Excellent !!! Beholden to Rickard Parker for making it accessible.


From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>;
To: <[log in to unmask]>;
Subject: Re: How Eliot saw his letters.
Sent: Tue, Jun 26, 2012 9:50:59 AM

----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask]" ymailto="mailto:[log in to unmask]" target="_blank" href="javascript:return">Ken Armstrong
To: [log in to unmask]" ymailto="mailto:[log in to unmask]" target="_blank" href="javascript:return">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2012 8:46 AM
Subject: Re: How Eliot saw his letters.


 Thanks for reuncovering this Hudson Review review of the letters. It raises all kinds of little questions, most pretty well track worn but still able to arrest one's Eliot gaze (or daze) for a while. But I particularly liked the retort of the last two sentences, which Pritchard styles as "not without its quotient of slyness," with Eliot responding to a letter from John Gould Fletcher finding his (E's) appreciation of emotion in the criticism to be wanting: "Certainly I don't deny the importance of emotion. I often find it present to me when other people only find frigidity...."

 Worth a smile for being funny, accurate, and still applicable.

 Ken A

On 6/24/2012 8:07 PM, Rickard Parker wrote:
On Sun, 24 Jun 2012 15:02:48 -0700, P <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
My goodness, CR, in one stroke you have answered my
question, at least in part. Eliot was self-conscious in
his letter writing. My question goes one step
further. Did Eliot actually play to the gallery in his
letters; did he actually address future readers as much
as if not more than the intended reader?

Congrats on the great find. I'll bet even the Duke of
URL envies you that one.
I do. I was quite impressed on seeing that
quotation. CR, could you tell us just a bit more on
that -- when and where he said/wrote that.  I don't
have access to jstor.

Never mind, it just occurred to me to Google it instead.
It is in a book by Pritchard. It's from a lost 1933 lecture
by Eliot with the specific sentences recorded by Eliot's brother.

But now I have to redeem my reputation somewhat more so I
submit to the list something else on Eliot and letters:

   Eliot engages in theological discussion with Middleton
   Murry (the American-born Eliot will become both an
   Anglican and a British citizen during this period), and
   hints at how he copes with Vivien and the appeal of
   religion: "I have found my own love for a woman
   enhanced, intensified and purified by meditation on the

   He also shares some rather contradictory thoughts on
   biography. "I do not want a biography, if it is ever
   written -- and I hope it won't -- to have anything
   private in it. I don't like reading other people's
   private correspondence in print, and I do not want
   other people to read mine," he writes to his mother in
   April 1927. But in August he writes to Geoffrey Faber
   about a biography of Swift, "I do think Swift's sexual
   life ought to be studied carefully and sympathetically"
   -- though he demurs, "I don't know that I should
   recommend putting it into one's book".

The Independent
The Letters of TS Eliot Volume 3: 1927-27, Ed Valerie
Yours faithfully, kindly and with modesty, Tom
Lesley McDowell
Sunday 24 June 2012

   Rick Parker

On Sun, 24 Jun 2012 10:43:52 -0700, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Epistolary Eliot
William H. Pritchard
The Hudson Review
Vol. 42, No. 1 (Spring, 1989), pp. 141-148
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3851175

"The desire to write a letter, to put down what you
don't want anybody else to see but the person you are
writing to, but which you do not want to be destroyed,
but perhaps hope may be preserved for complete
strangers to read, is ineradicable. We want to confess
ourselves in writing to a few friends, and we do not
always want to feel that no one but those friends will
ever read what we have written." -- TS Eliot