Wednesday 28 September 2011
Emanuel Litvinoff, who died on September 24 aged 96, made his name as a
poet in the Second World War and was the author of an acclaimed memoir
of growing up in the East End of London, Journey Through a Small Planet
(1972); to many people, however, he will best be remembered for a
devastating public attack on TS Eliot.
The obituary starts off with four paragraphs about Litvinoff's reading
of his poem "To T.S. Eliot" with Eliot in the audience.
Later is this (I've edited):
When war broke out, Litvinoff considered becoming a conscientious
objector until he realised what a German invasion would mean for his
family; so he wrote a letter to the War Office, demanding to be called
[He was] prevented from joining an active military unit by his poor
eyesight ... [but one day] ... a brigadier, arrived on a tour of
inspection and visited the cookhouse where Litvinoff was working. "Is
this the man who writes?" asked the brigadier. On being told that it
was, he exclaimed: "We can’t have educated men doing cookery, we’re
desperately short of officers." Rather against his will, Litvinoff was
sent to the OTC and later saw service in North Africa and the Middle
East, before being demobbed in the rank of major.
Litvinoff is on Youtube reading from "Burbank" and "To T.S. Eliot."
TS Eliot, Emanuel Litvinoff - anti-Semitism
An excerpt about TS Eliot's alleged anti-Semitism, featuring 94 year
old poet and author Emanuel Litvinoff reading his famous poem 'To TS
Eliot'. From the BBC Arena program.
4 likes, 1 dislikes