This sort of foolishness is the sort of thing Hemingway played with --
treating authors as prize fighters, with one or the other having to "win."
Also -- Hardy's "homier virtues" is a nonsensical phrase, the meaning of
which as applied to poets it would be difficult to pin down.
Eliot has an ideological bug up his ass when he wrote _After Strange Gods_,
and it distorted his judgment. His own ability to write declined at about
the same time; The Hollow Men & Ash Wednesday are just plain boring. Four
Quartets is in part a debate with himself as he tries to recover some of the
vigor of TWL & earlier poems. See Pound's cheerful snap at Eliot in Canto 50
or 51 -- (from memory) "And if you think the Reverend Mr. Eliot has found a
more natural language / You who think you will get through hell in a
hurry." The second line is probably a reference to Eliot's remark on the
"Hell Cantos" as though they constituted the whole of Pound's "Hell." Eliot
could be a bore.
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Rickard A. Parker
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2010 6:49 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: "Eliot versus Hardy"
Here is a swiped description of an article gotten
from David Yezzi at
There's a provocative article in the current issue
of the London-based magazine Standpoint titled
"Eliot versus Hardy" by Dan Jacobson, an emeritus
professor at University College. In it, Jacobson
tells of an interesting reversal in his literary
tastes: he began with a rapturous fondness for
Eliot that over time was supplanted by an
appreciation of Hardy's homier virtues. It's a
fascinating compare-and-contrast, not least
because the two were basically contemporaries.
When Eliot wrote (unfavorably) about Hardy in
After Strange Gods (1930), Hardy had been dead
only two years. Hardy, for his part, copied
verses from Eliot into his notebook.
And the article mentioned is:
"Eliot versus Hardy" by Dan Jacobson
Standpoint Magazine, December 2009