Peter wrote: P. One can only look at how God felt about the Jews for their straying from his commandments. P> For Him were they not decadent? Oy veh. Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 00:25:02 -0700 From: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's poetry (anti-semitism and objective correlative) To: [log in to unmask] I do not mean to defend Eliot from his antisemetism, but I don't think it justifies putting a stereotype on every reference to Jews in his work. Is it legitimate to discuss the fact that nations and cultures do decay (cf the Greeks, the Romans, the Holy Romans, &c.)? Was the Jewish nation/culture in an at least apparent state of decay given the great diaspora? Even the Bible refers to there being only a remnant that God preserved and brought back to its home land. Is it prejudice to use Romans, Greeks as symbols of decay? Why then not Jews? One can only look at how God felt about the Jews for their straying from his commandments. For Him were they not decadent? I suppose the question then remains whether the portrayl of the Jews in some cases in E's work was prejudicial because of an attack on their Jewishness, or because of an attack on their decadence. More work for Jesuits butchering rabbits. Again, I concede from his remarks in ASG that Eliot had a distinct streak of anti-semtism in him. P. ----- Original Message ----- From: Nancy Gish To: [log in to unmask] Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 5:43 PM Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's poetry (anti-semitism and objective correlative) If Eliot did indeed consciously use Jews as an "objective correlative" for cultural decay or other generally negative and degrading things, then he was anti-Semitic. One can only hope it was just unconscious (bad enough) or representing what had become a clichéd attitude. And the use of Julius as a constant punching bag is tiresome: he did not say Eliot hated Jews; he said Eliot's discourse validated stereotypes of Jews and that has consequences. And that is true. IF, instead, Eliot really did what is said here and saw those stereotypes as deliberate objective correlatives, it would be disgusting. And it bears repeating (as I have before) that plenty of enlightened people whom Eliot knew or knew of did not take these attitudes. The notion that everyone just had a blind spot (quite understandable of course) about Jews is nonsense. Just as there were always some who knew subordinating women or enslaving African-Americans was wrong, some always knew that stereotyping Jews was wrong. How can anyone think this is somehow great? And as for "breaking new ground," the whole topic is old ground. Modernism/Modernity had two entire special issues on this topic several years ago, and Julius's book is not the only one to make these claims. Nancy >>> Chokh Raj 10/13/11 8:19 PM >>> "Anti-Semitism and Objective Correlative." Makes a great heading for a book-length study. Breaks fresh grounds in Eliot scholarship. Three cheers !!! CR From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> To: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. <[log in to unmask]> Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 8:11 PM Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's poetry (anti-semitism and objective correlative) Most amazing finds, Rick. Just incredible. Wow! The Horror and the Glory of an Objective Correlative! I've no words to express my admiration, and my gratitude, our Archduke of URL THANK YOU. CR From: Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]> To: [log in to unmask] Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 7:18 PM Subject: Re: The Jew in Eliot's poetry (anti-semitism and objective correlative) On 10/13/2011 2:55 PM, Chokh Raj wrote: > Certainly, Rick. They all meld into one. > But all this is too obvious, for all to see, and censure. > What, however, interests me is the etiology of Eliot's anti-semitism. > Some of it is obvious in the long history of social prejudice. > However, there seem to be larger, and not so obvious, contexts that lie > behind Eliot's anti-Semitic stance. You may have noticed that I've added a few words to the subject line of the post. For some time I've had a feeling that Eliot's use of Jewish figures in his poetry was an objective correlative. I haven't felt any great desire to explore this further. Now seems to be a good time to bring it up for the list's attention though. As a reminder, here is Eliot discussing the objective correlative: The only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an "objective correlative"; in other words, a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion; such that when the external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked. I did an internet search using the terms eliot anti-semitism "objective correlative" I narrowed the large list of webpages listed down to a few where there was a discussion of a use of objective correlative that made Eliot appear anti-semitic when he could be using the reader's anti-semitism to do his work. Three of the cases below come from books. Regards, Rick Parker ----------------------- http://books.google.com/books?id=4gkGbcE7euAC&pg=PA114 Antisemitism and modernity: innovation and continuity By Hyam Maccoby As a symbolist poet, Eliot required, as the 'objective correlative' of his sense of cultural decay, an image or symbol which would strike at the recesses of his own and his reader's unconscious mind, and the archetypical image of the Jew was singularly fitted to do just this. http://books.google.com/books?id=cyrfMESXG0gC&pg=PA235 Constructions of "the Jew" in English literature and society: racial ... By Bryan Cheyette It is in the discursive context of Eliot's attack on the disorderly '"slither" of Romantic individualism', that 'the jew' became a necessary 'objective correlative' for that which is inexact and uncategorizable. ----------------------- http://books.google.com/books?id=dX1wu6vA1SMC&pg=PA30 Differentials: poetry, poetics, pedagogy By Marjorie Perloff Reluctant to write openly about evils he could not quite put his finger on, he invented an elaborate objective correlative based on stereotypes of Jewish or "Oriental" or female behavior. ----------------------- http:klibredb.lib.kanagawa-u.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/10487/4051/1/kana-14-13-0006.pdf Some reflections about T. S. Eliot's anti-semitism by Junichi Saito - 1997 Some critics argue that the Jew is intended as a symbol of debased morality in human society. It may well be said that Eliot wants his contemporaries to share a sense of crisis at a time when when Europeans at large were turning their back on the Christian Church. Might it be fair to say that Eliot used the Jew as the "objective correlative" to evoke in his contemporaries a sense that Christian morality is lapsing into decay?