Dear Listers, 

My thanks to Will for his excellent report on the TSE
meeting, and Marcia for her wishes of good luck (we
missed her there!). The meeting was, as Will said, an
excellent two days of commeraderie and talks, and
included a musical setting (not to my taste, but
rather interesting) of The Waste Land.  

Robert Crawford's lecture on 'Marina' brought his
close critical attention to the drafts of the poem--in
the Bodleian--, as well as the correspondence with
McKnight Kauffer (who illustrated it for the Ariel
series) and Michael Sadler, to whom he sent the draft.
He also touched on a letter to Hayward about Eliot's
desire for children in the late-twenties and early
1930's, at the same time as he realised he would not
become a father. Crawford also discussed the sound
pattern of the poem (the ebb and flow of its
lineation, especially, as well as the remarkable
absence of punctuation) and its relation to later
poems written by fathers or men addressing paternity
and a desire for children. He did not touch on
Empson's two wonderful pieces on 'Marina', published
in Argufying, but his lecture showed a knowledge of
those pieces. 

It was an excellent lecture by a very good scholar.
It's a shame that, so far as I know, the Society has
no arrangements to publish the Eliot memorial

Other notable papers included one on Eliot and La
Nouvelle Review Francais, mainly detailing Eliot's
Anglo-Saxon misconceptions of French classicism,
delivered by a native; and one on Eliot's reading of
Russell's Free Man's Worship and its impact on his
conversion in 1927 to the CofE. 

Roger Craik, the son of one of the Arden Shakespeare
editors (D W Craik, I think), spoke quickly in his
lustruous Leicestershire accent, giving the best brief
and plain spoken paper on 'Portrait of a Lady' I've so
far has the pleasure of listening to.  His humour was
much appreciated, and so too his manner of positing
that Rubinstein might have been the 'Latest Pole'
heard playing Chopin in POL, and then refuting
himself, asking if it really mattered. 

At the end, we were treated to a reading of 'The
Burial of the Dead' in Korean, and several of Eliot's
French poems in French, including Dans le Restaurant. 

The Society is contemplating future meetings in Boston
& Paris. I encourage everyone on the list to support
the society (they offer special rates, I think, to
graduate students) and to visit their website at

On a final note. Peter raised the question of class in
J. Alfred Prufrock and T. Stearns Eliot, an
abbreviation that Eliot flirted with around 1916 or
so, I believe. It is not, however, a question of
class; rather, it is a question of English versus
American abbreviation. For instance, the British now
typically use the abbreviation of the first and middle
initials: J. A. Prufrock. The Americans, however,
typically use the middle abbreviation: John A
Prufrock. In England, this abbreviation, along with
anything such as Jr, Sr, or PhD, is considered
pretentious. The use of the first initial followed by
a full middle, as J Alfred Prufrock, typically implies
that the individual goes by their middle name rather
than their Christian name. I suspect the appearance of
T. Stearns Eliot around 1916, when TSE was settling in
England, was a confusion about English versus American
abbreviations, whilst the adoption of T.S. Eliot
conformed (not unlike Eliot himself) to the English

Yours, Jennifer