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Hi Diana

I'm entertaining myself with the image of TSE ever trying to have any social
intercourse with a Nottinghamshire collier of the DHL / Morel ilk !

I think Valere was the closest TSE ever came to 'a bit of rough'

Regards

David

On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 3:04 PM, Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Dear Nancy,
>
> The fact that Eliot felt the need in the "Death by Water" section of
> TWL for purification from certain of his desires that were not after all
> acted on is symptomatic of a serious disturbance, not simple class snobbery.
> He seems to have been horrified by unrepressed sexuality, even or especially
> of the heterosexual kind between consenting adults:
>
> Commenting on the D.H. Lawrence in the suppressed essay "Personality and
> Demonic Possession" Eliot writes:
>
> "the social obsession which makes his well-born -- or almost well-born --
> ladies offer themselves to -- or make use of -- plebeians, springs from the
> same morbidity which makes his other female characters bestow their favours
> upon savages. The author of that book seems to me to have been a very sick
> man indeed."
>
> He regularly depicts "plebeians" as a lower form of life, not quite human,
> and he was as shocked by scenes of their sexual activity as a nun coming
> across two dogs mating. Eliot, raised on classic myths, bestowed the names
> of anthropodeities only on the upper class, even when they in his view
> misbehaved. He would never call Mellors Priapus for example, because he
> regarded him as little more than an animal.
>
> Diana
>
>
> ------------------------------
> Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 17:43:09 -0400
> From: [log in to unmask]
>  Subject: Re: Waste Land Sex
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
> The business between Viv and Bertie was well after the Harvard class that
> evoked "Mr. Appollinax," and Russell was a good friend to Eliot for quite a
> long time after Eliot married:  he lent Tom and Viv his flat and helped them
> in many ways before the affair caused a break.  It is not at all clear that
> the affair was mainly due to Russell either, despite the fact that he seems
> to have had more affairs than one can count anyway.
>
> I think there is some truth to both points that keep being made here, and
> they are not mutually exclusive.  There is really no sex that is not sordid
> or crude or violent (think of the many rapes in TWL) in Eliot's poetry.
> There are moments of sensual longing (like the brown hair in both "Prufrock"
> and "Ash-Wednesday" or the moment in the rose garden), but there is no sex
> act that is presented as beautiful or loving.  At least I cannot think of
> one.  Sweeney's are coldly vicious, as in "Sweeney Erect," or menacing, as
> in "Sweeney Agonistes."
>
> On the other hand, Diana is quite accurate about the language used for
> lower classes.  It is true that the narrator of "Dans le Restaurant" is
> revolted that the old waiter had desires like his own.  But it ends in the
> scene of death by water, a kind of purification.  And it is also the case
> that the waiter is recalling a time when he was seven years old.  The
> narrator is presumably an adult.  So his horror is a bit odd, to say the
> least.  Also, the sailors seem an exception, as I noted.  There are many
> presumably wealthy or cosmopolitan figures who are represented in very
> negative language, but it is not the language Diana notes.
>
> Cheers,
> Nancy
>
> >>> Diana Manister 08/26/09 2:10 PM >>>
> Dear CR:
>
> First of all, I'd like to know how any foetus could be responsible.
>
> Secondly, TSE would not compare a ditch-digger to Priapus. Yes, I get
> the jibe. But Russell is not summarily dismissed; he is in fact treated
> quite well considering that he went off for a bit with Eliot's wife. A
> high-class lecher.
>
> Think of the sordid atmosphere of Lil's section in TWL; a woman with
> missing teeth and too many children who aborted herself with something from
> the pharmacy, not even a doctor. The typist's squalid amours with her
> pimply indifferent lover. These are described as lower forms of life.
>
> These characters are written in a different key from Priapus in the garden.
> It's a matter of the language used and the imagery.
>
> Diana
>
> ------------------------------
> Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 08:51:48 -0700
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Waste Land Sex
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
>   [image: Photo of Bertrand Russell]<http://plato.stanford.edu/info.html#takedown>
> *Photo by Larry Burrows*
>
> Bertrand Russell
>
> "He laughed like an irresponsible foetus."
>
> "What paradoxes! Man is a cunning creature of many devices."
>
> In "Mr. Apollinax", Eliot does not fail to take a jibe at the
> high-class Bertrand Russell's irresponsible sensuality. The poet is reminded
> of "Priapus in the shrubbery / Gaping at the lady in the swing."
>
> Some ennobling light, that :)
>
> CR
>
>
> --- On *Tue, 8/25/09, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>* wrote:
>
>     There is nothing ennobling about the sexual misadventures of the high
> class "heirs of City Directors" -- their sexual exploitation of the Thames
> daughters is shown in a poor light.
>
> In 'Dans le Restaurant", there is an admission by the high class narrator
> that his own (sexual) "experiences" are as reprehensible as the waiter's --
> how shall the waiter pay back for experiences quite like his own, he asks.
>
> And in 'Burbank', the 'gondola' fragment of the epigraph takes its full
> meaning in relation to Princess Volupine's pleasure boat landing beside the
> old palace where the foxy voluptuary entertains Sir Ferdinand Klein. The
> boatman smiles as one who shares in their secret. In the epigraph, the old
> dilapidated palace, emblematic of degenerate aristocracy, gets associated in
> the poet's mind with unabashed lust.
>
> CR
>
>
> *Diana Manister 08/23/09 9:50 AM >>>*
>
> My point is that he portrayed the upper class in an ennobling light, as
> if social status precluded casual sex or unattractiveness.
>
>
>
>
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