Marcia, Eliot was writhing in his feeling of literary impotence. We can't take it too seriously if it resulted in his writing poetry for which he earned the Nobel Prize. One of those attacks of false impotence writers often experience, obviously -- you might as well feel sad for every writer who ever picked up a pen or touched a keyboard. There are many other areas where you might direct your compassion more appropriately than to feel bad for Eliot's compositional inertia. Diana

From: Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Some fun -- by accident or design
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 19:43:54 -0400

Thanks for pointing out impotence/importance.

But he was in pain, no matter whether you think he should have been or not.


cr mittal wrote:

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Marcia, it would be Eliot's pain if indeed he were impotent.
The fun here lies in the word-play between "impotence" and

Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I can see how this is of interest, but fun?  To laugh ironically at Eliot's pain?

I'm sorry not to see the fun.  Where is it?


cr mittal wrote:
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Some fun -- by accident or design
"He [Pound] wants me to bring out a Vol. after the War," Eliot enthused to
Aiken in late September 1914, adding ruefully: "The devil of it is that I have
done nothing good since J. A[lfred] P[rufrock]. and writhe in impotence"
(LOTSE, 58). Pound immediately grasped Eliot's importance, and he was
soon laboring to get all his early poems into print. More important, his
encouragement had rekindled Eliot's ambitions...
            ~ Lawrence Rainy, Introduction to The Annotated Waste Land

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