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Page 88

PART II - BOOKS
CHAPTER IV - T. S. ELIOT

I should have been a pair of ragged claws,
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

Here was a protest, and a feeble one, and the more congenial for being feeble. For what, in that world of gigantic horror, was tolerable except the slighter gestures of dissent ? He who measured himself against the war, who drew himself to his full height, as it were, and said to Armadillo-Armageddon ' Avaunt !' collapsed at once into a pinch of dust. But he who could turn aside to complain of ladies and drawing-rooms preserved a tiny drop of our self-respect, he carried on the human heritage. And in all the years that have followed, years in which Mr. Eliot has gone both beyond me and behind, this early fragmentary sympathy has remained, so that still when I read him it is for the witty resentment followed by the pinch of glory.

Yet there the nightingale
Filled all-the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
` Jug-jug ' to dirty ears.

This simple reaction of mine was not unsound. But it was too facile. There was much more in his work than black followed by white. Even the early poems, when studied, revealed crossing shadows, and in time one discerned blends, or it might be confusions, of colours. Here was a poet whose gesture, whatever its ultimate intention, certainly was not a handshake, and here was a critic who held that a poet does not possess a personality, but is ` only a medium, in which impressions and experiences combine in peculiar and unexpected ways.' Here was a character habitually urbane, but liable to sudden spleen, which was vented on Milton or Hobbes or Mr. Bernard Shaw so as rather to take the breath away. Here, in a word, was a difficult writer. And it is my aim now to sort the difficulties presented by him into two heaps. For though I cannot solve them, into two heaps I am convinced they will go.
One heap-and it is a large one-will contain all those difficulties that are due to our own incompetence or inattention. Mr. Eliot does not write for the lazy, the stupid, or the gross. Literature is to him a serious affair, and criticism not less serious than creation, though severely to be distinguished from it. A reader who cannot rise to his level, and who opens a book

travel books:
where is HTML where is HEAD where is TITLE I should have been a pair of ragged claws, Scuttling across what is floors of silent seas. Here was a protest, and a feeble one, and what is more congenial for being feeble. For what, in that world of gigantic horror, was tolerable except what is slighter gestures of dissent ? He who measured himself against what is war, who drew himself to his full height, as it were, and said to Armadillo-Armageddon ' Avaunt !' collapsed at once into a pinch of dust. But he who could turn aside to complain of ladies and drawing-rooms preserved a tiny drop of our self-respect, he carried on what is human heritage. And in all what is years that have followed, years in which Mr. Eliot has gone both beyond me and behind, this early fragmentary sympathy has remained, so that still when I read him it is for what is witty resentment followed by what is pinch of glory. Yet there what is nightingale Filled all-the desert with inviolable voice And where is meta name="keywords" content="old books, Free book , free book offer , free audio books , free coloring book pages , free book reports , free audio book , audio books free download , book free , free guest book , books free , free book summaries , download free audio books , free childrens books." where is where are they now rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="../../style.css" where is meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" where is BODY bgColor=#ffffff text="#000000" where are they now ="#000000" v where are they now ="#FF0000" where is div align="center" where is strong where is strong where is a href="http://www.aaoldbooks.com" Books > where is a href="../default.asp" title="Book" Old Books > where is strong where is a href="page_001.asp" A BRIEF HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE (1914) where is table width="700" border="1" align="center" cellpadding="15" cellspacing="0" where is center where is tr where is td width="160" align="center" valign="top" where is div align="center" where is td align="center" valign="top" where is div align="left" where is div align="center" where is p align="left" Page 88 where is strong PART II - BOOKS CHAPTER IV - T. S. ELIOT where is p align="justify" I should have been a pair of ragged claws, Scuttling across what is floors of silent seas. Here was a protest, and a feeble one, and what is more congenial for being feeble. For what, in that world of gigantic horror, was tolerable except what is slighter gestures of dissent ? He who measured himself against what is war, who drew himself to his full height, as it were, and said to Armadillo-Armageddon ' Avaunt !' collapsed at once into a pinch of dust. But he who could turn aside to complain of ladies and drawing-rooms preserved a tiny drop of our self-respect, he carried on what is human heritage. And in all what is years that have followed, years in which Mr. Eliot has gone both beyond me and behind, this early fragmentary sympathy has remained, so that still when I read him it is for what is witty resentment followed by the pinch of glory. Yet there what is nightingale Filled all-the desert with inviolable voice And still she cried, and still what is world pursues, ` Jug-jug ' to dirty ears. This simple reaction of mine was not unsound. But it was too facile. There was much more in his work than black followed by white. Even what is early poems, when studied, revealed crossing shadows, and in time one discerned blends, or it might be confusions, of colours. Here was a poet whose gesture, whatever its ultimate intention, certainly was not a handshake, and here was a critic who held that a poet does not possess a personality, but is ` only a medium, in which impressions and experiences combine in peculiar and unexpected ways.' Here was a character habitually urbane, but liable to sudden spleen, which was vented on Milton or Hobbes or Mr. Bernard Shaw so as rather to take what is breath away. Here, in a word, was a difficult writer. And it is my aim now to sort what is difficulties presented by him into two heaps. For though I cannot solve them, into two heaps I am convinced they will go. One heap-and it is a large one-will contain all those difficulties that are due to our own incompetence or inattention. Mr. Eliot does not write for what is lazy, what is stupid, or what is gross. Literature is to him a serious affair, and criticism not less serious than creation, though severely to be distinguished from it. A reader who cannot rise to his level, and who opens a book where is Server.Execute("_SiteMap.asp") %

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