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‘we corrupt our feelings with 
ideas;
   we produce the public, the political, the emotional
idea, evading
   sensation and thought.... Mr. Chesterton's brain
swarms with ideas;
   I see no evidence that it thinks.’

The malady of the modern mind!  It is wonderful to see
Eliot's perceptive note on it.  I see there is a
subtle difference here from what Eliot means by the
mind which ‘thinks’ (amalgamating disparate
experiences etc) when it comes to poetry.  I haven’t
read much by Eliot on novelists, and such a passage
makes me curious to read more, if they exist. 


--- "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

   [Henry] James's critical genius comes out most
> tellingly in his
>    mastery over, his baffling escape from, Ideas; a
> mastery and an escape
>    which are perhaps the last test of a superior
> intelligence. He had a
>    mind so fine that no idea could violate it.... In
> England, ideas run
>    wild and pasture on the emotions; instead of
> thinking with our
>    feelings (a very different thing) we corrupt our
> feelings with ideas;
>    we produce the public, the political, the
> emotional idea, evading
>    sensation and thought.... Mr. Chesterton's brain
> swarms with ideas;
>    I see no evidence that it thinks. James in his
> novels is like the best
>    French critics in maintaining a point of view, a
> view-point untouched
>    by the parasite idea. He is the most intelligent
> man of his generation.
> 
> T.S. Eliot, Little Review, 1918
> 
> Taken from http://www.nybooks.com/articles/4914
> 
> Regards,
>     Rick Parker
> 



		
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