You may be correct, Peter, for in the case of Wallace Stevens, his  daughter, 
Holly, hotly denied the deathbed conversion scenario attributed to her  
father.  Though, of course, a person becoming a Christian on his deathbed  is far 
different than a healthy person doing so as a matter of belief.  So,  the 
conversion story, whether true or not, is irrelevant and Holly  shouldn't have 
taken it so much to heart, but I believe that she was attempting  to  protect her 
father's reputation as a poet with her adamant  denials.
In a message dated 5/13/2007 3:09:17 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

No doubt  his popularity waned when he became a Christian. A question is,
did it wane  because his poetry lost quality or appeal or whatever the right
word is, or  because he became a Christian.

Matthew Arnold et al. (good old al.) did  educate us as to the uses
of art as an alternative to religion, and Eliot  had his responses to
that as well.

No question as to the negative  criticism Eliot and his work received
after he committed the sin of  Christianity.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Nancy  Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent:  Saturday, May 12, 2007 9:43 AM
Subject: autobiography &  4Q

Marcia is quite right and makes the most important point  here.  In fact,
some drank it willingly; some tried to escape; a very  few did.  But there
really are, also, people who do not require  objects of worship--let alone AN
object--to imagine the most profound  values.  Really--there are.  There are
other sources.  It is  possible to llove peace and imagination and generosity
of spirit and  mutuality without iconic gods, let alone god(s).  And as
Marcia  reminds us, it is possible to worship with devastating effect.

And,  since this is, or was, a list about Eliot, it may be worth recalling
what  we all know, that he wrote much of his most important poetry before
being  Christian and considered being Buddhist at the time of TWL.

I am  rereading a whole series of Eliot critics from very early, and it  is
fascinating that so much of what now appears to some to be  contemporary
reaction against Eliot or a general failure to read him in  what is imagined
to be a true or correct way was always there in critical  debate.  Very few
readers read him as proposing a religious idea when  his first work came out.
Many were distressed at the turn in the late 20s  and 30s.  They were
mainstream  critics.

>>> Marcia Karp  <[log in to unmask]> 05/12/07 9:42 AM >>>
But they knew it was  Jim Jones who made it.  And by the time they drank
it, many knew who  Jim Jones was.


Diana Manister wrote:

> Dear CR:  I think Mallarmé's warning was an important one. If God is
> removed as  an object of worship, something will take the place God
> occupied. We  are behoven to consider what we adore: it could be the
> self, or, as  Jung warned, a charismatic leader that we follow to hell.
> A good  dictator knows how to use all the rituals and iconic images of
>  religion to inspire irrational faith. Very dangerous. Don't drink the
>  Kool-Aid unless you know who made it! Diana
>  <>

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