I forget who took offense at my using the phrase 'animal sex' in
connection with the typist scene but I know it wasn't you.
I was commenting on your post about studies on animal sex.
Incidentally, I saw a PBS special on animal behavior that documented
that monkeys have a proportionate sense of justice. It showed how
different degrees of retaliation corresponded to the seriousness of
Sent from my iPod
On May 13, 2010, at 10:01 AM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dear Diana,
> I certainly did not intend, or as far as I can see, imply that
> animal sex is violent or disgusting. I have been saying that Eliot
> treated it as at least meaningless. Not all animals mate for life--
> and my point is that that is not a moral issue. Neither do human
> >>> DIana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 05/13/10 9:50 AM >>>
> Dear Carrol and Nancy,
> I don't see animal sex as violent or disgusting. Now grasshopper sex
> is another story!
> Did you know that rape is rare among gorillas, even though the males
> are bigger and stronger than the females?
> Animal sex is pure and innocent, and often includes lifetime mating
> and mutual child care.
> I recall a Bunuel film in which dogs were mating outside a convent.
> The nuns were horrified and ran out and poured cold water on them,
> which caused the audience to collectively groan in disapproval. Bunuel
> was famously anti-clerical.
> I think though that Eliot's attitude was closer to that of the nuns
> than to Bunuel.
> Sent from my iPod
> On May 12, 2010, at 2:46 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Dear Carrol,
> > It was, though, Eliot who said that without a spiritual meaning sex
> > was no more than the coupling of animals. He didn't, one might
> > note, know much about sex or passionate sexual experience--unless
> > maybe long after with Valerie. All those pontifications came from
> > someone who was still a virgin at 26, married suddenly, had a
> > horrific experience of sex, and then took up celibacy.
> > So that he called it animals only tells us how he saw it, but it did
> > come from him.
> > Nancy
> > >>> Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> 05/12/10 10:51 AM >>>
> > Diana Manister wrote:
> > >
> > > Dear Nancy,
> > >
> > > The typist and young man seem to be portrayed as in an ongoing
> > > relationship. Eliot it seems to me is condemning the perfunctory
> > > nature of their sexual relation. She regards it as obligatory. She
> > has
> > > no dream of love. By creating these specific characters to make
> > > point Eliot indicates that he sees lower class people as
> > animalistic.
> > Perhaps Eliot regarded the lower classes as animalistic, but this
> > episode certainly isn't evidence. It is precisely what some would
> > "animalistic sexual passion" which is lacking from the pair. Their
> > problem then would be that they are not animalistic enough.
> > That is absurd, but so is your suggestion. Keep animalistic out of
> > one way or the other.
> > Also, this construal does not contradict Nancy's suggestion that the
> > young man commits Date Rape.
> > And finally, it seems odd to speak of Eliot "making a point" here.
> > Point-making seems precisely what is carefully kept out of the poem.
> > Carrol