And what I (and some others) have been trying to say is that there is
simply no single monolithic "medieval" thought even if we can see some
fundamental differences from us that no doubt were very widespread.  I
would add that Eliot was not really a medieval scholar though he read vast
amounts of everything.  But his specialization was philosophy and not
specifically medieval.  He knew a great deal, but not everything, and no
doubt medieval scholars of his time knew more of that in particular.
It is, I think, a way of making Eliot less important to idealize him so utterly.

Date sent:              Sun, 6 Apr 2003 22:12:30 -0700
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: Medieval Thinking
To:                     [log in to unmask]

From: Nancy Gish [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Perhaps you might resort to giving some reason why any particular set of
thinkers over many centuries can be lumped into one set of ideas or even
why you think the term "Dark Ages" still carries any assumed single
concept.  For example, the Lollards and Wycliffe and Marguerite Porete
the Beguines are still up for resorting.

I realise that the above words were not directed at me,
but I feel theneed to intervene. My original assertion, which
started us down this bumpy road, was that "I doubted whether
there was anything about the middle ages in which Eliot was
not interested." Or words, not quite so clumsy, to that effect.

I was spouting my admiration for the breadth of Eliot's
interests. He picked up on everything. I'm sure there
was a lot that he didn't follow up on, a lot he didn't
agree with and so didn't follow, but I'm pretty convinced
that he had as full and as accurate a map of the lay of the
cultural/intellectual medieval land, as anyone in his time.
He simply devoured information. That's what I was asserting,
or trying to. So maybe that is wrong, but trying to sort out
the specifics of what he did and did not pay attention to in
detail is another and very difficult question.


Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
Camosun College
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
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