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Dear Nancy,

Yes it's innacurate to essentialize Eliot as an anti-Semite or as  
anything at all.

Diana
Sent from my iPod

On Jan 16, 2010, at 1:20 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> This simply illustrates, I think, the point I have tried to make.   
> The either "either/or" or chaos dichotomy is also just a false  
> dichotomy.  Clearly there are some naked alternatives: if it is hang  
> on or die, one must choose.  But actuality continually presents us  
> also with a broad range of possibilities.  When someone says, for  
> example, "you're either with us or against us," it is nearly always  
> not the case.  There are more often than not many other ways to  
> think or act.  Or, you may have a choice to hang on, die, or take  
> the chance to grip a hand held out to save you--if there is one-- 
> rather than to trust to your strength in hanging on.
>
> Take the health care debate; it is not about either healthcare or no  
> healthcare.  It is messy set of choices on all kinds of things.
> (Or better yet, don't take it if it means getting into a discussion  
> of it.)  My point is that there are naked alternatives and there are  
> sets of many possibilities, and the real issue is to know which  
> confronts you and how to think through the two or (much more often)  
> many alternatives.
>
> To get back to Eliot, for example, there is no necessity either to  
> affirm him as a great man or renounce his work.  It has so many  
> permutations that books have been written for nearly a century.  I,  
> as is obvious, do neither.  His work is both brilliant and often  
> disturbing or disturbed.  His ideas often appall me and often  
> astonish me with their insight.  As a person he was apparently  
> extremely changeable in his treatment of others, kind and helpful to  
> many, emotionally treacherous to many.  There is no way to place  
> him, his work, or any artist into one of only two ways of response.
>
> I presume that will raise many hackles, so we may see how little we  
> can stay in a dichotomy.
> Cheers,
> Nancy
>
> >>> Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> 01/16/10 12:39 PM >>>
> Diana Manister wrote:
> >
> > Dear Ken,
> >
> > Either/or, like all binaries, depend on totalizing each element.
>
> Yoou are hanging by your fingertips to a conveyer belt, dangling  
> over an
> abyss. Either you hang on or you die.
>
> Actuality continually presents us with naked alternatives. Either
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> you look down here to see what follows or you don't read this line.
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> Either you repond to this post or you don't respond to this post.
>
> Your leg is gangrenous: either you have it amputateed or you die.
>
> You come to a fork in a road. Either you continue or you go back. If  
> you
> continue you take either the elft or the right fork.
>
> Only in discourse are there always multiple versions. Which is why  
> naive
> conceptions of the role of discourse fail even to understand  
> discoruse.
>
> The Eleventh Theis is not an ethical injunction that we _should)  
> change
> the world. It is an epistemological claim, that we can interpret the
> world only within the effort to change it.
>
> Carrol