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Given the impact on any gay person's life in the early 20th century, I cannot agree. It would matter very much if one were publicly represented as gay: think Djuna Barnes or, more disturbingly, Oscar Wilde. So portraying gay situations was itself an issue, and it is as serious a discussion as any other.
Cheers,
Nancy



>>> David Boyd  08/26/13 9:59 PM >>>
I happen presently to be concluding a critical biography of a contemporary
Faber poet, and I haven't as yet and probably never will be able
meaningfully to place his sexuality in particular upon any
currently-meaningful spectrum of same.

Polarised thinking about such matters I just instinctively feel is
unhelpful, both as regards my own subject and Eliot himself.


On 26 August 2013 19:44, Nancy Gish  wrote:

> We don't absolutely "know" it any more than we do any other reference. But
> the reference was said to be commonly known. I will have to look up the
> sources of the claim when I get back to the States in September. But it has
> been stated as a fact by many sources.
>
>
> On the other hand, we don't "know" which of the many meanings might be
> best attached to Tiresias, for example. So I'll look it up when I can.
> Cheers,
> Nancy
>
>
>
> >>> Peter Dillane  08/26/13 11:18 AM >>>
> Hi Nancy and Carrol,
>
> How do we know that Mr Eugenides is asking a male out?
>
> He is a study in libidinous importunity ( unshaven and his pocket full of
> currants to me figures a kind of hedonistic indifference to polite
> convention or perhaps a foreigner inappropriateness) but I cant see he has
> to be homosexual.
>
> The pocket full of currants might suggest a masturbatory tic but it doesnt
> locate the sexuality unless of course one turns to the reputed event in the
> poet's life or the local understanding of the reputation of the Cannon
> Street Hotel or the Metropole.
>
> I am not suggesting anything as sophisticated as Jewel Spears Brookers
> observation that it is impossible to say that the proposition is homosexual
> because Tiresias throbs between two lives male and female. I am just making
> the simple observation that if we were to try to ascribe a status to this
> trope as personal vs something less then I dont have an anchor that says
> now I am a male narrator.
>
> cheers pete
>   ----- Original Message -----
>   From: Nancy Gish
>   To: [log in to unmask]
>   Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 6:07 PM
>   Subject: Re: The Waste Land - a Tarot reading
>
>
>   Dear Carrol,
>
>   That depends on whether you think there was anxiety about homoerotic
> feelings that made this incident resonate for Eliot. I have no strong view
> on that, but it has many potential bases for being possible or likely.
> Making him into a Smyrna merchant with a pocketful of currents may just fit
> the poem, but the incident itself is as probable a source for personal
> response as his marriage or any other event in his life. Given his later
> outrage and extreme response to Peters's article suggesting homosexuality,
> the issue evoked an extreme response. I don't think you can make any
> definite statement about the relative importance of that and his marriage.
>   Cheers,
>   Nancy
>
>
>
>   >>> Carrol Cox  08/25/13 11:43 PM >>>
>   Use of events from the writer's personal experience is not necessarily
> the
>   same as being influenced by those events. E.g., if an author once visited
>   (say) Arthur Illinois, and afterwards puts a horse and buggy in a book,
> it
>   does not mean that he/she was influenced by Amish religious doctrine.
> Very
>   possibly Mr. Eugenides as a personal event is merely a case of an author
>   grabbing a detail from life even though the detail has no deep personal
>   significance: it's just a detail that fits the poem. Cf. the Church bell
>   with a particular dull sound. The details from his marriage, on the other
>   hand, are probably part of what he called his grouch against life. I
> rather
>   doubt that the joking reference to naval sodomy in Mansfield Park echoed
>   Austen's attitude towards her brothers. The plot of the book, not the
>   personal feelings of the author, called on that bit of punning. I think
> the
>   same is true of Eliot's use of Mr. Eugenides -- it was the poem, not his
>   personal response, that called for its use.
>
>   Carrol
>
>   > -----Original Message-----
>   > From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>   > Behalf Of Nancy Gish
>   > Sent: Sunday, August 25, 2013 4:48 PM
>   > To: [log in to unmask]
>   > Subject: Re: The Waste Land - a Tarot reading
>   >
>   > It's recorded somewhere, possibly in the Facsimile, that this
> encounter is
>   one
>   > that actually happened; some man did say something like this to Eliot
>   > according to the report, and I think it was Eliot who said it. I'm not
> at
