Great American Writers: Twentieth Century - Vol. 4

Great American Writers: Twentieth Century - Vol. 4

Great American Writers: Twentieth Century - Vol. 4

Great American Writers: Twentieth Century - Vol. 4

Excerpt

J.S Eliot

BORN: September 26, 1888, St. Louis, Missouri

DIED: January 4, 1965, London, England

IDENTIFICATION: Modernist poet, dramatist, and critic, whose poetic style and complexity profoundly influenced the course of twentiethcentury English poetry.

T. S. Eliot is celebrated as one of the premier poets of the twentieth century. His early work “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” startled the literary world in 1915 and was followed in 1922 by the most influential poem of the century, The Waste Land . His later poetry, exemplified by Four Quartets (1943), is marked by the essentially modernist notes of anxiety, the quest for individual identity in a depersonalized world, the function of words to express and/or conceal meaning, and the place of earthly and spiritual love in human life. Although he was American by birth, in 1927 Eliot became a British citizen and converted to the Church of England. His later works increasingly reflect religious themes and the struggle for spiritual renewal. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature for his poetry in 1948, and his works continue to be taught in schools and colleges.

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