Incidentally, "The contemplation of the horrid or sordid or disgusting, by an artist, is the necessary and negative aspect of the impulse toward the pursuit of beauty. But not all succeed as did Dante in expressing the complete scale from negative to positive. The negative is the more importunate." -- T.S. Eliot, 'Dante' ('The Sacred Wood') CR --- On Fri, 6/3/11, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote: "No writer more vigorously asserted his immortality in Eliot's work than Dante. The visionary journey through the three kingdoms beyond death depicted in the Divine Comedy (c.1315) is reflected throughout Eliot's poetry and the evolution of his thinking. // Eliot's hollow men and lost violent souls bear an obvious relation to the desperate sinners imprisoned in the circles of Hell // and his protagonists struggling for insight and redemption are, in effect, laboring in a Purgatorial state on earth. The luminosity in Four Quartets and Dante's experiences in Paradise with his beloved Beatrice share the same source." -- Portia Williams Weiskel, 'On the Writings of T.S. Eliot' in "T.S. ELIOT" edited by Harold Bloom (Infobase Publishing, 2003), pp. 51-52. http://books.google.com/books?id=8Ut4QeGjUGYC&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq#v=onepage&q&f=false CR --- On Wed, 6/1/11, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote: in the overall context of Eliot's poetic oeuvre The wisdom that eventually accrues from our contemplation of an earthly inferno depicted in Eliot's early poetry, including the one in his bawdy verse: "The way upward and the way downward are the same." -- a reclamation of "tradition' (Heraclitus) that prefaces 'Four Quartets'. And, as the poet remarks in 'East Coker', "where you are is where you are not". No wonder, God made Hell in His Justice, Wisdom, and Love -- a belief that 'Inventions of the March Hare' takes full cognizance of in its epigraph to 'O lord, have patience': http://books.google.com/books?id=_1osHY_A5woC&pg=PA83&lpg=PA83&dq#v=onepage&q&f=false Please read Christopher Ricks' annotation to 'O lord, have patience' at p.281 of 'Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909-1917'. "Think at last I have not made this show purposelessly And it is not by any concitation Of the backward devils I would meet you upon this honestly." Remarkably, Christianity remains the leitmotif of Eliot's poetry irrespective of when he actually embraced it. Cheers, CR --- On Tue, 5/31/11, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote: Reminded of what Gerontion observes: "Unnatural vices / Are fathered by our heroism." CR --- On Sun, 5/29/11, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote: //There is no end to the perversions of human nature. // Cheers, CR --- On Sun, 5/29/11, Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]> wrote: CR wrote: CR> these poems embody the naturalistic impulses/instincts of human nature. //The naturalistic impulses/instincts of human nature to shit on a table??// OK. If that's what you think TSE was trying to communicate to his audience, OK. Listers like Ken will be glad to know that I do NOT consider Columbo's adventure on the table to be, IN ANY WAY, an autobiographical reference!! -- Tom -- ----- Reply message ----- From: "Chokh Raj" <[log in to unmask]> Date: Sat, May 28, 2011 11:52 pm Subject: TS Eliot vis-a-vis Naturalism To: <[log in to unmask]> > Tom, we are only drifting away from the point I'm making. // In my reading of them, these poems embody the naturalistic impulses/instincts of human nature. I take them to be a demonstration to the poet of "the fallen state of man".// Well, a point of view anyone, including Eliot, might disagree with. I hope some might view these poems in this light. > > Thanks, > CR > > --- On Sat, 5/28/11, Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > > CR wrote: > > "In July , Wyndham Lewis published 'Preludes' and 'Rhapsody on a Windy Night' in Blast - although he refused to print extracts from the Bolo saga, 'Bullshit' and 'The Ballad of Big Louise', a folly which Eliot ascribed to his puritanical principles." -- 'T.S. Eliot: A Life' by Peter Ackroyd (Simon and Schuster, 1984, pp. 60-61). > > ======================= > > CR: > > Rather than look at a secondary source like Ackroyd, let's look at a primary source, Eliot's letters. An excerpt from TSE's letter to Ezra Pound (February 2, 1915): > > ======================= > > "I have corresponded with [Wyndham] Lewis, but his puritanical principles seem to bar my way to Publicity. I fear that King Bolo and his Big Black Kween will never burst into print. I understand that Priapism, Narcissism etc. are not approved of, and even so innocent a rhyme as > > . . . pulled her stockings off > With a frightful cry of 'Hauptbahnhof!!' > > is considered decadent." > > ========================= > > Around the same time (Jan, 1915), Lewis wrote to Pound [as quoted in the footnote to TSE's 1915 letter to Pound]: > > "Eliot has sent me Bullshit and the Ballad for Big Louise. They are excellent bits of scholarly ribaldry. I am longing to print them in _Blast_, but stick to my naif determination to have no 'Words ending in -Uck, -Unt, and -Ugger.' " > > ========================= > > Is that where Ackroyd gets his notion of the "puritanical principles" of Lewis? If so, I think TSE is being rather tongue-in-cheek with Pound about this, and not seriously calling Lewis' decision to not publish a "folly". Also, if this is Ackroyd's source, I don't see the Bolo/Columbo poems included in the material sent to Lewis. > > In any event, we know Eliot sent some ribald poems to Lewis in 1915. TSE died in 1965, 50 years later. Are you saying that TSE was so devastated by Lewis' rejection of the Bullshit and Big Louise poems in 1915 that he never published a single Bolo or Columbo poem again over the next 50 years, even though he really wanted to??? > > -- Tom > > Date: Sat, 28 May 2011 18:52:19 -0700 > From: [log in to unmask] > Subject: Re: TS Eliot vis-a-vis Naturalism > To: [log in to unmask] > > "In July , Wyndham Lewis published 'Preludes' and 'Rhapsody on a Windy Night' in Blast - although he refused to print extracts from the Bolo saga, 'Bullshit' and 'The Ballad of Big Louise', a folly which Eliot ascribed to his puritanical principles." -- 'T.S. Eliot: A Life' by Peter Ackroyd (Simon and Schuster, 1984, pp. 60-61). > > CR > > --- On Sat, 5/28/11, Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > > //You have some rather bizarre examples of TSE "shocking the reader into an awareness of certain harsh physical/psychic realities".// The Columbo and Bolo verses were dirty jokes meant to be shared only among TSE's friends; //he never intended those jokes to be published//.