Which of course brings Guido de Montefeltro to mind.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: cr mittal 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Monday, June 11, 2007 3:15 PM
  Subject: Re: Of "awful daring"

  Thou, who art wise, better my meaning know'st,
  Than I can speak.

       ~ Dante : Inferno, II. (Trans. by Henry F. Cary)

  "O'Sullivan, Brian P" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
    I've always imagined that if the "daring moment" had a biographical 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 English
    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 meant 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: Of "awful daring"

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

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

    >>> cr mittal 06/10/07 1:12 PM >>>
    Diana Manister 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 haste,
    repent at leisure." Not believing in divorce, his sudden to decision
    marry Viv left him one of their lifetimes in which to repent. Diana

    I don't think so, Diana. There's a note of approval, not disapproval,
    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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