From: Nancy Gish
Unfortunately, this discussion continues on the basis of a line out of
It is also unfortjunate that we are looking at the book out of context.
I unfortunately have no way of checking how it was received by its intended
audience, but it is no big stretch to say that the culture of Virginia at
was very racist, as well as very practicing of Christian worship.
Would the audience have been pleased with what Eliot said?
Would the literary world have registered any ojections to the racism?
I do know that Eliot and Pound had a big row in the New English Weekly
about Eliot's crit. of Pound in ASG, but semitism one way or the other
didn't come up?
Now don't get me wrong, as you usually do.
I do not believe that Eliot's anti-semetism can be excused,
or somehow forgiven just because he was a racist speaking to racists.
It's can't, nor am I trying to suggest that.
I am just trying to understand the situation.
McLuhan said that a monster can be defined as a figure without a ground.
Looking at Eliot's racism outside of its context, distorts him and the
racism, so that neither can be properly understoood. Not underdstanding
racism properly is bad practise.