Monday, December 17, 2012

VW Diary 20 Sept 1920

In this entry VW gives a comment or 2 about T S Eliot. Eliot, the modernist poet, had had his poem The Waste Land published by the Hogarth Press, the press owned jointly by the Woolfes.

"The odd thing about Eliot is that his eyes are lively & youthful when the cast of his face & the shape of his sentences is formal & even heavy."

20 Sept 1920

"To go on with Eliot, as if one were making out a scientific observation - he left last night directly after dinner. He improved as the day went on; laughed more openly; became nicer. L. whose opinion on this matter I respect, ffound him disappointing in brain - less powerful than he expected, & with little play of mind..."Unfortunately the living writers he admires are Wyndham Lewis & Pound - Joyce too, but ther's more to be said on this head."

This is a fascinating eye witness account of a well known poet by a contemporary writer. It is interesting that VW is aware of his use of words, whilst Leonard is occupied with the strength (or otherwise of Eliot's brainpower).