I don't think I understand any necessary relationship between intelligence
and guilt.  But Eliot clearly spent a great deal of energy in certain forms of
guilt if his plays and 4Q come from anything he experienced--and they
certainly seem to.  I think it is accurate that he "valued" it.

Date sent:              Mon, 10 Feb 2003 19:25:29 +0100
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   INGELBIEN RAPHAEL <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: Eliot and guilt
To:                     [log in to unmask]

> 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
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 sin.

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


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