As I wrote, one can always add to the simple thank you later.
Nancy Gish wrote:
> My point is not that there is always a requirement to give an opinion. It
> is, rather, the attitude expressed by a policy (not particular situation
> or book) of always displacing a more gracious connection. There is a big
> difference between getting unsolicited books for an opinion or
> acquaintances who send what they think you should look at and the
> affectionate gift of a caring and close friend who hopes to give what will
> be valuable. So I do not see wisdom in lumping all together into a policy
> of evasion, nor do I see that it means everyone expects a developed
> opinion. If a student gives me a book they've read and wants me to know
> about it, I would probably do the same. If a dear friend sends one and
> hopes it gives me pleasure and affection, I would want to write about it
> to them, whether or not I shared the reaction: it could be a way to engage
> in conversation and a returned affection.
> And we are all busy. And Eliot's letters varied a great deal depending on
> whom he wrote to, and in fact he did make distinctions.
> I know this will now elicit everything from sniping to astonishment at my
> continuing failure to admire everything in Eliot (I do not mean by you,
>> But do you really consider it wisdom?
> Yes. I would call it wisdom. A way to make life go better.
>> It seems to me a way to be covertly unkind to those who sent a gift.
> Eliot was given a gift and thanked the giver. If it was unkind of him
> to not mention his opinion of it then it must have been more unkind of
> an opinion to be expected. After all, Eliot would have had to read the
> book to do it justice and he was busy enough as it was. Besides, if he
> wanted to, he could always send his opinion later.
> Rick Parker
>> Dear Rickard,
>> I've read it too and also don't remember where. But do you really
>> consider it wisdom? It seems to me a way to be covertly unkind to those
>> who sent a gift.
>>>>> Rickard Parker <[log in to unmask]> 06/16/09 5:18 PM >>>
>>> The OT thread on the phrase and concept "free gift" made me want to
>>> at how Eliot deals with "gifts" and "giving" in his poetry.
>> On the subject of gifts here is something that I first send after
>> Christmas 2007:
>> Now seems a good time to pass along a little bit of Eliot wisdom.
>> Eliot said to write a thank you note immediately for every book gotten
>> as a gift. That way one avoided having to comment upon its content.
>> I wish I remembered where I read this.
>> Rick Parker