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It's a fascinating and instructive plot isn't it.
I'm not sure the play lives up to it.
Even Eliot said too much of the play was
introduction and not enough execution.
From the point of view of the verse, it is fascinating.

Eliot was trying to work at the popular level, very deliberately,
but he was to deep a person to be popular. He finally achieved
what he wanted in Cocktail Party, which was a strong hit in NY and London at the
same time. A very rare accomplishment.

Cheers,
P.


Quoting David Boyd <[log in to unmask]>:

> 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'
> 
> 
> *.....................................in The Family Reunion, where it
> appears*
> 
> *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.............................*
> regards
> 
> david
> 
> 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:
> > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIdPuADVTdk&NR=1
> > > <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIdPuADVTdk&NR=1>
> > > Enjoy, s'il vous plait.
> > > CR
> >
> >
> >  ------------------------------
> >
> >
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> >
> >
>