Print

Print


--part1_32.1a5ad421.28c55d81_boundary
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

In a message dated 9/3/01 5:18:10 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
[log in to unmask] writes:


> I'm still not quite sure why Eliot should have characterised Rosenberg's
> poetry as 'Hebraic'. He doesn't of course sound as though he's uncomfortable
> with that; in fact I suspect that calling Rosenberg a Hebraic poet meant
> that Eliot could play down his status as an English war poet - a category
> that was always a source of unease for him, I think.
> 

Well, I don't know what Eliot thought about English War poets, but I find 
them a dreary lot, especially with all that stiff upper lip for mother 
England stuff. Last gasp of colonialism. Rosenberg I think is much better, 
and maybe a bit like Celan. What did you think of his poems? Did you find 
them too harsh or not "literary" enough? Certainly he isn't "In Flanders 
fields the poppies grow...." I prefer, say, Goya's Disasters of War, because 
it's so insincere and superficial to make war sound pretty or "poetic." It is 
true, though, that Goya or Roseberg or Celan are right in one's face with 
things that many people find hard to take. 

I could agree that Rosenberg has a special kind of toughness that one could 
reasonably call Jewish or Hebraic, which certainly doesn't mean there are no 
Jewish wimps. If you need another word, think of it as the "what have I got 
to lose?" desparation of the disenfranchised Other. It's a tone I think of as 
fairly typical of many minority groups. The postcolonial note, if you want to 
use fancy words.

I think Eliot said this in an essay, though off-hand I don't remember the 
essay. My personal feeling is that I respect Rosenbergfor being able to 
maintain his identity as a Jew, instead of becoming just one more clone of 
the proper Englishman. And I think it's a big plus for Eliot that he 
recognized and respected this. 

Certainly it's an issue for today. Teenagers all over the world are wearing 
the same printed tee-shirt with the name of some rock band on it, glopping 
jell all over their hair, and chowing down greasy hamburgers at the local 
McDonald's.  These are people pissing their own cultures down the drain 
because they don't have enough self-respect to value  what they inherited in 
their own cultures, or enough strength to hang on it it and care about it.

pat



> Perhaps someone knows the context of Eliot's words? We've been quoting him
> at some removes in this exchange. Are his comments on Rosenberg part of an
> uncollected review? When were they made?
> 
> Yours,
> 
> 



--part1_32.1a5ad421.28c55d81_boundary
Content-Type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

<HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT  SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial Narrow" LANG="0"><B>In a message dated 9/3/01 5:18:10 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
<BR>[log in to unmask] writes:
<BR>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=2 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"></B>
<BR><BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE style="BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px">I'm still not quite sure why Eliot should have characterised Rosenberg's
<BR>poetry as 'Hebraic'. He doesn't of course sound as though he's uncomfortable
<BR>with that; in fact I suspect that calling Rosenberg a Hebraic poet meant
<BR>that Eliot could play down his status as an English war poet - a category
<BR>that was always a source of unease for him, I think.
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"></BLOCKQUOTE>
<BR>
<BR>Well, I don't know what Eliot thought about English War poets, but I find 
<BR>them a dreary lot, especially with all that stiff upper lip for mother 
<BR>England stuff. Last gasp of colonialism. Rosenberg I think is much better, 
<BR>and maybe a bit like Celan. What did you think of his poems? Did you find 
<BR>them too harsh or not "literary" enough? Certainly he isn't "In Flanders 
<BR>fields the poppies grow...." I prefer, say, Goya's Disasters of War, because 
<BR>it's so insincere and superficial to make war sound pretty or "poetic." It is 
<BR>true, though, that Goya or Roseberg or Celan are right in one's face with 
<BR>things that many people find hard to take. 
<BR>
<BR>I could agree that Rosenberg has a special kind of toughness that one could 
<BR>reasonably call Jewish or Hebraic, which certainly doesn't mean there are no 
<BR>Jewish wimps. If you need another word, think of it as the "what have I got 
<BR>to lose?" desparation of the disenfranchised Other. It's a tone I think of as 
<BR>fairly typical of many minority groups. The postcolonial note, if you want to 
<BR>use fancy words.
<BR>
<BR>I think Eliot said this in an essay, though off-hand I don't remember the 
<BR>essay. My personal feeling is that I respect Rosenbergfor being able to 
<BR>maintain his identity as a Jew, instead of becoming just one more clone of 
<BR>the proper Englishman. And I think it's a big plus for Eliot that he 
<BR>recognized and respected this. 
<BR>
<BR>Certainly it's an issue for today. Teenagers all over the world are wearing 
<BR>the same printed tee-shirt with the name of some rock band on it, glopping 
<BR>jell all over their hair, and chowing down greasy hamburgers at the local 
<BR>McDonald's. &nbsp;These are people pissing their own cultures down the drain 
<BR>because they don't have enough self-respect to value &nbsp;what they inherited in 
<BR>their own cultures, or enough strength to hang on it it and care about it.
<BR>
<BR>pat
<BR>
<BR>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=2 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0">
<BR><BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE style="BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px">Perhaps someone knows the context of Eliot's words? We've been quoting him
<BR>at some removes in this exchange. Are his comments on Rosenberg part of an
<BR>uncollected review? When were they made?
<BR>
<BR>Yours,
<BR>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"></BLOCKQUOTE>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial Narrow" LANG="0"><B>
<BR></B></FONT></HTML>

--part1_32.1a5ad421.28c55d81_boundary--