Download The American T. S. Eliot: A Study of the Early Writings by Eric Sigg PDF

By Eric Sigg

In his previous age T.S. Eliot stated on a couple of events that the yank adventure of his adolescence and formative years had had the inner most impression on his poetry. this is often the 1st ebook to discover intimately how Eliot's writings immediately preserved and reacted opposed to his complicated American history: his intellectually and socially well known kin, their robust Unitarian tradition, and their event in nineteenth-century St. Louis and Boston. reading significant poems from "The Love tune of J. Alfred Prufrock" in the course of the Waste Land, and drawing largely upon the early philosophical writings, essays, and stories, Dr. Sigg indicates the effect on Eliot of significant American figures corresponding to George Santayana, Henry James, and Henry Adams, in addition to of the British thinker F.H. Bradley on whom Eliot wrote a doctoral dissertation at Harvard.

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But without that hard theological rock, Rev. Eliot's Unitarianism offered only an ethic and, at least where children are concerned, a particularly obstinate one at that: It makes the will of God our law, instead of our own changing desires, or the customs of the world. Instead of selfishness and self-seeking, whatever form they may take, it teaches self-denial, and, it may be, selfsacrifice. 32 Black-letter imperatives against selfishness and self-seeking, however, seem just the sort that parents should beware, lest in obeying them children deny or sacrifice their selves.

Louis street near the Eliot home in which it occurred, fifty or more years earlier), his mother's devotion to her verse and her acknowledgment of his talent confirmed, typically, by subsequent silence on the subject - all add to the anecdote's rich texture. Most crucially, however, it reveals that Eliot had withheld mention of the verses or their publication from his family. Apparently he had already pursued a literary path to enselfment; already poetry had given him an essentially private form of self-assertion and discovery.

S. ELIOT ages seem carefully selected from a narrow, deliberately unpoetic range. As Eliot once proposed, the artist's contemplation of the horrid, sordid, or disgusting is the "necessary and negative aspect of the impulse toward the pursuit of beauty. But not all succeed as did Dante in expressing the complete scale from negative to positive. "3 Eliot's candid statement reveals an essential fact. It allows that he might have wished to pursue beauty, but admits that his own sensibility, inconveniently, declined to cooperate.

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