Nancy Gish wrote:
> Perhaps he did. I only reported what he did say, that he was not a
> mystic. I no longer remember where I read it because it has been many
> years since I researched Eliot and mysticism at great length, but I
> remember it without doubt. I'm not sure it matters much if he
> experienced it himself or experienced it through literature or
> speaking with others. So much of his work is evoked by reading, which
> is, after all, personal experience.
At the risk of raising everyone's ire except Carrol's, let me
hazard that reading and personal experience are very much not the same.
Again, no professional line here, but a story that Ong repeats comes to
mind about a ship's captain who learns by experience being a poor risk
(so many things capable of wrecking/swamping a vessel). The conversation
here about Eliot could go on and on with no positive conclusion, Eliot
having never said whether he did or didn't have a mystical experience.
For myself, I think mystical experiences are not so rare, even if
mystics, relatively, are, and Eliot more than likely had such
experiences, whether plural or singular. Don't know how that affects
Gerontion or TWL.
> So maybe he did have