Friday, April 24, 2020

Old master …

… Eliot’s Last Prose | The Hudson Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I can imagine Eliot reading these charges of Mudrick’s and wearily agreeing with him, as if they didn’t cause him the least surprise or embarrassment. Sometimes Eliot turns the charge against himself into an occasion for satisfying wit, as when, in “American Literature and the American Language,” he justifies his scrupulous engagement with his own sentences as merely being consistent, “as I have a reputation for affecting pedantic precision, a reputation I should not like to lose.” Such an explanatory turn goes a long way toward assuring us that we can relax, since the lecturer knows exactly what he’s doing.

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