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T.S. Eliot

Biography and Timeline

    • T.S. Elliot (1888-1965) was born in St. Louis, Missouri.
    • He graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree
    • In 1910, he left the U.S., attend Sorbonne University to study philosophy
    • The first of important work of T.S. Elliot is “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
  • T.S. Eliot received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.

Main Ideas and Key Terms Related To Intertextuality

  • Impersonality theory is poetry does not reflection poets’ emotion and feelings. But it is an escape from emotion. It does not reflect poets personality but it is an escape from personality.
  • Objective correlative is a set of objects, a situation, and a chain of events. (Poetry Foundation) The authors/ writers need to have images, objects, or situation for readers to feel a particular emotion/ feeling.
        • “a matter of much wider significance. It cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labor.” (T.S. Elliot)
      • Beliefs
        • He believes that tradition is constantly shaping the present and shaping the past. The understanding of the pastness/ history makes a writer traditional.
      • Eliot identified as a classicist who gave high regard towards a classical period, which he sought to emulate. His work which he categorizes as classist is extremely restrained and formal. He believes that tradition is constantly shaping the present and shaping the past. The understanding of the pastness/ history makes a writer traditional.
        • We cannot look at the work of arts or poets as an individual alone because their works reflected on older work. It is not necessarily a new idea but something borrowed and reinvented.
        • Poetry should not mirror the personal emotion of the poet. Poets must remove themselves from the narrative and allow themselves to be used as the vessel for transport. They must draw from a pool of ordinary everyday emotions and channel them through the intensity of poetry. Allow the work to speak for itself. Poetry should be impersonal as it outlives the poet and can therefore be applicable in the literary canon.
        • Eliot finds that it is absolutely necessary for a poet to study poets before them, and to be well versed enough that they can incorporate the “mind of Europe” into their poetry.
      • Eliot criticized romantics and Shakespeare as the movement pushed for intense emotion as an authentic source of experience, placing new emphasis on the sublime and beauty of nature. It elevated all that went against the grain of classicism.
      • We cannot look at the work of arts or poets as an individual alone because their works reflected on older work. It is not necessarily the same idea but influenced the new work

      https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/69400/tradition-and-the-individual-talent

      Criticism of T.S. Elliot

        • Harold Bloom disagrees with T.S. Eliot’s condescension towards romanticism and how it placed emphasis on emotion and individualism and its glorification of the past and nature, opting towards the medieval rather than the classical.
        • Bloom’s idea of the strong poet contrasts T.S Eliot’s more traditional look and encourages the rebellion of tradition, which Eliot was against as he believed all poets should have a “European mind”
      • Eliot, to most, appears to be contradictory due to his declarations of being a traditionalist, however implementing elements of modernism and romanticism in works such as “The Wasteland” and more.

      Significant work: “The Wasteland” – Modernist piece

      Major Recurring Themes

          1. Religion
          1. Literary history
          1. Decline of western civilization
          1. Myths
          1. Life and death
        1. Secular beliefs

Works Cited

“Objective Correlative.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/objective-correlative.

Eliot, T. S. “Tradition and the Individual Talent by T. S. Eliot.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation

www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/69400/tradition-and-the-individual-talent.

“The Nobel Prize in Literature 1948.” NobelPrize.org, www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1948/eliot/biographical/.

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