Eliot made a point somewhere that sensibility alters
from generation to generation, but that expression is
altered only by a man of genius.  His poetry offers
such an altered expression (which was a kind of
natural idiom of the complexity of our age) that makes
it a worthwhile study.  And the artist in them is the
same being as the creator in their creative process.
In his dramas, I feel, he dissociated the creator from
the artist (“the more perfect the artist, the more
completely separate in him will be the man who suffers
and the mind which creates”); there seems not to be a
homogenized development of the human faculties, but a
conscious attempt on some preconceived factors.


--- Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Come now Nancy. Read my remark carefully.
> I said nothing about her per se. I told her
> what her dismissiveness looked like. To dismiss
> a whole body of work off hand, when the author took
> it very seriously, is not the perspicacity of
> a well trained critic. It demeans the other comments
> of intelligence which she has made. That demeaning
> thereby makes the dismissiveness look even worse.
> If that body of work deserves to be dismissed then
> reasons must be given, especially when it is the
> work of a writer such as Eliot.
> Frankly, I think she was just doing a bit of chain
> yanking
> of her own. I didn't take the remark seriously.
> How would you characterise her dismissiveness?
> Peter
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nancy Gish [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2003 2:20 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Poets on poetry
> I frequently disagree with Jennifer, but she is
> never stupid.  Have
> you never anything better to do than characterize
> others as stupid
> and silly and ignorant and blind?  It isn't really
> as if you are posting
> thoughtful, original readings of anything.  This is
> just tiresome and,
> frankly, ignorant, and mean.
> And, by the way, it was not Eliot who made a play of
> And, although I like some of the plays, it would be
> hard to find plays
> less like ordinary speech.
> Yes, you are obviously trolling and I rose to the
> bait, but it is
> outrageous to be openly nasty to Jennifer.
> Nancy
> Date sent:              Sun, 30 Nov 2003 14:02:22
> -0800
> Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion
> forum."
> <[log in to unmask]>
> From:                   Peter Montgomery
> <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject:                Re: Poets on poetry
> To:                     [log in to unmask]
> From: Jennifer Formichelli
> After that, there are only the plays, and
> none of them (exempting Murder in the Cathedral
> perhaps, which
> was much
> earlier anyhow) is any good.
> ==========================================
> Now there's a beautiful piece of criticism in a note
> about criticism.
> So, are they not any good as literature?
> Are they not any good as drama?
> Much successful drama never makes it as
> literature. So what?
> Eliot wanted to be a dramatist. That's what he did.
> The British theatre scene seems to have been
> reasonably
> happy with what he did. In fact THE COCKTAIL PARTY
> was the first and (to my knowledge) only play to be
> a hit
> on Shaftesbury avenue and Broadway at the same time.
> Then, of course, there was the longest running
> musical
> on Broadway, CATS.
> As for the literary angle.... Time and again I see
> dis-
> cussions of the poetry on this list, that show a
> total
> ignorance of what the plays have to offer the
> discussion.
> A significant blindness.
> Read E.M. Browne to discover how insistent Eliot was
> at finding a poetry of the ordinary, everyday life,
> a kind of poetry any of us might speak. Remind you
> of Pound's insistence on natural rhythms? Or of, for
> goodness sakes, Wordsworth's desire for a selection
> of language spoken by ordinary folk.
> If you're trying to be as provocatively silly as I
> get,
> Jennifer, I would say you have a long way to go.
> Your dismissiveness just looks stupid.
> Cheers,
> Peter

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