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I would love to know what was going on biographically between Shakespeare
and his mother; that Eliot said intruded into the play "Hamlet," causing
the Hamlet/Gertrude scene to fail as an objective correlative....



On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 11:21 AM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> It is probably a case-by-case basis. In the case of Eliot, by his own
> acknowledgement, much of his life is in the poems, and we do learn a great
> deal from study of the life. He made similar claims about Yeats and others.
>
> It depends what is meant by "stand on their own." If one uses a strictly
> New Critical assumption about works of art, that might be the case. I don't
> share that view, and I think its general value ran its course even though
> it remains a useful way to introduce students to close reading.
>
> I was trained in that view, so I have gone in the opposite direction as it
> came to seem, to me, more and more disconnected from life. Shakespeare is
> not comparable here, I think. He was creating characters, not his own
> voice, though it does matter that most of the sonnets are to a young man.
> Nancy
>
> >>> "[log in to unmask]" **11/13/12 2:06 PM >>>
>
> As I age and reread the truly lasting poems I have come to conclude that
> poems should stand on their own, independent of the lives of the poets.  In
> other words, a reader can grasp great language without biographical
> reference.  This I am not deterred by the destruction of letters.  Consider
> what little of Shakespeare we have and how weighty and worthless was that
> massive volume last year of Larkin's every scribble and a few years past a
> similar scraps collection of Bishop.
>
> Gene Schlanger
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Nov 13, 2012, at 1:34 PM, John Angell Grant <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>  It's an argument for scholars having access to Philip Roth's letters....
>
> On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 10:21 AM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>>  Dear John,
>>
>> I agree with you, though I feel much more able to bear up under the loss
>> of Roth than of Eliot. But I think, while you are right about the pain of
>> his marriage, WWI was also a key factor. Many of his letters talk of how
>> difficult it is for everyone, and the combination of his marriage with the
>> War made for what I think was a life-changing view of the world. I'm not
>> sure he would have been ready or able to appreciate Valerie or what that
>> marriage meant when he was young.
>> Nancy
>>
>> >>> John Angell Grant **11/13/12 12:38 PM >>>
>>
>> Phillip Roth says he will destroy his papers so scholars can't root
>> through them after his death:
>>
>>
>> http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2012/11/13/in-which-philip-roth-announces-his-retirement-in-english/
>>
>> It seems a pity Roth is doing this--an act of selfishness and
>> fear--though certainly Roth gets to do what he wants with his papers.  The
>> more I re-read and think about Eliot, the more I am sympathetic to the view
>> that the misery of The Wasteland was, in significant part, the misery of
>> his marriage to Vivien, and his problems with women.  My understanding is
>> that when Eliot found happiness in his relationship with Valerie, he wrote
>> no more poetry.  What kind of poet would Eliot have been with a happy first
>> marriage?
>>
>> When Eliot's letters to Emily Hale become public, we will understand
>> Eliot better.
>>
>> I hope Roth reconsiders, but that seems unlikely.
>>
>>
>>
>> On Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 2:49 PM, Materer, Timothy J. <
>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>> An obit
>>>
>>> http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/nov/12/valerie-eliot
>>>
>>
>>
>