Saturday, November 21, 2015

Religion in the making

"Professor Whitehead. . . . has not spent as many years in America as I have, but he has been very quickly adopted into the fraternity of the American Godhead.  America is said to be 'on the make'; Professor Whitehead's religion must be 'in the making.'  Even in America, a motor-car 'in the making' is not so much prized as a motor-car which is made and will run; but apparently luxury articles like religion are more valuable 'in the making' than when they are made.  It is the hopeless belief of a person who knows that when his religion is made, it won't run; but he enjoys making it."

     T. S. Eliot on Science and the modern world (1925) and Religion in the making (1926) in "'The return of Foxy Grandpa'" (1927), as published for the very first time in New York review of books 62, no. 15 (October 8, 2015):  31 (31-32), in advance of its appearance in "volume 3 of the forthcoming eight-volume edition of The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot:  The Critical Edition," ed. Frances Dickey, Jennifer Formichelli, and Ronald Schuchard.  In response to an inquiry from Edmund Wilson as to why the essay had not appeared as promised in Wyndham Lewis' The enemy, Eliot said, "'On the whole I think I should prefer not to publish this note elsewhere.  I am not satisfied with it and if I had time I should already have revised it'" (32).

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