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Hello Pete,

  I've read through your and Carrol's postsandmostly I'm puzzled, 
perhaps fittingly, as you say you don't understand Eliot's assertions, 
while I must say I don't understand yours. By which I don't mean Ireject 
them; rather so farI can't even translate them into terms I can state 
with misprision, never mind precision. Maybe that will come. But to 
answer your last question below first, Dobree uses the paragraph on 
truth toillustrate how Eliot's letters would veer from more orless 
lighthearted topics and tones to somber and serious ones, and he does 
give examples from the same letter of the different turns one letter 
could take. He doesn't (I think; I don't have the book now) give the 
context for that particular response on Truth, which obviously is in 
reference to something Dobree previously wrote or said to E. That said, 
let me try to work through the issues you've raised.

On 1/17/2013 11:24 PM, Peter Dillane wrote:
> interesting language these assertions from Eliot.
> "misprision" for example - what is he implying about Dobree's position?

     Position? What position? Isn't he sayingflat out (no "implying" 
here) that Dobree has misunderstood Eliot's operative understanding of 
truth? Seems like it's Eliot's position that's underdiscussionand he is 
simply elaborating for Dobree something he thought Dobree didn't 
represent aright about something E published or personally communicated.

> That of one supporting a less than reputable thought and that he is 
> abetting a questionable proposition from Eliot or at least one not in 
> the common understanding  of their time? I would have expected that 
> for their contemporaries some version of Natural Law or omnipotent 
> theism or Revelation was at least not likely to get the knee jerk it 
> might now.

Where does "a less than reputable thought" come from here? Seems to be 
out of the blue. Ditto "abetting a questionable proposition from 
Eliolt"!! Yikes! Haven't you been listening to Carrol on conspiracy 
theories? But seriously, you can't mean, I assume, that a 
misunderstanding is ipso facto less than reputable? And apologies, but I 
really don't know what the nature is of the "knee jerk" you're 
referencing or why it or the correspondents' contemporaries should enter 
the scene. It's starting to look like you're arbitrarily importing 
dynamics and stage directions into the scene that otherwise wouldn't be 
there at all.

> And then "I would not make truth..etc ...." This strikes me as 
> quite odd unless seen as the patois of the  urbane who might raise any 
> issue of core importance in light conjectural fashion.

     And now I'm totally lost.  Andnot to be cheeky, at this point, it 
occurs, so are you. What you for all appearances unaccountably 
characterize as Eliot's raising "any issue of core importance in light 
conjectural fashion" seems to me your misreading an attempt in a 
personal letter sincerely to explain something of core importance to a 
friendly correspondent. If you really think the paragraph merely "in 
light conjectural fashion," then there is probably not much more to say. 
From where I'm sitting, it looks like your attempt to discredit 
something the content of which you don't like, the conspiratorial, not 
to say paranoid, Jason Harding notwithstanding. Can we say, anyhow, 
cuteness can take more than one form?

> He seems to be speaking of dogmatic matters in the timbre of 
> the discretionary which is a bit cute in men who wrote a lot to each 
> other.  Jason Harding's book on the Criterion describes  the 
> rhetorical subtleties of Eliot's letters to Dobree suggesting that 
> Eliot manipulated the sort of review he would get by the way he used 
> language in his letters to him - the choice of verb mood and so on.

Gosh you have a great vocabulary. Hard to believe that "misprision" 
threw you. Maybe there's a virtue in adjusting one's rhetoric to the 
understanding of one's correspondent?...though I wouldn't doubt that 
Eliot's explanations and "rhetoric" could also have been aimed at 
getting the sort of review he honestly thought more accurate (admit it 
now, Pete; thatis a possibility). The adjustment of one doesn't 
necessarily cancel out the sincerity or character of the other, does 
it?  I assume you're not a stranger to elaborating a belief to 
aninterlocutor in the hopes that that person might in future understand 
and represent it better, or at least not go off half-cocked about it?

> I must get Tate's book which I have never read but can you say what 
> Dobree was on about to initiate the exchange.

> ps those of us who have put our faith in the hypothetico deductive 
> process find it all a bit alien and can't quite see its terms to take 
> the proposition on.

     If you mean you have put your faith in science (an act that Dr. 
Walker Percy refers to it as "The San Andreas Fault in the Modern 
Mind"), I get it. And I accept it, gladly; science that is, not 
scientism. What you're doing then in Eliot's non-hypothetico garden 
could be a question. But that aside, what I don't get, or perhaps do but 
don't accept, is the immediate leap to a negative, not to say terminally 
so, deconstruction often ending in the death camps. If you sincerely 
have questions, wouldn't it be better to delay your train of thought's 
trip through the slums and arrival until after posing them and getting 
some response?

  Sorry, but it bothers me to see the poor guy cut off at the knees, 
usually quite arbitrarily, while being criticized for not having a leg 
to stand on. It often occurs to me that Eliot may have been dead right 
in ASG when he noted that people are in camps the gap between which is 
so wide that attempts at communication must be fruitless. But maybe not.

  One numb arm up his sleeve, and so on..

  Ken A