize him and
peak of how great he was, etc. Yet that never seems to trouble you.
f praising him is valid, critiqueing him is valid. You can't have it
oth ways. The alternative is to focus on the poetry itself, but that
ever seems the limit.
Nancy
>>> Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> 06/14/07 4:56 AM >>>
 find this need to judge him at all very curious.
oap operas and tabloid journalism never interested me.
eter
---- Original Message -----
rom: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
o: <[log in to unmask]>
ent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 5:18 AM
ubject: Re: Of "awful daring"

 It's Emily, not Nancy Hale and Mary Trevelyan. And it is not hearsay.
 It is all documented. See Gordon. And 30 years of letters after a
ing
 and years of mutual visiting leaves a lot more than time enough to be
 "up front."
 Nancy

 >>> Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> 06/13/07 3:15 AM >>>
 I can see that it looks very unfair to Nancy Hale and Mary Trevalyn,
 but it seems for once he knew where his happiness really lay and he
 chose to go there. It would have been wrong for him to marry either
 of them ifhe knew it wouldn't work for him. i can believe he should
ave
 been more up front about it with Nancy Hale.

 It is one thing to think you want to do something when you can't,
 and quite another to continue wanting it when you actually can do it.
 There is a radical change in prespective.

 I find this need to judge him on the basis of hear say rather curious.

 Peter
   ----- Original Message -----
   From: Diana Manister
   To: [log in to unmask]
   Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 6:27 AM
   Subject: Re: Of "awful daring"


   Brian, it seems to me that Eliot's leaving Nancy Hale in America,
hen
 she and all their acquaintances assumed they would marry, was a
owerful
 source of guilt for him all of his life. This reads like a soap opera,
 but even a genius is tormented by relationships. It seems almost as if
 his treatment of Hale had a tinge of sadism to it, so cruelly was she
 tossed aside twice in favor of other women. Repenting his first
arriage
 may have included regret over having chosen Viv over Nancy. In any
 event, he certainly was very aware of his ill-treatment of a woman who
 loved him all of her life. I think the hyacinth girl has a Nancy Hale
 component, and the woman in the following poem especially:

   La Figlia Che Piange (The Weeping Girl)

   "...So I would have had him leave,
   So I would have had her stand and grieve,
   So he would have left 10
   As the soul leaves the body torn and bruised,
   As the mind deserts the body it has used.
   I should find
   Some way incomparably light and deft,
   Some way we both should understand, 15
   Simple and faithless as a smile and shake of the hand.

   She turned away, but with the autumn weather
   Compelled my imagination many days,
   Many days and many hours:
   Her hair over her arms and her arms full of flowers. 20
   And I wonder how they should have been together!
   I should have lost a gesture and a pose.
   Sometimes these cogitations still amaze
   The troubled midnight and the noon's repose. "

   Hale had a breakdown and was hospitalized after one of Eliot's
 marriages, I forget which. After Vivienne's death, it seemed they
ould
 marry after all, but he again reneged saying "It's too late!" Mary
 Trevelyan in England asked him several times to marry her after Viv
 died, but he said he had an attachment to a woman in America, who
ould
 only have been Nancy Hale. They saw each other over the years, when
 Eliot was in America and when she came to England. She accompanied him
 on his visit to places mentioned in 4Qs, and I sometimes think the
oor
 not entered and the unseen laughing children refer at least partly to
 his not having married Hale and had a family.

   The events may be public, but guilt is not written in our
bituaries.
 Diana





-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-

     From: "O'Sullivan, Brian P" <[log in to unmask]>
     Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
     To: [log in to unmask]
     Subject: Re: Of "awful daring"
     Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2007 16:48:23 -0400
     I've always imagined that if the "daring moment" had a
iographical
 referent, it was something less public and documentable than what we
 know of his marriage or conversion or change of national
 affiliation--something "not to be found in our obituaries."

     Brian

     Brian O'Sullivan, Ph.D.
     Assistant Professor of Englishh
     Director of the Writing Center
     Montgomery Hall 50
     18952 E. Fisher Rd.
     St. Mary's College of Maryland
     St. Mary's City, Maryland
     20686
     240-895-4242

     ________________________________

     From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. on behalf of Kate Troy
     Sent: Mon 6/11/2007 4:07 PM
     To: [log in to unmask]
     Subject: Re: Of "awful daring"


     These lines may not have referred to his marriage. Perhaps he
eant
 leaving America and living his life as a British citizen.


     -----Original Message-----
     From: Nancy Gish
     To: [log in to unmask]
     Sent: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 1:29 pm
     Subject: Re: Off "awful daring"


     It need not be either approval or disapproval but simply fact. It
 was
     Eliot, after all, who said that it was better to do evil than to
o
     nothing because "at least we exist." (Or it may be "at least we
re
     alive"--I just read it but it's not right here.) In any case,
 daring
     moments are not very present in any of the poetry, and when they
re
     possible, whoever is speaking tends to fail.

     It was not much of a marriage for Viv either, and it was she whose
 life
     never recovered. He seems to have sustained guilt over that but
ot
 to
     have acted on his guilt.
     Nancy

     >>> cr mittal <[log in to unmask]> 06/10/07 1:12 PM >>>
     Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
              The awful daring of a moment's surrender
        Which an age of prudence can never retract

        CR: I have always seen this as Eliot's way of saying "Marry in
 haste,
        repent at leisure." Not believing in divorce, his sudden to
 decision
     to
        marry Viv left him one of their lifetimes in which to repent.
 Diana


        I don't think so, Diana. There's a note of approval, not
 disapproval,
        to the "awful daring of a moment's surrender" in

        The awful daring of a moment's surrender
        Which an age of prudence can never retract
        // By this, and this only, we have existed //

        Regards,

        CR



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