That is indeed what I had in mind. And I see that in memory I’ve somehow combined it with some other remark in Eliot’s prose (or, as this, in someone’s memory of personal conversation.) He speaks of those who have illusions to lose, or of those who know what it is to have illusions to lose. This is pretty vague & I may have somehow made it up myself, or perhaps some other writer said something like it and I attached it to Eliot in memory.
But thanks for the exact quotation & source here.
From: T. S. Eliot
Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nancy Gish
Sent: Friday, November 25, 2011 4:55 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Query
It was quoted by Professor Theodor Spencer during a lecture at Harvard and is on p. 1 of the Facsimile edition of TWL:
"Various critics have done me the honour to interpret the poem in terms of criticism of the contemporary world, have considered it, indeed, as an important bit of social criticism. To me it was only the relief of a personal and wholly insignificant grouse against life; it is just a piece of rhymical grumbling."
I think that is the one you mean. There are other comments--like saying he regretted sending a generation of critics off on a wild-goose chase after [grail legends or those allusions]--I'd have to find the exact words.
>>> Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> 11/25/11 4:32 PM >>>
Eliot rejected the idea that TWL represented the loss of illusions of a
generation, his rejection including a sneer at those who had no illusions to
lose -- something like that. Could someone provide me with the correct
Thanks in advance.