Wednesday, September 21, 2011

T.S. Eliot circa 1919 on England's literary community.

Won't underline the literary-communities-then-and-now-are-equal comparisons--instead, without further comment, here's an excerpt from THE LETTERS OF T.S. ELIOT (reviewed in the September 19th issue of THE NEW YORKER).

Here's T.S. Eliot writing to his brother Henry in 1919; T.S. had lived in England five years:
"It is like being always on dress parade--one can never relax.  It is a great strain.  And society is in a way much harder, not gentler.  People are more aware of you, more critical, and they have no pity for one's mistakes and stupidities.  They are more spontaneous, and also more deliberate.  They seek your company because they expect something particular from you, and if they don't get it, they drop you.  They are always intriguing and caballing; one must be very alert.  They are sensitive, and easily become enemies.  But it is never dull."

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