One can only pity you. - CR

--- On Thu, 4/1/10, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I'm sure you don't.  So shame on you for that.

>>> Chokh Raj 04/01/10 8:06 PM >>>

Well, I don't find I've done ANYTHING for which I should be ashamed of. Nor do I find any point in your imputations. So maybe this is the last you'll hear from me on this.  - CR

--- On Thu, 4/1/10, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

//You have persistently indicated that there is a truth I simply cannot get. // That is both nonsense and rude.  Say what you like, but shame on you.
Example: "Thanks, Ken, for making a classic statement on the metaphysical perspective of Eliot's poetry. It stands up to any scrutiny.  This is the post that, at last, justifies the list. [emphasis mine] I'll cherish it -- now & evermore."  See below that you said this as a response to the claim "for those who didn't see it."  //The idea that there is an "it" to be seen by a select few but one of which I am incapable is, indeed, snide and rude--not just to me, but to everyone who sends ideas that do not fit yours or Ken's view.//
//And the claim that this one "truth" "justifies the list" is an insult to everyone who writes in things they have thought about seriously and struggled to understand.  Nothing you say changes that.//

--- On Tue, 3/30/10, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Eliot did say in an interview with a French newspaper that between his pre- and post-conversion poetry there was no essential change in point of view. Eric Thompson, to whom I've often referred on the list, wrote one book on Eliot, and that on Eliot's metaphysical perspective;  the point being that he had a metaphysical perspective from the time his first mature poetry (Prufrock and so forth) appeared to the end. Is this boring? I have no idea why it would be. It does not preclude experimentation, exploration, peripeteia, or any dynamic thing you can think of.

It's not up for a vote.There's no security in numbers. What matters is what it is. Either that's the prize or there is no prize. Scholarly views change like ripples in a pond. The place the rock hits the water is unchanging.

The poetry is in the poem. For those who didn't see it 1923 or 1937 or 1963 or 1998, there's no reason to suppose it'll be visible in 2014. The mass of knowledge that has accreted around Eliot does not make the poetry.



>>> Chokh Raj 04/01/10 12:31 PM >>>

Of course, you'll find it nonsense, a personal snide, a pattern et al.
To me it's a serious piece of criticism -- and most critical.
Sorry, listers, if I've kept you waiting.

--- On Wed, 3/31/10, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Eliot on Charles Williams' mysticism
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 1:05 PM

Oh nonsense.  Can you never address ideas instead of persons with snide implications of a secret group who know and all others who are somehow ignorant or foolish or incompetent?

>>> Chokh Raj 03/31/10 10:15 AM >>>

This one too. It helps clear the air. 
Ah, "The sapient sutlers of the [word] / [have drifted too long] across the window-panes." "The masters of the subtle schools / Are [indeed] controversial, polymath."

--- On Wed, 3/31/10, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Nancy Gish wrote:
> We can certainly agree that it is what it is.  (I presume that it is not what it is not.) But that you know what it is, and serious lovers of poetry who devote lifetimes to thinking about it simply don't, is too absurd to consider.  What "it is" is not a given or a reified object.

   Serious lovers of poetry who have studied Eliot for thirty years and more disagree with one another about his poetry. They can't all be right.

>  *I* *never said* that every time Christianity and Eliot come up that he didn't write allegory.  Many of his poems have allegory or allegorical elements--not all and not all his life.  I stand by the statement about reading back.

  If you were to go back through your posts, you would see that one of your stock replies to the notion that Christianity is essential to Eliot's poetry is that he does not write mere allegory.That is how you have used the term to reject the notion that Christianity is essential to the poetry under discussion. If you are now changing your position, glad to hear it.

>  To say Eliot is not just one thing is no more general than to claim he "was" a Christian.  Of course he was at some point.  That point is probably not yet determined.

   But this is such a fascinating idea! "That point is probably not yet determined." When do you think it will be? Who will have the authority to determine it? And who has said that "Eliot is just one thing"? Again, to say that Christianity is essential to Eliot's poetry is not to say he is "just one thing"; is it? Of course the phrase is not precise. Every body, when they write, is some thing or things or another, so I assume the problem is not in identifying that thing or things, but in defending the veracity of one's claim.

The point of Eric Thompson's book, by the way, which of course I would recommend to any serious lover of Eliot's poetry, is that Eliot brings a discernible metaphysical vision to all of his poetry starting with the Prufrock collection. As ET points out, it is not there in the juvenilia. Then it appears and stays and is central throughout. It manifests relations an understanding of which one requires to grasp very deeply the poems. Of course you (the general "you") don't have to go to Thompson for this insight; perhaps you have discovered it for yourself. If not, there is no better exposition of it.