I love it. :) You almost scked me in.
I guess ifwe are going to commit the blatant kind of
list abuse which Gunnae sucked us into, we might as well be
on topic.

I am findng the Oxford Canadian Dictionary an invaluable
resource. It confirmswhat I read in THE WHITE GODDESS
too long ago to be useful, that the etymology of the word "book"
 takes "book" back to "beech" the bark oif which was used for

Now, to connect that with THE ELDER STATESMAN one
has to look at the symbolic use o the book there-in.
It is an objective correlative for life. Eliot looking at the end of his
career in an elaborate book shop.

Just for the sheer impish pleasure of it, I also looked up
"they, their &c" in The Oxford Canadian Dictionary.
Under #4 it registers the usage with the word DISPUTED,
mentioning it as common in speech, less so but growing in writing.
It also says it is deplored by some people. It doesn't mention that
among those people would be my English dept (20 odd members),
two-thirds of whom are women. The usage is just plain officially
not accepted. I am so happy to be amongst such deplorable company.
When the topic comes around to politically correct usage, everyone
just laughs. 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 3:23 PM
Subject: Re: Elderstatesman

> Peter Montgomery wrote:
> > 
> > Now that we have all that out of our systems, I would like to raise
> > a question I raised before, and for which, as far as I can recall,
> > I got no response:
> > Why does Eliot have Lord Claverton face his mortal end under a
> > beech tree?
> This is an allusion to Dante's "Inferno" Canto XXIV where Dante and
> Virgil meet Count Tutti di Frutti who also died under a beech tree
> but by being torn apart by a supposedly friendly dog which was way
> to aggressive in defending her litter (this allusion also being used
> by Eliot in "Dans le Restaurant" and "The Waste Land".)  Anyway,
> di Frutti summarizes his death with the well-known quote
> (Longfellow translation): "Life's a beech, then you die."
> Regards,
>     Rick Parker
> -- 
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