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That's Eliot's incapacity to look for weakness in a writer who respects language. Quite touching really. It's like he is pleading with God to make it so.
P. M.

Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>that's a nice image that toffee one. I must say that I enjoy reading the  Jonson essay , there is a lovely sense of the chasms which surround all pronouncement in lines like " jonson did not write a good tragedy but we can see no reason why he should not have written one." ('should' not 'could'  is terrific really) and a line which often appeals to me when I think about orphans which have found a home late e.g. Roussel's Impressions of Africa "surely the category of tragedy could me made wide enough to include something  possible for Jonson to have done."  Have nice day.
>
>Pete D
>
>On 07/07/2012, at 11:07 AM, P wrote:
>
>> But what a personality. Artificiality made extreme. He suffers from being second to Shakespoke; BJ is a truly brittle piece of toffee.
>> P1
>> 
>> 
>> Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>>> I grew up in a neighbourhood where you couldn't afford to be too closely aligned with any one group I suspect it has diminished me and left its traces in a number of slippery traits which is not to say I don't like a bit of biffo . Eliot on Jonson is one of the ones I really struggle to appreciate don't know what to make of his point that the author transfuses his personality into the character. It's possible I guess that I just don't understand the subtleties.  Nah that couldn't be it.  P2
>>> 
>>> P2
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On 07/07/2012, at 10:24 AM, Peter Dillane wrote:
>>> 
>>>> hey I have sillier ideas about the essay on Cyril Tourneur.
>>>> 
>>>> P2
>>>> 
>>>> On 07/07/2012, at 10:18 AM, P wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> Guffaw!!! LOL!!!
>>>>> PM
>>>>> 
>>>>> Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>>> I have been thinking a little about Eliot on Marston which CR raised recently. I am generally in trouble with these essays although I find the Marlowe one very good.  I think this is  mostly because the Marlowe  is so specifically focused on the consequences of the novelties of versification and doesn't allude to propositions such as the one about Marston having a nebulous plane of meaning and so on.  Eliot makes a similar sort of strategic observation about Marlowe I guess when he says that The Jew of Malta needs to be seen as farce not tragedy of blood but at least that is a very clearly articulated local point.  So when Eliot took on the ELizabethan dramatists - if one can use the term for  writings over many years for various journalistic moments- I wonder how much the agenda was beholding to the notion that the conscious present is an awareness of the past which the past could not know in itself. If he does take this tack I wonder what to do with his observation that Marston would be more highly valued if the great ship were not Shakespearean but rather of Racine. And I really can't reconcile his stated notion "the moment we enter the Elizabethan period we praise or condemn plays according to the usual Elizabethan criteria".
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> While I take your point about the  historicism disease Carrol I guess I would baulk at the meaning of 'explain' as a comprehensive or encyclopaedic stance. In practical terms I am persuaded by Maxwell Smart negotiating with the Indian Chief about to launch the giant arrow at Washington " If we take the promises of the past and reality of the present thinking of the future ..let her rip Red Cloud"
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Pete D
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> On 06/07/2012, at 11:12 PM, Carrol Cox wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> P> Art is prophetic; it can even create the future. 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> The Modernists had an even more startling theory: the present changes the
>>>>>>> past. 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> For example, consider this passage from Eliot's "Tradition and the
>>>>>>> Individual Talent" 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> ". . . the difference between the present and the past is that the conscious
>>>>>>> present is an awareness of the past in a way and to an extent which the
>>>>>>> past's awareness of itself cannot show. 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Some one said: 'The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much
>>>>>>> more than they did.' Precisely, and they are that which we know." 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> -- Tom --
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 	-----------
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Eliot was vulgarizing/mystifying Hegel. Compare: "The anatomy of man is a
>>>>>>> key to the anatomy of the ape."
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> And the point is precisely that neither art nor science can predict the
>>>>>>> future, for it is only the future that allows us to understand the present.
>>>>>>> Examining the ape without knowing of what followed would never reveal the
>>>>>>> potential coming into existence of the human, but _knowing_ human anatomy
>>>>>>> allows us to see in the ape that potential. This is te opposite of
>>>>>>> historicism, which holds that the meaning of an event is to be found in
>>>>>>> theevent's origins, while a historical aroach discovers in the event the
>>>>>>> otherwise unknowable potential of its origins.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> One must do history backwards to understand it. The present explains the
>>>>>>> past, but is not explained by the past. Historicism is perhaps the main
>>>>>>> disease of modern thought.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Carrol