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07/07/2013

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Ken W Simpson

Are you accusing T S Eliot of being a snob! Frankly I find that ridiculous. He loved most his life as poet in London. He was probably more British in temperament than American. Is that some defect in his character.

As a playwright Williams was brilliant, but I found his novels distasteful. I have not read his poetry. Should I?

Mary

I have come to appreciate Eliot as an adult and don't see him as a snob today. But ridiculous or not, in St. Louis (in high school and college), there was a feeling that he was a snob. As it was put to me, he was an expat with a distaste for Americans and mid-westerners. Looking back, there might have been some mid-western insecurity at play, assuming Eliot perceived St. Louis to be provincial and unsophisticated. I have no idea if he ever made any comments about St. Louis. Tennessee Williams loathed St. Louis. Somehow that was seen as a better alternative than feeling superior to it. However, Williams was never taught in any of the programs I attended, probably due to those controversial themes.

M.

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