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Dear Tom

Isaac Rosenberg is a terrific poet, and I thought maybe Julius had just never 
read his work. For any grad student looking for a dissertation  topic, I'd 
certain recommend Rosenberg.  

He was a friend of John Rodker, who published Eliot's Ara Vos Prec (Ovid 
Press), and who was also Jewish and a poet. I don't think Eliot was 
surrounded by quite as many Jews as Joyce, but certainly there were a goodly 
number, and I don't think the biographers--Akroyd, Gordon--are doing anyone a 
favor by keeping mum about this.

My personal opinion is that what Eliot said about Rosenberg is on target and 
true, and also the great compliment it was meant to be. But I don't know how 
to "explain" this to a person who's never read Rosenberg's work. 

I'm sorry to subvert your question to something else. But If you haven't 
already read Rosenberg, would you be interested in reading some of his poems 
if I posted them? 

BTW, next time someone brings up the issue of whether Jews can write poetry, 
ask the person who he or she thinks wrote the Psalms. And not just the 
Psalms. Most of the Hebrew Bible is written in poetry, although the English 
translations are prose. 

best,

pat
=============================================



> With things so calm, I'll spread around some accelerant to the forum.  
> 
> Specifically, I found a review of Julius' "T.S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism and 
> Literary Form" that had run in "American Literary History."  (It's cached 
> at 
> www2.h-net.msu.edu/~antis/papers/Alhfinal.html)
> 
> I have not read Julius' book and don't wish, for current purposes, to 
> return 
> to a debate on his ultimate conclusions.  The lawyer in me, however, was 
> struck by one argument cited in the review that seems not to make sense.   
> As 
> I know Julius is a respected attorney in Great Britain, I thought I'd pass 
> it 
> along for others to defend or explain, if appropriate, and let me know if I 
> am missing something.
> 
> Julius cites Eliot as writing: "The poetry of Isaac Rosenberg . . . because 
> it is Hebraic . . . is a contribution to English literature.  For a Jewish 
> poet to be able to write like a Jew, in western Europe and in a western 
> European language, is almost a miracle."
> 
> The review suggests that these words are thrown by Julius together with 
> Wagner's statement (among many) to the effect that: "The Jew speaks the 
> language of the country in which he has lived from generation to 
> generation, 
> but he always speaks it as a foreigner."  Unless I misread the review, it 
> appears to consider these as kindred thoughts.
> 
> To my readng, however, these statements are almost directly contrary.  Both 
> deal with Jews and make general pronouncements about their relationship 
> with 
> non-Jewish language systems, but there the similarity ends. 
> 
> First, Wagner speaks in absolutes, while Eliot states a general rule in 
> recognizing an exception.
> 
> More crucially, Wagner posits that European Jews always write "as Jews" 
> (implicit in his statement that they always write "as foreigners"), even 
> when 
> writing in the local, Europoean language.  Eliot, on the other hand, says 
> that for an English Jew to write as a Jew in a European is "almost a 
> miracle."  Their fundamental beliefs about the realtionship of European 
> Jews 
> to European languages could hardly be more different.
> 
> Does anyone else who cares to consider the matter have an opinion as to 
> what 
> Julius may have been trying to say here?
> 
> Tom K
> 
> 

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<HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT  SIZE=3>Dear Tom
<BR>
<BR>Isaac Rosenberg is a terrific poet, and I thought maybe Julius had just never 
<BR>read his work. For any grad student looking for a dissertation &nbsp;topic, I'd 
<BR>certain recommend Rosenberg. &nbsp;
<BR>
<BR>He was a friend of John Rodker, who published Eliot's Ara Vos Prec (Ovid 
<BR>Press), and who was also Jewish and a poet. I don't think Eliot was 
<BR>surrounded by quite as many Jews as Joyce, but certainly there were a goodly 
<BR>number, and I don't think the biographers--Akroyd, Gordon--are doing anyone a 
<BR>favor by keeping mum about this.
<BR>
<BR>My personal opinion is that what Eliot said about Rosenberg is on target and 
<BR>true, and also the great compliment it was meant to be. But I don't know how 
<BR>to "explain" this to a person who's never read Rosenberg's work. 
<BR>
<BR>I'm sorry to subvert your question to something else. But If you haven't 
<BR>already read Rosenberg, would you be interested in reading some of his poems 
<BR>if I posted them? 
<BR>
<BR>BTW, next time someone brings up the issue of whether Jews can write poetry, 
<BR>ask the person who he or she thinks wrote the Psalms. And not just the 
<BR>Psalms. Most of the Hebrew Bible is written in poetry, although the English 
<BR>translations are prose. 
<BR>
<BR>best,
<BR>
<BR>pat
<BR>=============================================
<BR>
<BR>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0">
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=2 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"><BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE style="BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px">With things so calm, I'll spread around some accelerant to the forum. &nbsp;
<BR>
<BR>Specifically, I found a review of Julius' "T.S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism and 
<BR>Literary Form" that had run in "American Literary History." &nbsp;(It's cached 
<BR>at 
<BR>www2.h-net.msu.edu/~antis/papers/Alhfinal.html)
<BR>
<BR>I have not read Julius' book and don't wish, for current purposes, to 
<BR>return 
<BR>to a debate on his ultimate conclusions. &nbsp;The lawyer in me, however, was 
<BR>struck by one argument cited in the review that seems not to make sense. &nbsp;&nbsp;
<BR>As 
<BR>I know Julius is a respected attorney in Great Britain, I thought I'd pass 
<BR>it 
<BR>along for others to defend or explain, if appropriate, and let me know if I 
<BR>am missing something.
<BR>
<BR>Julius cites Eliot as writing: "The poetry of Isaac Rosenberg . . . because 
<BR>it is Hebraic . . . is a contribution to English literature. &nbsp;For a Jewish 
<BR>poet to be able to write like a Jew, in western Europe and in a western 
<BR>European language, is almost a miracle."
<BR>
<BR>The review suggests that these words are thrown by Julius together with 
<BR>Wagner's statement (among many) to the effect that: "The Jew speaks the 
<BR>language of the country in which he has lived from generation to 
<BR>generation, 
<BR>but he always speaks it as a foreigner." &nbsp;Unless I misread the review, it 
<BR>appears to consider these as kindred thoughts.
<BR>
<BR>To my readng, however, these statements are almost directly contrary. &nbsp;Both 
<BR>deal with Jews and make general pronouncements about their relationship 
<BR>with 
<BR>non-Jewish language systems, but there the similarity ends. 
<BR>
<BR>First, Wagner speaks in absolutes, while Eliot states a general rule in 
<BR>recognizing an exception.
<BR>
<BR>More crucially, Wagner posits that European Jews always write "as Jews" 
<BR>(implicit in his statement that they always write "as foreigners"), even 
<BR>when 
<BR>writing in the local, Europoean language. &nbsp;Eliot, on the other hand, says 
<BR>that for an English Jew to write as a Jew in a European is "almost a 
<BR>miracle." &nbsp;Their fundamental beliefs about the realtionship of European 
<BR>Jews 
<BR>to European languages could hardly be more different.
<BR>
<BR>Does anyone else who cares to consider the matter have an opinion as to 
<BR>what 
<BR>Julius may have been trying to say here?
<BR>
<BR>Tom K
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#0f0f0f" SIZE=2 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0">
<BR></FONT></HTML>

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