Dear Tim and All,

I think this is fascinating--and not surprising if he preferred
Paul--but it seems to me one more in a long line of mixed and
contradictory messages. Eliot also said that the Incarnation "divided
the world" or something like that. In any case, the "Ariel Poems" are
largely about both doubt and recognition of Jesus. So I doubt there was
any consistent and single belief.

If Gary Wills is right that much attributed to Paul is really later
interpolation, we have another late irony.

>>> "Materer, Timothy J." 11/08/12 12:12 PM >>>
The TLS review is not available on line, but in looking I came across
Adam Kirsch's review of V. 3.

Below is an excerpt with some acute remarks about Eliot's religion. I
too had been struck by what he wrote to Aldington and also his review of
Murry's book on Jesus. Is Kirsch on the right track? For me, it rather
fits with one of Eliot's key ideas from Bradley, "degrees of truth."

But there is a remarkable admission, so quick you could easily miss it,
in another letter to Aldington. “I agree with you about Christ and I do
not disagree with anything else,” Eliot writes. The editors supply what
Aldington had written: “Moreover, I don’t really like the gospels, and I
don’t much like Christ. I really think Paul was more interesting. He
appears to have been a man; I have suspected that . . . Christ is an
invention.” Just at the time Eliot is about to enter the Church, we find
him apparently saying that he does not believe Christ existed and in any
case that he doesn’t “like” Him.

Add to this what Eliot tells John Middleton Murry, an intellectual
sparring partner who was one of his few real confidants: “You assume
that truth changes * you accept as inevitable what appears to me to be
within our own power. I am, in a way, a much more thoroughgoing
pragmatist * but so thoroughgoing that I am sure there is nothing for it
but to assume that there are fixed meanings, and that truth is always
the same.” Eliot, a product of the Harvard of William James, suggests
that he is drawn to Christianity as a pragmatist * that is, because it
“works” for him, not because he is convinced of its truth as a

On Nov 7, 2012, at 10:47 PM, Chokh Raj wrote:

Oops, I'm so sorry for the typo, it's Gabriel Josipovici. -- CR

From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 11:27 PM
Subject: TLS-LIVE-EDITION ... 02/11/12

There's a review in the Nov 2 Times Literary Supplement of The Letters
of TS Eliot, Vol. 3 by Gabriel Josopovici. Here's a link to the Contents

Thought this might interest you.