It was not my claim or my issue: it was yours. I only pointed out that what you said was unfounded. That does not include any requirement that I discuss it. So if you have something to say that is founded on specific material, by all means do so. I'm speaking about it because this is a discussion list, and others read it, and your point was simply not valid. I do not have an interest in offering an alternative just because I note a problem

>>> P <[log in to unmask]>11/13/12 10:01 PM >>>
More stating of the obvious without furthering the discussion. If you accept that Eliot was multilingual and that it had its own unique effect on his work, why not suggest some of the ways that happened rather than trying to take my words into directions to which they were obviously not intended. Or do you have nothing to say about how how his unique blend of languages (others may have had exactly the same languages, but the blends of each of them would be quite different) affected his work. If so, why are you continuing to kibbitz?

Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Well, "peculiarly his own" is by definition comparative. It cannot, linguistically, have meaning separate from others.
So if you want to say something about Eliot's linguistic background--in itself--or use that has some explanatory or illuminatory value, by all means, do so. And of course that has to mean what is individual and/or "phenomenal" as opposed to simply multi-lingual.

>>> P <[log in to unmask]>11/13/12 7:53 PM >>>
I didn't say anything about any other writers Nancy. Why bring them in when it is so obvious that many writers were/are/will be polyglots.

It would be nice if we could focus on what Eliot's linguistic background did for his poetry besides the very obvious use of words and lines from other languages. It would be a way of actually being on topic!

Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Well, read Hope Mirlees's poem, Paris--written before TWL and both French and English. Or Read MacDiarmid's A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle; he also used many languages. Eliot's own way of using many languages may be his own, but using them is not.

>>> P <[log in to unmask]>11/13/12 4:40 PM >>>
My point was that he was able to bring this enviable skill to bear on his poetry. It added a depth and richness that were peculiarly his own.

Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Unless you have never known many people who have great facility with language, and many do, I do not understand this. There is no marvel at all--he knew Latin and several modern languages: I don't but many do.

>>> Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>11/13/12 10:40 AM >>>
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.