The real problem with Lehmann's commentary seems to be a total lack of fact checking. Sweeney Agonistes was first published in the Criterion in 1926 and 1927--six or seven years before Eliot left Vivienne. Vivienne was not rich or an "insider." I suppose by "course" he meant "coarse" (we can all make typos, but for something to publish or put on the web, I would assume some copyediting.) And the play is hardly in a pub: just when do women answer the phone in a pub? And why does Dusty say "Yes this is Miss Dorrance's flat--"? A flat is not a pub, obviously (it is, however, a setting--one that can be seen as more disturbing since Periera "pays the rent" and these men come into their space--"a woman runs a terrible risk"). How is one supposed to bother sorting out a text that does not even get the simplest available facts and dates right?
I think Peter is right about the music hall. Nancy Hargrove has shown how constantly Eliot used music hall songs. If you have not been to one of Nancy and her husband Guy's presentations, you have missed a fabulous experience: she has done massive research and show the images and characters; Guy has a great voice and sings the songs, including this one.

>>> Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]>01/21/13 5:24 PM >>>

Sam’s interesting isn’t he. Veteran of a celebrated single minded force. I suppose the CEF would have been pin up boys with Ypres still in the mind. I think anyone who brings an aphoristic pair like K and K around to see some girls has more than one arrow in his quiver.





From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of P
Sent: Monday, 21 January 2013 4:32 PM
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Subject: Re: Sweeney Agonistes: Eliot’s raw underbelly


I tend to trend your way Pete, but surely there are them's as cain't or won't. And what's your take on the Canadian? ;->

Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hey CR,


this is not at all the way I see Sweeney A.  I only have small observations to make but  to the extent that Lehmann sees it in a particular kind of place - a course (sic) pub - and that the bamboo tree business is supposed to be a referential nod to any worldly idyll viz Gauguin's world. Well I can't see it.  I know that the boys arrive and Doris calls down to them in the street but the notion that the play can be imagined in a setting is at odds with the irreal sense of space and time.   And the Bamboo tree is more a link to the  music hall than the actual South Seas. ( I think of Judy Garland in Meet me in St Louis doing the song by the way)


Cheers Pete.

----- Original Message -----

From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Chokh Raj

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Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 3:31 PM

Subject: Re: Sweeney Agonistes: Eliot’s raw underbelly


Sweeney Agonistes: Eliot’s raw underbelly


Is Poetry Fiction?


Gary Lehmann