I've taken a look at Trexler's article, and find it singularly ill-informed and irresponsible in important respects. A glaring example of both is his statement that Eliot attended a seance with Yeats. Here is what he says, and his source:

TREXLER, ADAM. "Veiled Theory: The Transmutation of Anthropology in T. S. Eliot's Critical

Method" Paragraph 29:3 (2006) 77- 94


Note #9 p. 92

"Eliot attended séances presided over by Yeats and recognized his extensive interest in

psychical research {The Letters of T. S. Eliot, Volume 1, edited by Valerie Eliot (London, Faber, 1988), 169, March 1917)."

The letter in questions does not support this interpretation:

"I was at a gathering of curious people known as the Omega Club and was sitting on a mat (as is the custom in such circles) discussing psychical research with William Butler Yeats (the only thing he ever talks about, except Dublin gossip) when a red-faced, sprucely dressed man with an air of impertinent prosperity and the aspect of a wholesale grocer came up and interrupted with a most disagreeable Cockney accent . . .. I was so irritated by the man that I left for another part of the room almost at once – later I found out that it w as Arnold Bennet."

Valerie Eliot supplies the following note on the Omega Club:

"Founded in February or March 1917, the Omega Club was an offshoot of Roger Fry’s Omega Workshop begun in 1913, The members met weekly on Thursday evenings in Fiztroy Square."


     In addition he distorts Lebniz' monadic theory as equivalent to Blavatsky, treats Frazer's anthropology as equivalent to Weston's overtly occult version. In fact, Frazer was resolutely positivistic. Here is a relevant exceprt from the 1922 condensed Golden Bough:



. . . in committing the book in its new form to the judgment of the public I desire to guard against a misapprehension of its scope which appears to be still rife, though I have sought to correct it before now. If in the present work I have dealt at some length on the worship of trees, it is not, I trust, because I exaggerate its importance in the history of religion, still less because I would deduce from it a whole system of mythology; . . . I am so far from regarding the reverence for trees as of supreme importance for the evolution of religion that I consider it to have been altogether subordinate to other factors, and in particular to the fear of the human dead, which, on the whole, I believe to have been probably the most powerful force in the making of primitive religion. I hope after this explicit disclaimer I shall no longer be taxed with embracing a system of mythology which I look upon not merely as false but as preposterous and absurd. But I am too familiar with the hydra of error to expect that by lopping of one of the monster’s heads I can prevent another, or even the same, from sprouting again. I can only trust to the candour and intelligence of my readers to rectify this serious misconception of my views by a comparison with my own express declaration.

Leon Surette