Kate wrote:"Emily Hale, I believe, lacked self-esteem, self-sufficiency and common sense if she really waited for Elliot (sic) for 30 years."

Good thing pop psychology was not around when Homer wrote The Odyssey  or Penelope would have visited her local Dr. Phil instead of waiting! Diana

From: Kate Troy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: {Disarmed} Re: Of "awful daring"
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 19:24:32 EDT

As far as love and marriage go, it is best to do what is best for one's self, as to do otherwise would end up being non-beneficial for all involved.  Perhaps he may have been more sensitive to their feelings, but I cannot help thinking that Emily Hale was a very silly woman, believing that he after all those years he would finally marry her.   I remember that my mother had a pretty friend who sometimes hung around the house when I was a young teenager, 14 or 15 years of age.  Her friend was a bit younger than herself.  Her name was Annette.  Annette was probably in her early 30's at the time. Annette, I remember, showed up frequently at the house to chat with my mother.  They would always stop talking when I entered the room.  My older sister, six years older, informed me a couple of years later (when I was a little more knowledgeable about the world) that Annette had been seeing a married man for several years and that our mother had been trying to persuade her for years to discontinue her relationship with this man, but Annette truly believed that this man would one day leave his wife and marry her. I believe that Annette was 38 when she finally left this man, after 10 years.  She finally realized that he would never leave his wife and marry her.  Several months or so after, Annette met another man and she fell in love with him, and they married.  I don't know if they lived happily ever after, for Annette and her husband moved away and her and my mom I think lost touch after a few years.  Emily Hale, I believe, lacked self-esteem, self-sufficiency and common sense if she really waited for Elliot for 30 years.  Even my mom's pretty little friend, Annette, grew up after 10 years.
In a message dated 6/14/2007 3:42:37 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
I think that what was being addressed was not his comfort but Emily's.
No doubt he did what he felt was best for himself.

>>> Kate Troy <[log in to unmask]> 06/14/07 11:10 AM >>>
No doubt, he was flattered by the attention and the declarations of love
and devotion from these woman, as unlike Vivian, he was not attractive,
outgoing, flirtatious and didn't attract the attention of women in
general.  Who can say whether or not he felt anything deeper than
friendship for them. Then, add into the mix the question of his
homosexuality.  Obviously, the disastrous marriage to Vivian may have
made him a bit hesitant to propose marriage again to anybody.  By the
time he met Valerie, he was older and he obviously trusted her greatly
and found comfort in their relationship.



-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 7:50 am
Subject: Re: Of "awful daring"

Many people on this list find it a constant need to idealize him and
peak of how great he was, etc.  Yet that never seems to trouble you.
f praising him is valid, critiqueing him is valid.  You can't have it
oth ways.  The alternative is to focus on the poetry itself, but that
ever seems the limit.
>>> Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> 06/14/07 4:56 AM >>>
find this need to judge him at all very curious.
oap operas and tabloid journalism never interested me.
---- Original Message -----
rom: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
o: <[log in to unmask]>
ent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 5:18 AM
ubject: Re: Of "awful daring"

It's Emily, not Nancy Hale and Mary Trevelyan.  And it is not hearsay.
It is all documented.  See Gordon.  And 30 years of letters after a
and years of mutual visiting leaves a lot more than time enough to be
"up front."

>>> Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> 06/13/07 3:15 AM >>>
I can see that it looks very unfair to Nancy Hale and Mary Trevalyn,
but it seems for once he knew where his happiness really lay and he
chose to go there. It would have been wrong for him to marry either
of them ifhe knew it wouldn't work for him. i can believe he should
been more up front about it with Nancy Hale.

It is one thing to think you want to do something when you can't,
and quite another to continue wanting it when you actually can do it.
There is a radical change in prespective.

I find this need to judge him on the basis of hear say rather curious.

