I no longer have the original, so I can only say that there was no
grammatical connection between the speculations and the "we."  It was
between those "who struggle" and "we."  But this is an example of just
how email flattens and distorts intent.  It has no affect.  So
ironically it needs far greater care with writing--rather than the less
it gets--to be clear.

In any case, I think there is a constant misunderstanding on this list
about personal, as opposed to critical, responses.  I do not care, for
example, if anyone sees my views as total nonsense, and if they can
demonstrate that, I'd see it as fascinating.  But I find personal
remarks not simply offensive but absurd since no one on the list knows
me or what I "really" think or what my intentions are except as they
appear on the list.

I see no reason at all for anyone to address critique to persons rather
than ideas, and on email that can easily be misread if it is not written
with precision.

Nancy what can I do to make my implied relative clause more explicit? I
thought it was clear that by "we" I meant those to whose speculations
Carrol objected. I regret not having said that in my original message,
but I did explain my meaning in the message below. "We" can be a
perfectly good, non-privileging word when it refers to a group with a
common, though no more worthwhile agenda than another person's or

No disrespect was intended. If anything, my objections were to what I
perceived as the overly controlling proscriptions of a member of the
list's established authority to a few upstarts' imaginative

I apologize for the lack of precision in my statement. Diana


I objected--and still do--to the "We who are struggling. . . . If you
don't like what we do. . . ."  It says--whether intended or not--that
there is a "we" who are central here and he can like it or leave.  You
did not say "We who employ speculation"; you said "We who are struggling
to understand," as if that did not include others.   I'm not addressing
what you do or like or believe:  I'm addressing the assumptions in that
reaction to Carrol.

Nancy, if some of us find it helpful to veer off into speculations about
what elements in Eliot's work might mean, I think it is our right to
employ that method. Eliot freed his imagination, and if some of our
associations are arbitrary and wrong-headed, well that is the price paid
for thinking outside the box. I offer my "take" on his words in order to
get more information. I often change my interpretation after being
corrected by other listers, which is one of the benefits of such a list.
Why carry around some misguided idea about what Eliot meant, when I can
expose my belief to the list and be either reinforced or disabused of
it? I don't offer my interpretations as correct; I'm asking what others

No one owns this list, as far as I know. By "we" I meant those of us
employing the speculative method to which Carrol objected. His remarks
addressed an approach to Eliot's work that he found undocumentable; my
remarks addressed his approach to our approach. Neither of our
criticisms were ad hominum.  Diana


>>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 07/02/07 9:36 AM >>>