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Dear Peter,
 
There is plentiful evidence in his plays and poems, and in his biography, that Eliot was sexually repressed (that hot tomato Valerie seems to have unrepressed him, but that was late in his life.)
 
No doubt he portrays male female relationships as dangerous; that's how he experienced them.
 
His depictions of sexual encounters per se, however, are limited to the working class. He leaves the upper class with their dignity by affording them the privacy he denies to the young man and the typist, who are displayed center stage.
 
That's significant.
 
Diana
 

Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2009 01:58:39 -0600
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Waste Land Sex
To: [log in to unmask]

My original point was that sex was a negative experience,
for the characters, ie it made them unhappy. It does figure
as a motivator in a major way,  and I do mean sexual encounters.
So even though the encounters are not shown on stage,
the experience is definitely a negative one. Your original
remark about the Aristocrats and zits &c sugggested Eliot
would never show sexual matters negatively. It seems to me
the plays provide evidence to the contrary. It might well be
that he wouldn't show the actual encounters. So?



Aug 21, 2009 09:58:51 AM, [log in to unmask] wrote:
Dear Peter,
 
It's not worth quibbling about, but nowhere else does Eliot write a scene of a sexual encounter as he does in TWL.
 
Diana
 

Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 19:32:15 -0800
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Waste Land Sex
To: [log in to unmask]

Well, there's Celia and Eddie Chamberlayne (o what a great name)
in TCP. In TCC there's an unacknowledged child. I vaguely recall
that in TFR there are several issues relating to sexual behaviour
or the lack thereof  that are causing unhappiness. It's not quite so
apparent, but not exactly absent from MIC. Freddie Culverwell in TES
has a past that comes back literally to haunt him. (One gets to meet
the Eumenides in person). One might even find it implied (to say the least)
in the first half of the second part of TWL.
 
I'm sure if I had the time I could find you more precise details, but I don't.
 
P.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Diana Manister
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 6:32 AM
Subject: Re: Waste Land Sex

Peter,
 
Please cite instances of sex in Eliot's plays. Or just one.
 
Marriage, engagement or romance are not euphemisms for sex in Eliot, probably based on his own experience with all three.
 
Diana
 

Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 16:20:52 -0600
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Waste Land Sex
To: [log in to unmask]

In his plays which are nearly all upper middle class, sex is pretty well
a negative experience.

P.


Aug 17, 2009 06:17:57 AM, [log in to unmask] wrote:
Kate,
 
The sexual interlude between the typist and her pimply lover was depicted as sordid because of it's working-class character. Note the one-room bedsit the typist occupies. If you believe Eliot's subtext, aristocrats don't get zits and their sexual activities are never approbrious. Never mind all those Irish servant girls who had their master's babies.
 
Eliot would never find sex between poor people natural or good. Or even between Lady Chatterly and Mellors, even though it was mutually satisfying and desired. Sex between Lord and Lady Chatterly was presumably acceptable, no matter the dissatisfaction of either or both parties, because it was sanctified by class and the law.
 
Diana
 

Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2009 15:25:53 -0400
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Waste Land Sex
To: [log in to unmask]

The scene between the bored shop girl and clerk always struck me because in most novels and TV Shows and movies depicting the early and mid twentieth century, a story involving sexual intimacy between umarried people is always depicted as a big deal, a secret, etc.  One would think that no one had sex until the 1960's.   Eliot  was able to see and reveal the truth in this area of human life, but yet, he did not appear to realize that people of different ethnic origins and races were much the same in the basics and that differences were the result of upbringing, environment, education, etc.  Bizarre.
 
Kate


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