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Huck isn't a racist but he accepts the validity of slavery and uses the
language of a racist society. If a poet or anyone else uses the language of
the society in which is he immersed does that necessarily make him/her
complicit in that society's racism?

On Mon, Oct 12, 2015 at 2:57 PM, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I am not, here, making any comment about Eliot's racism. But there is a
> fundamental difference between a novel with characters who are racists
> (Huck, by the way, is not, and Twain makes Huck say one of the most telling
> and powerful statements against racism when he has him apologize to Jim)
> and a poem in the poet's voice--as in Eliot's description of the
> Mississippi or several of his comments in critical articles unquestionably
> in his own voice.
>
> So this topic always needs definition. For example, most objections to
> Anthony Julius's claim that Eliot was anti-Semitic made the irrelevant
> point that he had Jewish friends and often helped Jewish writers. Nothing
> Julius said was about that: he argued that Eliot created images of Jews
> that normalized anti-Semitism.
>
> It is very hard to address these issues because, for example, constant
> propaganda by Hitler that made Jews rats and other vermin clearly helped
> normalize slaughtering them.
>
> In this case, it matters whose voice is being discussed. One could
> say Yeats's poem is spoken by a person with vile ideas. And to make a
> broader case, one would need to see if it is a pattern and how the tone of
> the author emphasizes or treats it.
> Nancy
>
> >>> Tom Gray 10/12/15 2:07 PM >>>
>
> Racism winds through "Huckleberry Finn" but is this racism that of Mark
> Twain?
>
> On Mon, Oct 12, 2015 at 1:15 PM, Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Any attempt to ground  'judgment' of  'literature' in its truth value
>> leads to intellectual chaos. I think I have several times in the past on
>> this list referred to Yeats's "great and vile poem, An Irish Airman
>> foresees His Death." I was not being sarcastic.  An identical description
>> applies to Griffith's "Great and vile movie." Commentary on either work may
>> 'use' the work to grasp a 'truth' not directly available in the work
>> itself. But that is another topic.
>>
>> This is the context in which to view the post below. It would be unfair
>> to Eliot as a poet _not_ to recognize the racism that winds through his
>> work. It rears its head several times in 4Q; the list of floating objects
>> in the Mississippi is a direct reference to events in St. Louis in 1919.
>>
>> Carrol
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>> Behalf Of Carrol Cox
>> Sent: Monday, October 12, 2015 8:08 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: T.S. Eliot really liked, etc.
>>
>> Eliot's rather repellant racism is more or less a given. Few if any U.S.
>> poets aren't stained by it.
>>
>> Read up on the 1919 St. Louis Massacres.
>>
>> Carrol
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>> Behalf Of Ken Armstrong
>> Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2015 8:05 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: T.S. Eliot really liked, etc.
>>
>> Regarding the language of the  Brer Rabbit/Possum correspondence, I think
>> what can get lost or underplayed in the scholarly apparatus is the x factor
>> that Auden highlighted when he said that a poet is someone who likes to see
>> words playing together. Kind of a joie de vivre thing.
>>
>> KA
>>
>> On Oct 11, 2015 5:21 PM, "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> > On Sun, 11 Oct 2015 12:09:30 -0700, P <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> >
>> > >Still not quite there.  Lots of animals feign inactivity. Why choose
>> this one in particular?
>> >
>> > This one is a character in the Uncle Remus stories (Brer Possum). Pound
>> may have liked the characters and accents and wanted to play with them.
>> You're on the Pound list. Ask them.
>> >
>> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Uncle_Remus_characters
>>
>
>