By Russell Elliott Murphy
This quantity is part of proof On File’s burgeoning serious spouse sequence. Eliot has been some of the most enigmatic yet enduring modernists because the e-book of the affection track of J. Alfred Prufrock in 1915. regardless of his particularly spare overall output of labor, he continues to be renowned between scholars and students. identified in most cases as a poet of such lasting works as “The Waste Land” and 4 Quartets, in addition to “Prufrock,” he was once additionally a famous playwright (Murder within the Cathedral) and critic, publishing a couple of well-received and influential collections of literary essays. you will need to word that this quantity isn't really classified as an encyclopedia, for it doesn't easily comprise an alphabetical record of short entries. really, it truly is divided into 4 notably built elements. the 1st is a biography of approximately 30 pages overlaying Eliot’s upbringing, impacts, non secular conversion, and marriages. the center of the paintings and through a ways its longest half is the second one part, prepared A–Z and containing designated analyses of and observation on his works. half three specializes in figures, works, and destinations that had an enduring effect on Eliot. The final part incorporates a chronology and bibliography of assets by means of and approximately Eliot. The analyses within the moment half are rather vast (entries on “The Waste Land” and 4 Quartets are 60 and forty four pages, respectively) but cogently written and simple to stick to. Many contain details at the ebook background of the paintings and information in realizing Eliot’s vast use of allusions. half three clearly enhances this part by way of supplying extra rationalization of the impacts on those works. Examples of subject matters right here contain Catholicism, Dante Alighieri, Harvard, and Vers libre (free verse). total, this can be an outstanding and exhaustive source and an excellent purchase for many libraries. it will possibly simply as effectively be positioned with the literary feedback as within the reference assortment. --Michael Tosko
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For blood, and rises on the looking sound,
What will we be aware of of lasting because the fall?
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The grasshopper, and the failing of desire,
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Additional info for Critical Companion to T. S. Eliot: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work
The Waste Land was never far from the scene for this man who, to the vast majority of English-speaking people, had Eliot in 1952, by which time he had become an influential and iconic figure, known worldwide as the author of The Waste Land, a Nobel laureate, and a celebrity playwright (Courtesy of Houghton Library, Harvard University) come to embody an entire cultural age, modernism, while something in his scholar’s demeanor and banker’s reserve encouraged the contrary notion that poetry was not for everyone, especially if it was Eliot’s.
That said, something of Eliot’s plan for the larger work was seen as well in the fact that the other two sections of the poem that were also first published as separate pieces, “Perch’ io 20 Critical Companion to T. S. Eliot non spero” (Part I) and “Al som de l’escalina” (Part III), hark back, through Dante, to two other poets for whom Love was the theme—Guido Cavalcanti and Arnaut Daniel, each of whom was closely connected with Dante in the troubadour or love poetry tradition that had originated in southern France and northwestern Italy in the 12th century.
He had last gone “home” to America in 1915. The fruits of his labors there now at his old alma mater, Harvard, in addition to a princely salary, would be the published lectures issued in 1933 as The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism. The visiting professorship would provide him as well with enough free time to lecture at various other venues, including the University of California, Los Angeles, in December and Yale in New Haven, Connecticut, in February. In January, meanwhile, he would deliver the Turnbull Lectures at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Critical Companion to T. S. Eliot: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work by Russell Elliott Murphy