The absurdity of belief in immortality. And see Canto 12.
That felt absurdity is what gives force to Dickinson's poem which I quoted
some awhile ago: "That scalds me NOW" (emphasis mine).
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Ken Armstrong
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 6:51 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Why did T.S. Eliot believe in God?
As well, a complementary and bigger question might be why did Pound
and others find Eliot's belief in God incomprehensible. As my old Eliot
prof. wrote, Eliot wrote poetry of belief in an age of unbelief. What
could cause such an age?
On 5/29/2012 10:57 PM, Peter Montgomery wrote:
> I would highly recommend Barry Spurr's BOOK "Anglo-Catholicism,
> Anglo-Catholic in Religion: T. S. Eliot and Christianity" It is a
> transformation of his doctoral thesis produce with the blessing of his
> doctoral supervisor and of Mrs. Eliot (if memory seerves).
> I am curious about your definition of "god" that you wish to
> understand Eliot's
> belief in. His arrival in belief was, as has been mentioned, a long
> and winding road. As I remember, when he got to the querstion of
> becoming a budddhist or hindu, he felt that culturally he could not
> make the jump. The quote
> (for which I cannot provide a source. I read it long ago, and more
> recently saw
> a more recent poet refer to it) is roughly, that if ne is a weaterner,
> one cannot make the leap to another religion, and vice versa. In
> effect he could not abandon his roots.
> That he had strong mystical leanings I think one cannot deny. Barry
> Spurr even provides an example of his having a mystical experience
> after receiving communion. As a Catholic and an Anglican I seriously
> doubt that he made
> a distinction between belief in God and mystical expeience. He seems
> to have thought that mystical experience is experience of God.
> You are right to present the matter as being a serious surprise and
> even let down for his contemporaries. It seems many saw TWL as a kind
> of atheist manifesto. In fact Ithink many still take it in that way.
> He was certainly seriously punished by his coontemporaries for his so
> called juump. His response was
> again a quote the source for which I cannot supply, but it went
> something like:
> In an age in which everyone is trying to escape, a person going in the
> opposite direction will seem to run away.--- That's not quite right,
> but close.
> Eliot's work was so broad and deep, it is hard to hang on to every bit
> of it.
> Again, I am interested in your definition of the being in which you
> say Eliot believed.
> ----- Original Message ----- From: John Angell Grant
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 10:19 AM
> Subject: Why did T.S. Eliot believe in God?
> Why did T.S. Eliot believe in god?
> Pound and others found Eliot's belief in god incomprehensible.
> Can anyone steer me to the scholarship on this issue, the issue of why
> Eliot believed in god?
> Thanks in advance for any ideas.