3.4.09

HEADS FILLED WITH STRAW. Betsy Newmark turns up T. S. Eliot attempting to peer-review Animal Farm. I can't make this stuff up.
IT must rate as the literary snub of the 20th century. T S Eliot, one of Britain’s greatest poets, rejected George Orwell’s Animal Farm for publication on the grounds of its unconvincing Trotskyite politics.
Today's lotus-eaters like to use the expression "lens of ..." to provide stilts for their nonsense. It makes me think only that "We are the hollow men" is self-referential.

When Orwell submitted his novel, an allegory on Stalin’s dictatorship, Eliot praised its “good writing” and “fundamental integrity”.

However, the book’s politics, at a time when Britain was allied with the Soviet Union against Hitler, were another matter.

“We have no conviction that this is the right point of view from which to criticise the political situation at the current time,” wrote Eliot, adding that he thought its “view, which I take to be generally Trotskyite, is not convincing”.

Eliot wrote: “After all, your pigs are far more intelligent than the other animals, and therefore the best qualified to run the farm – in fact there couldn’t have been an Animal Farm at all without them: so that what was needed (someone might argue) was not more communism but more public-spirited pigs.”

The perspective of Animal Farm is only Trotskyite in the sense that Snowball never gets to walk around on two legs. Betsy's summation:
Eliot seemed to think that it was fine for the pigs to be running the farm and nothing wrong inherently with the system, just that those particular pigs were not public-minded enough. Nothing wrong with the system, just those particular leaders.
Today's lotus-eaters are equally silly. Why does higher education let them call so many of the shots? And in a time where being governed by The Best and The Brightest is a time of ongoing errors, is it really correct to deduce that the pigs are best qualified to run the farm?

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