February 14, 2018
T. S. Eliot hated California. In a series of private letters written in early 1933, he called it “a horrible place,” “a nightmare,” and one of America’s “two great mistakes” (the other being New York). Eliot’s correspondents were, not surprisingly, British—and the missives may be partly indicative of the poet’s longing for England, after nearly a year abroad, rather than of full-hearted contempt for California. At the very least, there was one thing about California that he was sincerely devoted to.