T. S. Eliot by Bernard Bergonzi (auth.)

By Bernard Bergonzi (auth.)

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During 1914-1915 Eliot was energetically cultivated by Pound, and was noticed as an enigmatic new arrival among the LONDON REPUTATION 31 visitors to the celebrated triangular sitting-room of Pound's small Hat in Kensington. For all his longing for conversation, Eliot was chieHy remarkable for his immense taciturnity-Douglas Goldring was struck by his ability to sit for a whole afternoon in complete silence-as well as for his exotic good looks. " Lewis was still collecting material for the long-delayed second issue of Blast and early in 1915 he wrote to Pound: "Eliot has sent me Bullshit and the Ballad for Big Louise.

She is light, a little vulgar, adv(;l1turous, full of life-an artist I think he said, but I should have thought her an actress. He is exquisite and listless; she says she married him to stimulate him, but finds she can't do it. Obviously he married in order to be stimulated. I think she will soon be tired of him. She refuses to go to America to see his people, for fear of submarines. He is ashamed of his marriage, and very grateful if one is kind to her.! In the late summer of 1915 Eliot made a brief visit to America by himself; this was the last time he saw his father, who died in 1919, and Eliot did not revisit the United States until 1932.

S. " The last line, with its ambivalent suggestions both of waking and drowning, offers an eventual possibility of escaping-despite the message of the epigraph-from one of the most intense, yet controlled, immersions in extreme experience in modem literature. Regarded as a whole, "Prufrock" shows both the characteristic limitations of Eliot's imagination and his equally characteristic power of overcoming them. It is a matter of record that the final version of the poem was assembled in 1911 from a number of sections written over the past year; in a letter written to Harriet Monroe in 1915, Ezra Pound remarked of ''Prufrock'': "I dislike the paragraph about Hamlet, but it is an early and cherished bit and T.

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