Re 'Family Reunion', this struck a big chord, 'cos I've been revisiting a
little book by a little-known northern english modern poet, Norman
Nicholson, who, barely out of his 20s, published a far-ranging eng. lit.
critucal work called 'Man and Literature'

Nicholson had been blown-away on first encountering Eliot's work; in case of
interest. paste below his take from 60+ years ago on 'The Family Reunion'

* The Family Reunion, where it

*among other themes. Before the play opened, Harry was married,*

*but his wife fell off the deck of a liner at sea and was drowned.*

*From that time he has been obsessed with the idea that he had*

*pushed her off, and his consciousness of guilt had followed him in*

*the shape of the Furies, the Eumenides. He flies from them all*

*over the world, but cannot escape them, and at last returns to his*

*home, hoping that he will find refuge in the surroundings of his*

*childhood. But the Eumenides pursue him even here. Among the*

*collection of uncles and aunts (a very dull lot from the dramatic*

*point of view) who are at the family house is Agatha, a spinster*

*and principal of a woman's college, who as a girl had been in love*

*with Harry's father and he with her. She tells Harry that just*

*before he was born his father had planned to murder his mother.*

*It becomes clear then that this is the beginning of the family curse*

*which has haunted Harry, and that the wish of his father had been*

*the cause of his obsession with a similar sin. He begins to see that*

*he may not have murdered his wife at all.............................*


On 2 September 2011 10:08, Mikemail <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> **
> *I certainly appreciate Guinness's reading of TWL - this was a real
> inspiration to me in the 80's only equaled by the stage performance in
> London with Fox, Gough & Aitkens - some of the latter was also on VHS but no
> longer on U tube, I believe.*
> **
> *Mike*
>  ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
>   *Sent:* Friday, September 02, 2011 2:47 AM
> *Subject:* Re: Poetry in 'The Family Reunion'
>  I don't think Guinness is enacting any character in the play. And if he
> is not doing that, he is not supposed to be reading the lines after any
> character. Apparently he has picked up lines from the play which appeal to
> him as poetry, and he renders them as as poetry after his own fashion.
> Taken independently of the play, I can visualize Eliot reading them in the
> selfsame manner.
> Regards,
>   CR
>  *From:* Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Sent:* Thursday, September 1, 2011 7:13 PM
> *Subject:* Re: Poetry in 'The Family Reunion'
> I didn't like it much.  Guinness read it as if it were poetry.
> He was supposed to read it like an ordinary person would speak
> if ordinary people spoke poetry.
> Regards,
>     Rick Parker
> On 9/1/2011 1:53 PM, Chokh Raj wrote:
> > There is poetry in the play.
> > Sir Alec Guinness reads an excerpt from TS Eliot's verse play The Family
> > Reunion:
> >
> > <>
> > Enjoy, s'il vous plait.
> > CR
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