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At 11:34 AM 6/14/2007, Carrol Cox wrote:

>In the case of Eliot (as of Frost), however, worship of an imaginary
>Icon obscures the poetry, and generates among other things a large body
>of commentary which is merely "explaining away" this or that detail of
>the poems not consistent with the Idol. In the case of Austen it
>conceals how damn wonderfully vicious she was.

It's a matter of perspective, perhaps. The more obvious trend, and well 
represented on this list, is a large body of commentary which is merely 
"explaining away" this or that line of the poetry not consistent with the 
miserable individual who somehow wrote the poetry. It is at least as bogus 
as your depiction of the idol boosters.

As the Henry James character said, O you critics, whether you kick me in 
the shins or pat me on the back, you miss the entire point of my art, 
without which it isn't worth a jot (or more and betters words  to that effect).

Ken A.