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[ 285 The Supernatural1 To the Editor of The New English Weekly The New English Weekly, 8 (14 Nov 1935) 99 Sir, – The sentences given in Mr. Norman’s letter which he says were omitted from his article as printed, do not seem to me to alter the situation in any way.2 I thought that I made it clear in my own letter that I was not taking exception to Mr. Norman’s views on the subject of the supernatural basis of religion, but merely pointing out that he was only injuring his own case by airing them in the wrong place. I wrote my letter because I have felt a good deal of sympathy with Mr. Norman’s political views, and it seemed to me regrettable that he should go out of his way to alienate people of good will. I certainly did not write my letter merely to provide readers like Mr. Llewelyn Powys with a pretext for violent affirmations.3 Incidently, I wonder whether it is “generally agreed that no person has ever lived the Christian life according to the precepts of Christ except Christ Himself.”4 This may be generally agreed amongst some limited number of people, but I should have thought that at least a few of the greater saints had arrived at some approximation toward a Christian life according to the precepts of Christ. T. S. Eliot Notes 1. The CC is dated 8 Nov 1935. 2. In his rejoinder to TSE’s letter “Pacifism” (5.279), C. H. Norman clarified that “the article has been subjected to some editorial deletion owing to the exigencies of space. Most of the part struck out had reference to the topic dealt with in the sentence under criticism” (NEW, 7 Nov 1935), 80. 3. Llewelyn Powys (1884-1939), British novelist and essayist, stated in his letter, printed before TSE’s: “If, as many of us hold, every religion that has its roots in supernatural assumptions is little better than a pathetic illusion, a pathetic nursery neurosis out of which the passing of the centuries will gradually persuade us, surely a writer may be excused for selecting as a kind of household illustration of ‘bluff ’ so singular, romantic, and wilful a misconception of the human predicament as is offered to us by magical faiths” (99). 4. Quoted from C. H. Norman’s letter of 7 Nov (80). ...


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