By Craig Raine
The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, the 20 th century's most renowned poet and its such a lot influential literary arbiter, T.S. Eliot has lengthy been considered an imprecise and hard poet--forbiddingly realized, maddeningly enigmatic.
Now, during this fabulous exploration of T.S. Eliot's paintings, prize-winning poet Craig Raine finds that, to the contrary, Eliot's poetry (and drama and feedback) will be visible as a unified and coherent physique of labor. certainly, regardless of its show up originality, its radical experimentation, and its staggering formal kind, his verse yields that means simply as without doubt as different extra traditional poetry. Raine argues that an implicit controlling theme--the buried existence, or the failure of feeling--unfolds in strangely diversified methods all through Eliot's paintings. yet along Eliot's wish "to dwell with all depth" used to be additionally a mistrust of "violent emotion for its personal sake." Raine illuminates this paradoxical Eliot--an exacting anti-romantic realist, skeptical of the sentiments, but steadily stricken by means of the phobia of emotional failure--through shut readings of such poems as "The Love track of J Alfred Prufrock," "Gerontion," The hole males, Ash Wednesday, and so forth. the guts of the e-book comprises prolonged analyses of Eliot's grasp works--The Waste Land and Four Quartets. Raine additionally examines Eliot's criticism--including his coinage of such key literary phrases because the target correlative, dissociation of sensibility, the auditory imagination--and he concludes with a powerful refutation of fees that Eliot was once an anti-Semite.
the following then is a quantity completely critical for all admirers of T.S. Eliot and, actually, for everybody who loves sleek literature
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Extra resources for T. S. Eliot
Lawrence’s ‘The Prussian Officer’, Eliza- 38 T. S . E L I O T beth Bishop’s last ‘Sonnet’, Emily Dickinson’s ‘I heard a Fly buzz when I died’, Hemingway’s ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’, Kundera’s Life Is Elsewhere, Golding’s The Spire, Bergotte’s death in A la recherche du temps perdu, Nabokov’s ‘Perfection’, Betjeman’s ‘Cottage Hospital’, Browning’s ‘Prospice’, Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and Hemingway’s epigraph to ‘Big Two-Hearted River’ are all attempts to describe this indescribable moment.
In ‘Religion and Literature’ (1935), he is certain that modern literature is ‘simply unaware of, simply cannot understand the meaning of, the primacy of the supernatural over the natural life’. Ash-Wednesday argues precisely this position—the primacy of the supernatural over the natural life—and fails. It is possible to argue that, therefore, the poetry is truer to reality than Eliot’s theoretical position. But the difficulty of true religion was precisely what attracted Eliot. Its requirements are intractable, absolute—and difficult to fulfil.
It is ‘an infirm glory’, a ‘transitory power’. But I think it is happiness, pure and simple. And that happiness has gone for good. The landscape is not actual but symbolic of a mental state. The present is arid: ‘I cannot drink’; ‘for there is nothing again’. We 24 T. S . E L I O T infer from what is lost—flowering trees, spring waters—that the speaker is in a desert place, sunk in unhappiness, in despair. In stanza 3 of section I, Eliot renounces ‘the blessèd face’. Who is female, nameless, and unidentified at this point in the poem— in fact, never fully elucidated.