It has often been said that Eliot provided a kind of literary conscience for his age. More to the point, his example discouraged people from neglecting their own literary consciences. The Waste Land was hated by all the right people. It catapulted Eliot to canonical notoriety. Pound cut the poem from about a thousand lines to its present He supplied several important emendations of diction—e.
Modernist though his later poetry is in structure, in attitude it marks a radical flight from certain modernist presuppositions. As simple as that. Many Nouns in is we find To the Masculine assigned Amnis, axis, caulis, collis, Clunis, crinis, fascis, follis.
Take away the number you first thought of. Stop breeding. Stop breathing.
All very amusing, that though not as amusing as Mr. Such parodies are in the end a kind of unintended homage, betraying the strength and ubiquity of the original. The philistine attack on Eliot was one thing. Far more damaging is the absorption of philistinism by the literary elite. That, too, is a feature of our postmodern condition. But when a gifted and sensitive writer like Cynthia Ozick attacks Eliot as the epitome of a reactionary high culture whose time has passed, the result is far more shocking. Eliot: A Life , among the first. The new book introduces a thick patina of animus.
It is almost comical to compare her new volume with its predecessors: everywhere she has turned up the volume of criticism. That Eliot was some sort of covert Nazi? Eliot was undoubtedly anti-Semitic. The young Eliot may have been a modernist, but there were aspects of modernity that terrified him.
The real enemies, he thought, were those aspects of modern, industrial society that encouraged social uprootedness and undermined continuity with the past. And a mob will be no less a mob if it is well fed, well clothed, well housed, and well disciplined. As a polyglot expatriate American who had severed his native roots in order to make his way in an alien society that was deeply opposed to the modernism he practiced as a poet, Eliot found himself as much at odds with the culture and politics of his adopted country as he believed himself to be with those of his homeland.
Gordon has assembled a lot of information in her decades of work on Eliot. And she makes some memorable observations along the way. While Laforgue tended to reproach women for his sense of banality, Eliot understands the banality of vice itself. This is true. And it is something that requires uncommon tact and delicacy from any biographer who wishes to present us with Eliot the artist and not a pathetic caricature.
Eliot explicitly stated that he did not want a biography: now we know why. Eliot is worthy of attention not because he had certain attitudes about women or Jews or education or religion of which we disapprove today. And when we read this oft-quoted passage in The Waste Land —. It was utter hell. Well, maybe. It was she, for example, who came up with the title for The Criterion : Eliot had intended to call it The London Review. But lots of people have hysterical, half-mad spouses. Few are great poets.
MDC 102: Making of the Modern Mind II: T.S. Eliot
To me it was only the relief of a personal and wholly insignificant grouse against life; it was just a piece of rhythmical grumbling. The grouse may have been personal and insignificant; the poem— qua poem, not biographical artifact—is neither merely personal nor insignificant.
For Eliot, writing The Waste Land may have been in part a personal catharsis. For us, it is the impersonality of the emotion that makes the poem significant. As soon as he gave up on an academic career, in , he threw himself into London literary life. I really think that I have far more influence on English letters than any other American has ever had, unless it be Henry James. There are, he wrote to a former teacher from Harvard in ,.
And so it was. But Eliot made up in concentration what he lacked in quantity. The chief reason that Eliot commanded the attention he did was doubtless the originality, power, and quality of his work. The work was the indispensable presupposition. But beyond that, Eliot animated everything he touched with a rare passion and urgency of conviction. To read Eliot is an apprenticeship in seriousness about the things that require it. This is not to say that Eliot was always somber.
Eliot’s Modernist Manifesto
Far from it. There is an element of impish playfulness in much of his work. Auden was right that in the household that was T. Eliot, a stately archdeacon lived together with a querulous old peasant woman who had experienced famines, pogroms, the lot, as well as a mischievous boy prone to practical jokes.
dielamarkplicer.cf Later, that texture of feeling is absorbed into an atmosphere of religious angst. And yet Curtius is right. Eliot was obsessed with reality. That is the ultimate source of his power as a poet and his authority as a critic. He was everywhere engaged in a battle against ersatz: ersatz culture, ersatz religion, ersatz humanity. No reviews. Status Harold Bloom — primary author all editions calculated Kenner, Hugh Contributor secondary author some editions confirmed.
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