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TSE  June 2009

TSE June 2009

Subject:

Re: Fabled & Fabluloous - The Faber Diary

From:

"Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Thu, 25 Jun 2009 19:48:21 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (123 lines)

> Fabled & Fabulous
> Faber & Faber Diary
>
> On the Occasion of Faber & Faber's 80th Anniversary
>
> http://www.cprw.com/Misc/faber.htm
>
>
> "Geoffrey Faber himself was a scholar-poet whose collected poems the firm
> published as The Buried Stream in 1941 (his posthumous Twelve Years was
> issued privately, so is and yet isnít a Faber poetry book). His greatest
> piece of fabrefication, though, was the appointment of another
> scholar-poet as a Director of the firm at the very beginning, in 1925, and
> of course it was on and around T. S. Eliot that the whole enterprise
> turned. ...


Thank you Diana for the pointer to the Faber 80th Anniversary article
    http://www.cprw.com/Misc/faber.htm

The article mentions a privately printed book of poems by Faber but
omits another, "Noctes Binanianea."  This was a collection of verse by
Faber, Eliot, Hayward and Morley.  All the text below describing this
is from a TSE post I sent five years ago (June 12, 2004) with the
subject being "Noctes Binanianea."

Regards,
    Rick Parker

================================
Post from June 12, 2004 follows:
================================


Jennifer Formichelli wrote (to Peter Montgomery):
>
> Do you mean Noctes Binanianae, 1939 (Gallup B14) ? If so, do you have a
> copy of this? It's extremely rare, and though I viewed it at King's,
> and took notes, I haven't got one. If you do, perhaps you could
> describe it to the list?


I have a copy of "Noctes Binanianea" printed from microfilm that I
managed to get from the Houghton Library after signing an agreement.
It is from copy 10 of 25 and was inscribed "H.W.E. from T.S.E."  From
Eliot's brother it made its way to the Eliot House library to the
Harvard Library to the special collections at the Houghton Library.

It is a collection of verse passed between a small group of friends that
was privately printed as a keepsake.  Gallup's note to Noctes Binanianea:
     "The title of this pamphlet memorializes the fact that John Hayward
     resided at this period in London at 22 Bina Gardens, and the group of
     friends met usually at his flat."
A lot of the light-hearted verse is about the Whale, the Elephant, the
Coot and the Spider.  The Coot was Geoffrey Faber, the Spider was John
Hayward, TSE was the Elephant and Eliot's fellow director at Faber,
Frank Morley (another American,) was the Whale. The Possum also appears.

There is some verse in Latin, French and German and Hayward's address
gets encoded in a couple of these.  Some of the poems are retorts to
previous ones.  One poem by Faber is entitled "Thoughts of a Briton on
his County's Subjugation to America" and pokes fun at the Whale and
the Elephant:
    Two voices were there ; one was of the sea,
       One of the forest, each a braggart voice.

In a January 13, 2002 posting to the TSE list Steve Pollock produced a
scanning from "Painted Shadow" that brought up "Noctes Binanianea."
I supply that below.  Remember, these are Carole Seymour-Jones' words,
not mine.  I pass it along because it relates to the subject of
"Noctes Binanianea" and was easy to do a cut and paste.


Regards,
    Rick Parker

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

> And I wonder if he did in fact tell his executor
> to supress everything that was supressable, as someone stated.

   I scanned in the 'suppress everything suppressable' section from "Painted
Shadow" so you can see it for yourself (and this time, let me also include
the notes).

   First, here's the context: Seymour-Jones claims that Geoffrey Faber, who
owned the publishing firm of Faber & Faber, was a bisexual who had a physical
relationship with TSE:

================================
P 525.
   Love 'without desire' therefore remained an ideal only, for in reality
Eliot was living, as he admitted in Fable XIV 'The Whale, the Elephant, the
Coot and the Spider', in Noctes Binanianae, a Jekyll and Hyde life.
Churchwarden and publisher by day, at night Eliot became Tom 'tusker', who
enjoyed the 'red light time' with his bisexual friend Geoffrey Faber. 34 In
his vestry, jokes Tom, 'pious Jekyll purloins letter-paper', that 'Hyde may
cut a rogue elephant's caper', trusting to 'an ecclesiastical alibi'. And
although, like the Chairman at Faber & Faber, the Elephant is 'always in
temptation', and 'must do what nature bids him do', being sometimes 'by
nature speedy/In Apres-midi', it is at night that their most spectacular
transformations take place. The nightly revels {'Late at Night-time! Is the
Red-light time') are accompanied by a chorus of 'Nigger Minstrels' singing
'Who dat Man? See Them Roll ...See Them Ro-hole', as Possum transforms his
elegant shape into that of Tom Elephant, 'a tusker at that, the biggest
extant'. Together, the Elephant and Coot visit a palace, not the palace of
peace at the Hague, or the 'Palace of Sorts' at Geneva, or even Alexandra
Palace, but a House in the Euston Road, 'where Friend meets Friend', though
what a friend would say if a friend were a whale {Morley) remains an
'unimaginable tale'. In another 'Ode to a Roman Coot', Eliot recalled shared
memories of the 'festal drunks' at All Souls' Hall, of the Coot at dawn on
Hampstead Heath, 'forever panting and in cotton pants', of charming the 'loud
roisterers' in the Common Room, and amazing 'th' attendants in the Turkish
Bath'. In the final chorus, the Elephant, Coot and black minstrels cry 'Berry
Berry: Let the grave close over the nights that were'.35

--------------------------------------
34 Francis King in conversation with the author, 4 April 2000.

35 Fable XIV, 'The Whale, the Elephant, the Coot and the Spider', 'Ode to a
Roman Coot', 'Nobody Knows How I Feel About You', (from Geoffrey Faber to
Eliot) Noctes Binanianae (1939), no.10 of 25 copies printed, Houghton.
===========================================

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