Coincidentally, in yesterday's Financial Times there was a letter from a chap in S.Africa about the misuse of words to describe prejudices. 
He referred particularly to the immigration issue in UK and said that many people, for example, were not anti-immigration but anti-more immigration. 
 He concluded by saying that we should follow the example of George Orwell who had spoken clearly and objectively about such things.
Unfortunately, I left the newspaper in a hotel in Dubai.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Peter Montgomery 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 9:28 AM
  Subject: Re: {Disarmed} Re: George Orwell's take on the subject

  Thanks for making your prejudices clear, Carrol.
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Carrol Cox 
    To: [log in to unmask] 
    Sent: Sunday, November 21, 2010 9:59 AM
    Subject: Re: {Disarmed} Re: George Orwell's take on the subject

    My personal opinion is that Peter & CR are, themselves, vicious anti-semites but are trying to cover up this fact by their defending of Eliot's stupidity in the '20s. Of course  decent people in the '20s hated anti-semitism as much as decent people do today. There is no real difference. Among 'educated' slobs such as in certain university circles in England & France, to engage in Anti-semitic chatter.  Peter & CR just feel bad because they don't have that privilege today. Peter's "Some people spend their time looking for anti-semitism" is a classical dodge of contemptible persons to disguise their dullness.



    From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nancy Gish
    Sent: Sunday, November 21, 2010 9:01 AM
    To: [log in to unmask]
    Subject: Re: {Disarmed} Re: George Orwell's take on the subject

    Please do not assume you speak for the list.  This is not an answer to what I said and does not, as it happens, see the point.  And you are no more the list than I. Your view, whatever it is, is only yours.  Moreover, I do not recall that the list exists for you and a very few others to exchange your personal interests--that has pretty much shut down all real discussion.  


    >>> Chokh Raj 11/21/10 9:19 AM >>>

          The list can't thank you enough, Peter, for saying this -- it needed to be said.

          Thank you, and with my best regards,


          --- On Sun, 11/21/10, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

            I see the point, but I don't see the relevance of reading the past.

            If people wish to use Eliot's supposed antisemitism against him,

            well fine. Let them do it. It is irrelevant. If G.O. poopoos it, that is

            the take-away effect, whether he is right or wrong. What you

            or I happen to think about it is irrelevant to that effect.

            George Orwell is still read in the present, as applying to the present.

            cf Michael Moore's use of the following quote from 1984,

            at the end of Farhenheit 9/11: It is supposedly from the book Winston

            reads with his girlfriend in their little flat above the store. There is some

            debate about the correctbess of its attribution, but it is the use of Orwell's

            name by Moore, that has the influence, rightly or worngly:

            "It is not a matter of whethether the war is not real or if it is.
            Victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won,
            it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible
            on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past
            and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort
            is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation.
            The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects
            and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia,
            but to keep the very structure of society intact."


              ----- Original Message ----- 

              From: Nancy Gish 

              To: [log in to unmask] 

              Sent: Friday, November 19, 2010 5:45 PM

              Subject: Re: George Orwell's take on the subject

              Do reread to see the point.


              >>> Peter Montgomery 11/19/10 8:07 PM >>>

              It's been a long time since I've seen T&TIT used to justify a point of view.

              Seems to me it is usually put down for its age, irrelevance, &c.

              Orwell does provide, sui generis, an example of the thinking of his time.

              Its relevance for judging the general attitude (assuming there was such an

              attitude and it was at all verifiable).of the time is not the point. His influence IS the point.

              Big brother lives, with a whole lot of Orwell's baggage attached.


                ----- Original Message ----- 

                From: Nancy Gish 

                To: [log in to unmask] 

                Sent: Friday, November 19, 2010 6:36 AM

                Subject: Re: George Orwell's take on the subject

                I think it a very unsound example of a writer whose statement could be read that way because Orwell had no access to, for example, any of the poems in IMH or to the TWL facsimile.  One may agree or disagree (and it depends on what one means by "anti-Semitism"), but as Eliot said, we know so much more than writers in the past and they are what we know.  Moreover, there was not a single set of values "then."  Many writers "then" deplored racist and anti-Semitic and misogynist language, just as many do now.  That it was more common for such things to be said then is a different point.  So there is, unfortunately, not a logical relation between Orwell's statement and any general way of reading the past.


                >>> David Boyd 11/19/10 5:04 AM >>>

                Sound reminder  I think of the futility of trying to judge the past  against the standards of today..

                Society, and its values, moves on / evolves.

                In similar vein, in the UK there's an ever popular book, first published over 150 years ago and AFAIK always immensely popular since called 'Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management' - as the name suggests, a guide and handbook for middle-class wives on how to run their households; deal with the servants; plan their meals etc etc

                Much of it comprises contemporary recipes and overviews of their various ingedients.

                I was extremely startled, in the chapter discussing 'Pork' some (to me) outrageously offensive passing comments about the refusal of Jews to eat pork, and how beneath contempt they all were as a race, what with all their grasping avarice etc etc - in an exceedingly genteel cookbook, one just doesn't expect such nastiness and prejudice and unpleasantness, but the very fact that Mrs Beeton must have thought it perfectly OK to print such a diatribe I think further illustrates the dichotomy between values then and values now.



                On 19 November 2010 08:28, Peter Montgomery <MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from "" claiming to be [log in to unmask]> wrote:

                It is nonsense ... about Eliot being antisemitic. Of course you can find
                what would now [1948] be called antisemitic remarks in his early work,
                but who didn't say such things at that time? ... [D]isliking Jews isn't
                intrinsically worse than disliking Negroes or Americans or any other
                block of people. In the early twenties, Eliot's antisemitic remarks were
                about on a par with the automatic sneer one casts at Anglo-Indian colonels
                in boarding houses .... Some people go around smelling after antisemitism
                all the time. 

                (George Orwell, Collected Essays, Kirk, 176)