From: Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 11:16 AM
Subject: Unseemly antagonistic: resending Re: Sweeney Agonistes: Eliot’s raw underbelly
Oops. My copy came in with a huge conspiracy theory stamp covering it. Sorry for any unnecessary duplication. Trying one more time:
Have to disagree, CR, strongly. Poetry is an account in fancy words? Really? It's all confessional since R. Lowell. Really? All poets know...and blah blah blah, from start to finish. Lehmann reads like a high school senior almost cleverly churning out sob sister journalism:
"They were married in 1915. She took his poetry on as a project to focus her mind. He went about becoming one of the greatest poets in the English language. Over the next twenty years, doors were opened for him, publishing opportunities arose from no where, invitations flowed like water, and introductions, appointments, poetry readings and such materialized."
Wow. Doors just opened, invites flowed, publications arose from no where, readings and such materialized -- all that from Viv's focused mind!! And then, the
ultimate revelation, "Vivienne catapulted his verse to the forefront of British poetry" -- OMG! Who knew! Sorry, CR, what a bill of goods. The whole thing is a crass attempt to manipulate a reader's emotions. Fueled in part, one would have to guess, by jealousy (he should have aimed a little higher than the "forefront of British poetry"). It indeed ingloriously employs the engine of "affect" for its "effect," and while an adolescent might get a pass for the flourish of his emotions, a grown-up ought to get an "F" for dishonesty and for holding on to his embarrassingly adolescent emotionalism.
Mr. Lehmann clearly has good reason to be envious. Let's hope he doesn't try to cure it by going out and finding himself a Vivienne. Even with one invested with the magical powers he's dreamed up, it wouldn't work.