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I do believe it was one of his footnotes in response to I.A. Richards.
A fine example of the interactivity of critics on each other's work at a personal level,
without its being personal attacks, although it comes close in its subtext.
 
from Wikipaedia:
 
"The Frontiers of Criticism" is a lecture given by T. S. Eliot at the University of Minnesota in 1956.[1] It was reprinted in On Poetry and Poets, a collection of Eliot's critical essays, in 1957. The essay is an attempt by Eliot to define the boundaries of literary criticism: to say what does, and what does not, constitute truly literary criticism, as opposed to, for example, a study in history based upon a work of literature. The essay is significant because it represents Eliot's response to the New Critical perspective which had taken the academic study of literature by storm during Eliot's lifetime. It also presents an analysis of some of its author's own poetic works, an unusual characteristic for modern criticism—it has become far more usual today for poets and critics to be in separate camps, rather than united in one individual. Perhaps even more importantly, it demonstrates the progress and change in Eliot's own critical thought over the years between 1919 and 1956.
 
P.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Carrol Cox
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, November 25, 2011 3:12 PM
Subject: Re: Query

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.

 

Carrol


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.

Nancy

 

 


>>> 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
quotation.

Thanks in advance.

Carrol