On Sat, 18 Nov 2017 16:00:50 -0500, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>For [Celia] to die as a missionary might well make sense within the terms of
>the play, but the gruesome scene of an upside-down crucifixion over an ant
>hill does nothing for the play and is a kind of low horror only matched by the
>"Love Song of St. Sebastian."
The lines in "The Cocktail Party" concerning Celia's death:
BTW, note the implication that the heathen murderers were cannibals. Also, I saw nothing about an upside-down cruxifiction.
Here is what I found with previews and snippets from Google Books:
Originally Eliot was vague about the details of Celia's death. Martin Browne had Eliot put in details.
Robert Sencourt wrote: "In the original production of the play at the Edinburgh Festival in August 1949, Eliot had put in a remark about Celia's face being smeared with a grease that would attract ants to her body; but this, as Martin Browne told me, was more than the theatregoers could stand and was therefore dropped for subsequent performances." Browne wrote (about the grease): "Eliot's motive in putting it in was to make sure that no one could escape the facts of the martyr's suffering."
Citations and references:
"My wife asked Eliot: 'But what happens to Celia?' He had left her fate as vague as at the end of "The Family Reunion," he had at first left Harry's (this too was more fully defined as the result of a similar question)."
"The Making of a Play: T. S. Eliot's ʻThe Cocktail Party'," Elliott Martin Browne
"... Eliot had put in a remark about Celia's face being smeared with a grease ..."
"T.S. Eliot, a Memoir," Robert Sencourt, pp. 206-7
Quoted from my copy of the book. Google Books does not have the full quote but check out
"Originally, we are told, Eliot had determined to leave Celia's fate vague. Then in response to pressure from Martin Browne, his director, friend, and guide into the world of the theatre, Eliot revised the script. He has her crucified very near an anthill." [citing Browne, p. 22]
"The Uninvited Guest: Emerging from Narcissism towards Marriage," James Fisher, p. 254