The very thought of which is sickening, and the sot of which is thickening.
Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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type="cite">>>> "[log in to unmask]" <[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.
<[log in to unmask]>
Amen. Not having Eliot's letters would be a deprivation of sorts
(I'd be sorry not to have them for my own purposes), but not any
greater a distraction than having them, and arguably, if not
certainly, less a one. Does anyone seriously think a writer owes his
letters and private papers to scholars? It would seem to turn the
world on its head and make purblind critics and their meanderings
the raison d'etre of literature.