Dear Peter,

Eliot hagiography can be found in posts to this list consisting of  
reverent assertions of his mysticism to the exclusion of all other  
content in his work.

Any other questions?


Sent from my iPod

On Mar 3, 2010, at 1:28 AM, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>  

> And where might one find such hagiography?
> I would be very interested. It'sexistence keeps getting asserted,  
> but its
> presence is nowhere to be found.
> P.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "DIana Manister" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 3:47 AM
> Subject: Re: 'Gerontion' -- the dramatic arc
>> Dear Ken,
>> Firstly, no one asserted that Eliot was out of control. Every text
>> comprises signifieds that escaped the authors attention and  
>> intention,
>> often bringing contradictory meanings into it. Absolute control is a
>> fantasy. Eliot was more aware than most writers of polyvalent
>> connotations in his work, but he had his blind spots.
>> Second, Eliot's genius created formal innovations as well as
>> transforming poetic content. Not to study Eliot because of a distaste
>> for his inhumane prejudices would be foolish.
>> You indicate that anyone not engaged in writing Eliot hagiography
>> should be banned from discussing his work.
>> Diana
>> Sent from my iPod
>> On Mar 1, 2010, at 9:03 PM, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>> George Carless wrote:
>>>> Ken Armstrong ([log in to unmask]) wrote the following on
>>>> Sat, Feb 27, 2010 at 09:30:08AM -0500:
>>>>> DIana Manister wrote:
>>>>>> Who says the Jew is Jesus? He's depicted as negatively as Fresca
>>>>>> and von Kulp. Who are they? Mary Magdelene and The Blessed  
>>>>>> Mother?
>>>>> You have to place yourself in the poem. Where is Gerontion while
>>>>> being read to by a boy? What is being read? Where does one find
>>>>> "the jew" (not "a jew") squatting on a window sill? One who owns
>>>>> "the house"? One who has been spawned, blistered, patched and
>>>>> peeled, i.e. the "fish" in stained glass in just those city-
>>>>> centers of Europe? What is the significance of the poem's locale
>>>>> to "the field overhead"? You'd have to give up your fantasy Eliot,
>>>>> the negative one for whom all things created in his poetry somehow
>>>>> equate to psychological fissures and fractures, to dig to the real
>>>>> one whom the critics you quote do not touch. The odd thing to me
>>>>> is how obvious it is that he hasn't been touched, that such an
>>>>> easy identification of "the jew" is so difficult for the Eliot
>>>>> Distraction League to simply see, not to say they couldn't sober
>>>>> up, gather themselves, and push on from that obvious beginning
>>>> Go on, then. Where *is* Gerontion, while being read to by a boy?
>>>> What is being read? Where *does* one find "the Jew" (and is it too
>>>> much to hope that you can justify in some way, from the text, your
>>>> implication that the 'the' in "the Jew" makes it Christian rather
>>>> than derogatory?   Justify, indeed, *any* of this from a reading of
>>>> the text that doesn't simply fall back to "why, it's so obvious!
>>>> how can you not see it?"
>>>  George,
>>> The questions sort of answered themselves, I thought. Once you see
>>> them, at least, you have to give up the superficial view that
>>> Gerontion is hate speech composed by an out of control poet. I mean,
>>> what foolishness.
>>>> All of this talk of the "Eliot Distraction League" and its like
>>>> becomes quickly tiresome.
>>> Perhaps you should expend your limited energies elsewhere?
>>>> What of the Eliot Sycophancy League?
>>>  If you were right, why bother with Eliot at all? The League of
>>> Distracted Eliot Scholars (just like that, an upgrade to 2.0) is in
>>> the oddest of positions: its members claim Eliot to be the crassest
>>> of individuals while at the same time being a poet who
>>> created......what? What's worth "recovering" of Eliot if you
>>> honestly think he is the small-minded, mean-spirited poet whose
>>> treatment of Jews and others is "sordid"? Sorry, but these critics
>>> are fashion mongers who add nothing to Eliot studies, except of
>>> course bean hill after bean hill of distraction. Based on the
>>> fanciful idea that if they just find ENOUGH ELIOT LIFE BEANS, the
>>> scale will be tipped in their favor. It will never happen, of
>>> course, but they do not realize it, nor wish to.
>>> Do you recollect what Eliot said would be the fate of his Poems
>>> 1920? Gerontion is waiting for rain, the spirit. Where do you think
>>> he is?
>>> Ken