>   home,
>   > so I can't check. In any case, Eliot knew Russell extremely well (too
> well
>   in
>   > some respects), and there is nothing in Mr. Eugenides like Russell, who
>   was a
>   > Lord, not a merchant, had no base in Smyrna, and was not gay. And at
> that
>   > point Eliot knew about the Russell/Viv affair. So he would hardly make
>   > Russell into a man suggesting a night together.
>   >
>   > There are, in fact, some parts of TWL for which Eliot's source is known
>   > because he told about them. For example, he actually met and talked
> with
>   > Marie Larisch.
>   > Nancy
>   >
>   > >>> Tom Colket 08/25/13 5:35 PM >>>
>   >
>   > CR:
>   >
>   > I basically agree with you, both with your thought that Eliot turned
>   > people/events from his life into art, and with many of the specific
> images
>   you
>   > identify in TWL.
>   >
>   > The one I disagree with is your identification of Mr. Eugenides with
>   Bertrand
>   > Russell. In TWL, Mr. Eugenides invites the narrator to lunch at the
> Cannon
>   > Street Hotel followed by a weekend at the Metropole. This is
> understood to
>   > be "code" for a homosexual proposition, Bertrand Russell was a lady's
> man
>   > who had numerous affairs, including one with Eliot's wife Vivienne.
> It's
>   > doubtful that Russell inspired the Mr. Eugenides character.
>   >
>   > On the topic of Mr. Eugenides, a big question to answer in TWL is why
> he
>   > appears as one of only a handful of images specifically called out by
>   Madame
>   > Sosostris as the narrator's fortune is being (accurately) told. This
>   elevates
>   > him to an importance not accorded other figures in the poem who are
> left
>   > out of the told fortune. For example, consider the characters _not_
>   > mentioned by Sosostris, such as Marie, Stetson, the Thames daughters,
> the
>   > young man carbuncular, etc. I believe it's important to understand why
> the
>   > Eugenides character is so prominent in the narrator's "fortune."
>   >
>   > -- Tom --
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > ________________________________
>   >
>   > Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2013 11:31:05 -0700
>   > From: [log in to unmask]
>   > Subject: The Waste Land - a Tarot reading
>   > To: [log in to unmask]
>   >
>   >
>   > what TWL cards remind me of
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > "Here is the man with three staves..."
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > The poet -- "What might have been . . ."
>   >
>   >
>   > ---
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > "Here, said she, is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor."
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > The poet -- "What has been . . ."
>   >
>   >
>   > ---
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > "Here is Belladonna, The Lady of the Rocks, The lady of situations."
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > Vivienne, the lady on the 'burnished throne' in A Game of Chess.
>   >
>   >
>   > Vis-a-vis her, the poet laments:
>   > Between the idea
>   > And the reality
>   > Between the motion
>   > And the act
>   > Falls the Shadow
>   > For Thine is the Kingdom
>   >
>   > Between the conception
>   > And the creation
>   > Between the emotion
>   > And the response
>   > Falls the Shadow
>   > Life is very long
>   >
>   > Between the desire
>   > And the spasm
>   > Between the potency
>   > And the existence
>   > Between the essence
>   > And the descent
>   > Falls the Shadow
>   > For Thine is the Kingdom
>   > ---
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > "And here is the one-eyed merchant..."
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > Bertrand Russell, the atheist, who doled out help because it was
> business
>   for
>   > him as usual.
>   >
>   >
>   > "Stetson!
>   > You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
>   > That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
>   > Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
>   > Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
>   > Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,
>   > Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!"
>   >
>   >
>   > ---
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > "I do not find The Hanged Man."
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > He who was living is now dead
>   > We who were living are now dying
>   > With a little patience
>   >
>   >
>   > ---
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > "...and here The Wheel..."
>   >
>   >
>   >
>   > Time present and time past
>   > Are both perhaps present in time future
>   > And time future contained in time past.
>   > If all time is eternally present
>   > All time is unredeemable.
>   >
>   >
>   > ---
>   >
>   >
>   > CR
>