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From: Nancy Gish

Thanks for the reference.  I'll check it.  I don't think I see it in
"The Hollow
Men" in the same way, but I also don't mean to use the war as simply a
"source," as in the source-hunting tradition.  In any case, Eliot was
never in the trenches, though he certainly knew men who were.
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Yes, among them, I believe, Gaudier Bjreszka (sp?), the
sculptor and one of the founders of Vorticism.

It always seemed to me that Eliot's poetry
reflects the enormously depressing after mood
of WWI. There was a big psychological downer, partly
at the realisation of how brutally destructive
that so-called civilisation was.

There was great inability to come to terms with it
(not unlike the after effects of Viet Nam in the US).
Paralysis as in THM is a valid image.

I suspect the inability to get one's head around
9/11 is similar. Most of us have had no contact
with war. War cannot be accommodated by reason,
even a so-called just war.

Cheers,
Peter