Originally Posted by ishtat
Valerie Eliot the widow and second wife of TS died last Friday. A few years ago in London I was surprised to hear some savage criticism of her, largely stemming from the fact that, (in keeping with his wishes) she denied access to his papers by many would be biographers.
These critics were mainly sniffy academics that felt thwarted. They were particularly scathing that she had allowed, and the Eliot estate made a fortune in Royalties from the Musical Cats, - far more than he ever made directly from his own work. I suspect that TS would have been tickled pink about the musical.
I have seen Cats twice with my daughter, once when she had to sit on my knee to see over the balcony railing and then 10 years later when she was old enough to appreciate the technical side of live theatre. I feel that the poems breathe new life with the addition of melody and visual interpretations. T.S. would have been very happy with the thoughtful treatment of his Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, I think.
But I've always been a fan of Mr. Mistoffelees
. The addition of music makes poetry so much easier to remember and to recite. Cats is a wonderful gift to a generation that doesn't have as much room in the elementary school curriculum to dedicate to mandatory readings and memorization. Maybe I'm mistaken, but no matter. I'm gonna go Up Up Up to that Heaviside Layer some day during a Jellicle Moon and see Ol' Deuteronomy and Mungojerrie sitting on a fence.