> To my mind, TSE would have been far too intelligent (even at a time
> stigmatizing homosexuality far more than ours) to be feeling guilty of his
> sexual preferences, whatever they may have been.

Mmh? Don't you think Eliot sometimes got an almost perverse kick out of
feeling guilty? After all, he once complained that the priest who heard his
confessions wasn't subtle enough to understand his sins... In so far as
guilt could be said to flow from an awareness of sin, I think Eliot valued
the feeling.

I don't particularly think that the 'hyacinth garden' points to homosexual
inclinations. But whatever Eliot's desires were, the guilt they may have
generated was not a feeling he would have dismissed. Think of his comments
on Russell's affair with Vivien: he called it an Evil act, with a capital E,
and found it all the more appalling because Russell had no conception of

One side of Eliot wrote the Bolo verse, the other took sexual morals
extremely seriously.


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