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I mean Eliot's vision is divisive: his work presents a vision of selves divided against themselves and each other, a present divided against the past, man divided from God. I see no complacency in his work regarding those divisions, but rather a passionate quest for wholeness, the confrontation and overcoming of obstacles to it, resulting in the sublimity of the 4Qts. Diana


From:  Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:  "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To:  [log in to unmask]
Subject:  Re: Eliot and Unitarianism
Date:  Tue, 26 Sep 2006 13:23:04 -0400
And apparently "devise" and "divide" are etymologically kissing cousins. Just the same, with all due respect to the OED, I'm thinking that in most people's minds "divisive" means what the OED lists as meaning #2. I'm reminded that "objective" and "subjective" at one time meant what each other now means. Using them that way today would be, perhaps, divisive. And even the OED lists no "devisive."

At 12:05 PM 9/26/2006, you wrote:
>Carroll said
>
> > To be devisive is
> > to set people who (allegedly) should be friends at enmity with
>each
> > other.
>
>Although that's pretty much what I think of when I hear the word
>divisive, I
>was interested to find that the OED Online gives, as the first
>definition of
>"divisive*," the following:
>
>"having the quality or function of dividing; causing or expressing
>division
>or distribution; making or perceiving distinctions, analytical."
>
>
>To me, that actually seems fairly close to what Diane means; I think
>she;s
>saying that Eliot's poetry has "the quality or function or dividing"
>man
>from god, or it "makes or perceives distinctions" between those
>metaphysical
>parties.
>
>The meaning Carroll refers to is given second: "Producing or tending
>to
>division, disunion, dissension, or discord."
>
>Brian
>
>*The OED Online gives no results for "devisive."