But Dame Philology is our Queen still, Quick to comfort Truth-loving hearts in their mother tongue (to report On the miracles She has wrought In the U.K., the O.E.D. Takes fourteen tomes): She suffers no evil, And a statesman still, so Her grace prevent, may keep a treaty, A poor commoner arrive at The Proper Name for his cat. -- W. H. Auden, "A Short Ode to a Philologist"


From: P <[log in to unmask]>;
To: <[log in to unmask]>;
Subject: Fwd: Re: OT (sort of) Philology. Sort of.
Sent: Wed, Nov 14, 2012 9:10:12 AM

One obvious place to start would be the homage to Dante in Little Bidding, but perhaps that is a special case because it is such direct stylistic creation, outstanding though it be. A more appropriate example is MITC which uses the Anglo-Saxon and medieval rhythms of works like Ever man. That was quite deliberate as Eliot himself said. I believe Helen Gardner remarked on it more fully somewhere.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: OT (sort of) Philology. Sort of.
From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]

That facility and through that facility getting at the essence of things.
Thus, for instance, not merely learning Sanskrit but through it
getting at the heart of ancient Indian wisdom.
The marvel ceases not.


From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>;
To: <[log in to unmask]>;
Subject: OT (sort of) Philology. Sort of.
Sent: Mon, Nov 12, 2012 8:35:53 AM

Mark Twain once said, "My philological studies have satisfied me that a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years."

Eliot seems to have learned them all, all at once, not to mention Latin and Sanskrit.

I don't recall our having discussed Eliot's facility with language, which it seems to me to have been quite phenomenal and one of the things that makes his work so incredibly attractive. I know it is gauche on this list to say nice things about Eliot, but there it is. I've done it and I'm very glad.