From: Jennifer Formichelli [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Dear Peter,
I  cannot, I am afraid, agree with this summation:
[Peter Montgomery] ================================
That's fine. Don't agree. But why be afraid about it?
If you say that is just a figure of speech, then I will ask
you why you don't accord me the same privilege.

Jennifer quoted Peter:
"Interesting. The only reason I use the word touchstone is because it is a
modern synonym for a proof rock. Conceivably Eliot was making his own
commentary on Arnold by using that name."

I should need to see some evidence to be convinced that this line has any
sort of allusion in it (ie references to Eliot's knowledge of Arnold at the
time, his concern with his work, and comparing this to the specific context
in which Arnold uses the word). It seems from here even very unlikely to be
a coincidence.
[Peter Montgomery]

Goodness gracious, Jennifer. I feel sorry for you. Have your academic
mentors not allowed you to engage in speculation, even wild speculation,
from time to time? It is absolutely essential for the development of strong
critical faculties.

In any case, who's trying to convince anybody of anything here, esp with
modifiers like CONCEIVABLY. This is an informal medium and I will throw out
random speculations when I happen to want to. By all means have my
permission to disagree. In fact, if you happen to agree, I may well get


Jennifer>  Therefore, the summation you make from such an unsupported
inference seems to me a rather precarious.

[Peter Montgomery] Is there anything wrong with one's speculations being
precarious, pray tell?

Peter said, in the previous post: Eliot's quarrel with the idea that the
arts, esp. poetry could be a source of salvation for man seems to have
started very early in his critical development.

Jennifer responded:  If you are interested, however, you might look at a
book called Poetry and Religion, by Santayana (c 1908 r 1909).

[Peter Montgomery]  Nope. Not interested. I've been through it too many
times before, but for your homework I would like to assign you the reading
of a more pertinent work, Eliot's THE SACRED WORD  Please don't feel obliged
to read the whole thing ... just a good browse for his references to good
old uncle Matty. Guess whose name gets mentioned first in the original
Introduction? You also have my permission to wildly speculate about the
title of the work. Good thing he didn't call it hollywood, don't you think?

This list is not only for scholars, but it may not be a bad idea for any
poster to back their claims with scholarship (which, as Eliot said, even in
its humblest forms, has its rights).
[Peter Montgomery]  Claims, maybe. Speculations? Bullshit!  I made no
claims. Not that it matters.Good theses often come from untested hypotheses,
but I wasn't even doing that.

I was having a friendly conversation with Vishvesh. That'l teach you to

By the way, I see no reason for being unwarrantedly suspicious of the title
of Professor; respect, I should guess, is due to those who earn it.
[Peter Montgomery] Respect, yes. Put ons like titles are another thing.
Besides, even if I thought the title PROFESSOR a sign of respect, I haven't
earned it. I prefer to be who I am. It really is partly a Canadian attitude
which I rather relish. Uses of titles are really frowned on. Even prime
ministers are no longer given the title as an honorific when their tenures
are up. It is a tradition coming down from the days of Wilfred Laurier, that
we abjure the British/US practice. We could in fact have knights and lords,
&c if we wanted. We just didn't want our southern neighbors to be envious.
The only Canadian of note to receive such a title, ironically, was none
other thn Sir. Wilfred Laurier, in recognition of his stupendous work for
the nation, but he abjured the title himself. So with other titles. We
seldom wear academic gowns even. Such pretences often get jeered in public.

Respect has to be earned, not labelled. I much prefer being unrespectable.

What was it Joyce said? Love the label as thy self?
Probably part of Prufy's problem.

Not without mustard,