I'm afraid I do not see so big a difference between calling someone
stupid and attributing stupidity to their views.

As for dismissiveness, as I said, I often disagree with Jennifer:  that
does not mean her views are stupid, and many would agree with
that dissmissiveness.

Date sent:              Sun, 30 Nov 2003 20:56:49 -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]

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?


-----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 CATS.

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.

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.