I agree: that's why I recommend this article. It is not speculation about what Eliot meant but a study of his writings about what HE seemed to think he meant. That can be taken any way anyone wants, but it is not simply all sorts of ideas without any basis at all. It's not psychoanalysis, I assume, to note that Eliot did define what he thought about the term.
Nancy>>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>08/21/09 12:57 PM >>>
Posthumous psychoanalysis? One could attribute his anti-Semitism to anything -- maybe he found out about ritual circumcision and associated castration with Jews. It's silly to speculate.
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 21:24:58 -0400
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Eliot's Suppressed Lecture--a new and serious study
To: [log in to unmask]
If anyone is interested in a careful study of this, with quotations from Eliot and other sources, the essay by Bryan Cheyette in the new A Companion to T. S. Eliot, edited by David Chinitz, examines the ways Eliot writes about Jews, Blacks, and Irish. He sees them ultimately, and ironically, as Eliot's racial doubles. But he bases his argument on research about Eliot, not guesses or vaguely personal opinions. For example, oddly, Eliot--in a correspondence--said that "The Jewish religion. . . shorn of its traditional practices, observances and Messianism. . . tends to become a mild and colorless form of Unitarianism." Since it was his own Unitarian childhood that Eliot rejected, it may be more likely that for him the "free-thinking Jew" was his own early self and family, not all the rest of us. And it seems to be focused on a failure to be sufficiently "traditional."
In any case, Cheyette has done the research. See "Eliot and 'Race': Jews, Irish, and Blacks" in Chinitz.
>>> Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]
> 08/20/09 8:59 PM >>>
I'll buy that.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Armstrong" <[log in to unmask]
To: <[log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2009 1:30 PM
Subject: Re: Eliot's Suppressed Lecture
> O'Sullivan, Brian P wrote:
> > I thought that, since Eliot's concern was homogeneity,
> Strange that this discussion springs itself out of the dead ground of
> its previous fitful incarnation,
> but the Eliotic strange gods and free thinking Jews at least begin in
> these considerations previously
> posted to the list:
> "The phrase "strange [=alien, foreign] gods" that provides the title
> once in an unrelated context in the NT (Acts), but it occurs throughout
> the OT
> (at least Gen; Deut; Joshua; Judges; I Sam; 2 Chron; Psalms; Isaiah;
> Daniel; Malachi), where it is thematic, and whence it gets its deep
> in whole the Puritan vision of the "City set on the Hill," the "New
> Jerusalem," and so forth. Hence the Chosen People who, in analogy with
> children of Israel on certain occasions, or with certain ones of them
> are implicitly now following or beginning to follow after strange gods
> are "us
> Americans," once descended from the Pilgrim Fathers. We (the new
> Israel) are
> become (or are in danger of becoming) like the Hebrews blasted by
> Jeremiah and
> Amos. Anyone wishing to establish or maintain New Canaan successfully
> have a proliferation of free thinking Jews. The same theme is developed
> the OT under the rubric of adultery (which violates the peoples' marriage
> covenant with Jehovah) and the offspring of such adultery..."
> As Guy Brown went on to explain, "free thinking Jews" becomes, in the
> of theNew Canaan, the term for atheists.
> Ken A
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