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Dear David,

Thank you so much for sending on this link. I just listened to it all, and
it is thoughtful and revealing.
It also is from one who says early on that he wants to be "as sympathetic
as possible" to Eliot, and that seems, in his entire talk, to mean almost
only to him and not to the relationship or to Emily. That is, Haffenden
knows immense material about Eliot and is clearly perceptive as well as
knowledgeable. But he also speaks throughout from the position of what it
all means *for Eliot.*

I don't doubt or disagree with any of that if one means the Eliot Faber
called "Jekyll." But his duality was apparent to his closest friends, not
simply to me.

I have often noted how humorous and charming and fun Eliot was in early
letters to his cousin. No one--and certainly not I--is likely to deny that
people enjoyed him, cared about him, considered him important. But he was
not a single character: he had other sides.

I do wish Haffenden had not not taken a swipe at anyone who blogs about the
letters. I want very much to know what Frances finds, and I am waiting for
Lyndall's take.
Nancy

On Thu, Jan 9, 2020 at 1:07 PM David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> see / hear too John Haffenden's comments, especially re intention of Eliot
> Estate / Faber to publish all these (still in copyright) letters soon
>
> https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2020/01/the-book-club-podcast-what-do-t-s-eliots-letters-reveal/
>
>
> On Thu, 9 Jan 2020 at 02:35, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> There is no possible response to such a claim.
>>
>> On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 9:33 PM Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>> And more
>>>
>>> Eliot and cruelty don’t go together.
>>> It is just not there in his character.
>>> He was a thorough gentleman.
>>>
>>> CR
>>>
>>> On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 9:23 PM Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>
>>>> I for one don’t see any cruelty on Eliot’s part anywhere.
>>>> He made his position clear after Vivienne ‘s demise.
>>>>
>>>> CR
>>>>
>>>> On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 8:09 PM Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I don't know how that got cut off. I said that I see no point in
>>>>> trying to justify his cruelty to Hale.
>>>>> Nancy
>>>>>
>>>>> On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 8:07 PM Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> If you have not gone through this, the "grain of truth" is that we
>>>>>> all create a fantasy of those we love but,* in this case*, according
>>>>>> to Lyndall Gordon, *it is not true*:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Gordon, too, found Eliot’s statement belittling of Hale, but also
>>>>>> said there was a “grain of truth” to his description.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> *“We have to think about the fact that all of us, when we’re in love,
>>>>>> there’s an element of fantasy about the beloved,” Gordon said. “And so,
>>>>>> what Eliot is doing is rebranding that in a belittling way — it was a
>>>>>> delusion, it didn’t exist. And that’s not true, when you read the actual
>>>>>> letters.”*
>>>>>> *In general, I think Frances Dickey is spot on. But I don't think
>>>>>> this is any more "beneath" Eliot than his treatment of John Hayward. He was
>>>>>> a mixed figure, and he was often disloyal and/or unkind to people who loved
>>>>>> him.*
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> *I see no point in *
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> *On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 7:37 PM Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]
>>>>>> <[log in to unmask]>> wrote:Why scholars think the unsealed T.S. Eliot
>>>>>> letters are a big dealBy Joshua Barajas PBS NewsHour Jan 8,
>>>>>> 2020 https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/why-scholars-think-the-unsealed-t-s-eliot-letters-are-a-big-deal
>>>>>> <https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/why-scholars-think-the-unsealed-t-s-eliot-letters-are-a-big-deal> CR
>>>>>> *
>>>>>
>>>>>