   ----- Original Message -----
   From: Diana Manister
   To: [log in to unmask]
   Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 6:27 AM
   Subject: Re: Of "awful daring"

   Brian, it seems to me that Eliot's leaving Nancy Hale in America,
she and all their acquaintances assumed they would marry, was a
source of guilt for him all of his life. This reads like a soap opera,
but even a genius is tormented by relationships. It seems almost as if
his treatment of Hale had a tinge of sadism to it, so cruelly was she
tossed aside twice in favor of other women. Repenting his first
may have included regret over having chosen Viv over Nancy. In any
event, he certainly was very aware of his ill-treatment of a woman who
loved him all of her life. I think the hyacinth girl has a Nancy Hale
component, and the woman in the following poem especially:

   La Figlia Che Piange (The Weeping Girl)

   "...So I would have had him leave,
   So I would have had her stand and grieve,
   So he would have left         10
   As the soul leaves the body torn and bruised,
   As the mind deserts the body it has used.
   I should find
   Some way incomparably light and deft,
   Some way we both should understand,         15
   Simple and faithless as a smile and shake of the hand.

   She turned away, but with the autumn weather
   Compelled my imagination many days,
   Many days and many hours:
   Her hair over her arms and her arms full of flowers.         20
   And I wonder how they should have been together!
   I should have lost a gesture and a pose.
   Sometimes these cogitations still amaze
   The troubled midnight and the noon's repose.  "

   Hale had a breakdown and was hospitalized after one of Eliot's
marriages, I forget which. After Vivienne's death, it seemed they
marry after all, but he again reneged saying "It's too late!" Mary
Trevelyan in England asked him several times to marry her after Viv
died, but he said he had an attachment to a woman in America, who
only have been Nancy Hale. They saw each other over the years, when
Eliot was in America and when she came to England. She accompanied him
on his visit to places mentioned in 4Qs, and I sometimes think the
not entered and the unseen laughing children refer at least partly to
his not having married Hale and had a family.

   The events may be public, but guilt is not written in our


     From:  "O'Sullivan, Brian P" <[log in to unmask]>
     Reply-To:  "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
     To:  [log in to unmask]
     Subject:  Re: Of "awful daring"
     Date:  Mon, 11 Jun 2007 16:48:23 -0400
     I've always imagined that if the "daring moment" had a
referent, it was something less public and documentable than what we
know of his marriage or conversion or change of national
affiliation--something "not to be found in our obituaries."


     Brian O'Sullivan, Ph.D.
     Assistant Professor of Englishh
     Director of the Writing Center
     Montgomery Hall 50
     18952 E. Fisher Rd.
     St. Mary's College of Maryland
     St. Mary's City, Maryland


     From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. on behalf of Kate Troy
     Sent: Mon 6/11/2007 4:07 PM
     To: [log in to unmask]
     Subject: Re: Of "awful daring"

     These lines may not have referred to his marriage.  Perhaps he
leaving America and living his life as a British citizen.

     -----Original Message-----
     From: Nancy Gish
     To: [log in to unmask]
     Sent: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 1:29 pm
     Subject: Re: Off "awful daring"

     It need not be either approval or disapproval but simply fact.  It
     Eliot, after all, who said that it was better to do evil than to
     nothing because "at least we exist."  (Or it may be "at least we
     alive"--I just read it but it's not right here.)  In any case,
     moments are not very present in any of the poetry, and when they
     possible, whoever is speaking tends to fail.

     It was not much of a marriage for Viv either, and it was she whose
     never recovered.  He seems to have sustained guilt over that but
     have acted on his guilt.

     >>> cr mittal <[log in to unmask]> 06/10/07 1:12 PM >>>
     Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
              The awful daring of a moment's surrender
        Which an age of prudence can never retract

        CR: I have always seen this as Eliot's way of saying "Marry in
        repent at leisure." Not believing in divorce, his sudden to
        marry Viv left him one of their lifetimes in which to repent.

        I don't think so, Diana. There's a note of approval, not
        to the "awful daring of a moment's surrender" in

        The awful daring of a moment's surrender
        Which an age of prudence can never retract
        // By this, and this only, we have existed //



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