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VIRAGO ACQUIRES GROUND-BREAKING BOOK BY LYNDALL GORDON BASED ON SEALED T.S. ELIOT LETTERS — Blake Friedmann 


http://blakefriedmann.co.uk/news/virago-lyndall-gordon-eliot-letters

CR


On Sat, Jan 19, 2019 at 8:01 PM Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I think the life is deeply revealing when we can know it, and not as hero-worship (which simply distracts and confuses) but as insight. It does matter, I think, that Pound broadcast for Mussolini, that Dickinson was a recluse, that Plath was suicidal, that MacDiarmid and Jones were in WWI for all four years. All that reveals the life and experience that evoked so much poetry. And it matters how Eliot thought of, treated, wrote to and about women. His poems through The Waste Land are full of images and attitudes towards women. Then he pretty much removed them altogether except for statues and lines from saints. Why? We learn a lot about those poems from his experience.

Perhaps it is not the same with Shakespeare precisely because of what Keats called his "negative capability": he wrote plays for many, many voices and did not make any one voice central. (Only a speculation--and then there are the sonnets, a mystery). But acting Shakespeare leaves one an immense range of possible directions.

But hero worship is empty and a barrier to understanding. They were all great poets, not models for life.
Nancy

On Sat, Jan 19, 2019 at 7:34 PM [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
What is known of Shakespeare's life, once I was told, could be confined to an index card.    Yes, the life of the great poet is greatly interesting but at some point hero-worship seems to supersede the heroic.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 19, 2019, at 12:12 PM, Materer, Timothy J. <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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> From https://www.thebookseller.com/news/virago-acquires-fresh-take-ts-eliot-ahead-release-over-1000-letters-935401
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> Virago acquires fresh take on TS Eliot ahead of release of over 1,000 letters
> Published January 18, 2019 by Katherine Cowdrey
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> Virago is publishing Eliot Among the Women by TS Eliot biographer Lyndall Gordon, a book exploring the impact of the women in Eliot's life on his work following the release of decades-confined correspondence.
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> Promised to be an "important book" on the poet, whose life and work is believed to have been shaped by four women in particular, it will draw on more than 1,000 letters Eliot wrote to Boston-born teacher of drama, Emily Hale - correspondence that the book's author says is "central to understanding his most private emotions during the decades when his creativity was at its height".
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> Representing the largest single series of the poet’s correspondence, in January 2020 the 1,131 letters TS Eliot wrote to Hale from 1930 to 1956, housed in 12 boxes at Princeton University Library for over 60 years, will have their steel security bands cut and be opened after decades' confinement.
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> Whilst these letters will lead the project, his relationships with other women who were close to him - extending also to his first wife, Vivienne Haigh Wood, companion Mary Trevelyan, and second wife Valerie Fletcher, as well as his mother, and first publisher Virginia Woolf - will also be explored in the book.
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> The book was acquired by Virago chair Lennie Goodings in the UK, where the deal was done by Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann and by Norton in the US in a deal arranged by Georges Borchardt.
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> Publication will be in 2022, the centenary of The Waste Land (Faber).
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> Acknowledging Gordon's 40 years experience of writing about Eliot, Goodings commented: "This is the book Lyndall Gordon was born to write; it draws on all her intuitive understanding of this mysterious poet. We are thrilled."
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