restricted access Orage: Memories
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146 ] Orage: Memories The New English Weekly, 6 (15 Nov 1934) 1001 I had a feeling of loss when Orage gave up the New Age and went to America; I had a feeling of relief when he returned and started the New English Weekly; I had a feeling of very deep loss when I read of his death the other day. It was not a personal loss, for my meetings with him, over a period of some eighteen years, had been infrequent and in public places. It is something quite as disturbing as a private loss: it is a public loss.2 Many people will remember Orage as the tireless and wholly disinterested evangelist of monetary reform; many will remember him as the best leaderwriter in London – on Wednesday mornings I always read through the first partoftheNewEnglishWeeklybeforeattendingtoanyotherwork.Asmaller number will remember him, as R. H. C. of the New Age, as the best literary critic of that time in London.3 Some will remember him as the benevolent editor who encouraged merit and (what is still rarer) tolerated genius. He was something more than the sum of these. He was a man who could be both perfectly right and wholly wrong; but when he was wrong one respected him all the more, as a man who was seeking the essential things and therefore was unafraid of making a fool of himself – a very rare quality indeed. What was great about him was not his intelligence, fine as that was, but his honesty and his selflessness. Most of us have not the self-knowledge to realise how parasitic we are upon the few men of fixed principle and selfless devotion, how the pattern of our world depends, not so much upon what they teach us, but just upon their being there. But when a man like Orage dies, we ought to admit that his no longer being there throws us, for the time, into disarray; so that a more thorough reorganisation is necessary than we should have believed possible. T. S. Eliot Notes 1. The last of five tributes to A. R. Orage, who died on 6 Nov, printed under this general title. 2. Orage edited the literary magazine the New Age from 1907 to 1922 before moving to Paris to study at George Gurdjieff ’s Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man. In 1924, he was appointed to teach the Gurdjieff system in America. Returning to England in 1930, he became interested in the Social Credit Movement, and in Apr 1932, he founded the New [ 147 Orage: Memories English Weekly: A Review of Public Affairs, Literature, and the Arts, which he edited until his death. TSE met Orage in 1922, writing to Ezra Pound on 19 July: “have met Orage and liked him” (L1 709). 3. In his preface to Readers and Writers (1917-1921) (London: Allen & Unwin, 1922), Orage explained: “Under the title of ‘Readers and Writers’ and over the initials ‘R. H. C.’ [Richard H. Congreve] I contributed to the New Age, during a period of seven or eight years, a weekly literary causerie” (5). TSE later discussed this book in his “Views and Reviews” of 7 Nov 1935 (5.281), and he expanded on his obituary memorial for Orage in his “Commentary” of Jan 1935 (5.260). ...


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