Yeats Eliot Review


Vol. 30, No. 3-4, Fall-Winter

Incommensurable Worlds and "Impossible Union": The Dialectical Form of T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets
Poetry as Escape? T.S. Eliot's conversion to Christianity made it possible, especially for critics on the left, to view his later work as an escape from critical engagement. (1) in an essay called "Secular Criticism" Edward Said articulates one...
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T S. Eliot's (Dis)appointment with Schopenhauer
Schopenhauer's major work, Die Welt ah Wille und Vorstellung, was published in 1818. It procured for him not the worldwide recognition he thought his genius deserved but initiated an agonizing forty-year period of neglect and isolation which played...
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Eroticism versus Mysticism in T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of St. Sebastian" and "Death of St. Narcissus"
T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of St. Sebastian" was written in 1914, but it was first published in Inventions of the March Hare in 1996. It was intended to be included in a collection of poems entitled Descent from the Cross. This poem, which depicts...
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Vol. 30, No. 1-2, Spring-Summer

Misogyny, Masculinity, and Homoeroticism in T.S. Eliot's Critical Theories
1-Tradition and Impersonality According to Eliot, the artist must be beholden to tradition. Since it is incumbent upon him to absorb the literature of the past, the artist should make assiduous attempts to preserve the literary tradition. In his...
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World, War, and Words in T.S. Eliot's Social Criticism
The one who uses parrhesia, the parrhesiastes, is someone who says everything he has in mind: he does not hide anything, but opens his heart and mind completely to other people through his discourse. In parrhesia, the speaker is supposed to give a...
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Joseph Brodsky and T.S. Eliot
Joseph Brodsky's critical essays, Less Than One (1986) and On Grief and Reason (1995), provide the necessary context for his long Russian poem "Verses on the Death of T. S. Eliot." Brodsky-who's also written elegies on John Donne, W. H. Auden and Robert...
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Vol. 29, No. 3-4, Fall-Winter

T.S. Eliot's Virtual Europe: The Flaneur and the Textual Flanerie
I. Introduction T. S. Eliot repeatedly shifted from one urban culture to another: from St. Louis to Boston, from Harvard to the Sorbonne, from Paris to London, and from Marburg to Oxford. The trajectory of Eliot's urban detour finally settles down...
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Eliot's Letters, 1898-1925: A Review
The Letters of T. S. Eliot. Volume 1: 1898-1922: Revised Edition. Edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. 871 pp. The Letters of T. S. Eliot. Volume 2: 1923-1925. Edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton....
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Vol. 29, No. 1-2, Spring-Summer

"Now and in England": Four Quartets, Place, and Martin Heidegger's Concept of Dwelling
Introduction (1) I had my existence. I was there. Me in place and the place in me. "A Herbal"--Seamus Heaney (43) (2) T.S. Eliot's poem, Four Quartets, is foremost a meditation on place, a psychological narration of its significance. Each...
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Wrestling with Words and Meaning: T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets and Scholarly Writing about Literature
The poetry does not matter. --T. S. Eliot, "East Coker" II So much scholarly work about literature has little to do with the human impulses that are the primary reasons people read literature. This is particularly ironic, even sad, with texts...
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Vol. 28, No. 3-4, Fall-Winter

The Remarkable Relationship of T. S. Eliot and Mary Hutchinson
Mary Barnes Hutchinson was a fascinating and complex woman, to whom the British artist Henry Tonks once said, "What an unusual power you have, you are no ordinary person" (qtd. in Hone), a sentiment echoed by many, though certainly not all, of her...
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Utopia in Decay: Yeats's Decadent Dystopias
Not long after Ezra Pound decided to modernize W. B. Yeats, the younger poet famously observed that "Uncle William" was coming along quite nicely. His only lament was that the elder poet was "still dragging some of the reeds of the 'nineties in his...
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T. S. Eliot's Green Face Powder: A Mystery Solved
In several surprising and enigmatic statements, T. S. Eliot's friends commented on his addiction to cosmetics. On September 27, 1922, Virginia Woolf, always a caustic observer and keen gossip, recorded, "I am not sure that he does not paint his lips."...
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Vol. 28, No. 1-2, Spring-Summer

Chaucer's Dante in Eliot's Waste Land & Other Observations
CERTAINLY it is possible by now to speak no longer just of T.S. Eliot's contributions to the practice and interpretation of poetry but more of his legacy to same, by which one would mean how modernist technique has permanently altered the study of...
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Vol. 27, No. 1-2, Spring-Summer

"Call Back the Soul": Yeats, Ireland and the Aesthetics of Cultural Renewal in the Oxford Book of Modern Verse
In his selection of Irish writers, included in The Oxford Book of Modern Verse (1936), Yeats expresses his theories of the Irish poet's unique role in modern cultural renewal. He does so by applying the paradigm he created for Irish cultural nationalism...
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"I Bought and Praised but Did Not Read Aquinas": T.S. Eliot, Jacques Maritain, and the Ontology of the Sign
In W.H. Auden's sociological send up of England in the nineteen-twenties, that almost clinical answer to Wordsworth's Prelude titled "Letter to Lord Byron," he portrays himself as the bien pensant young poet, come from the provinces up to Oxford to...
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The Impulse toward Beauty in "Prufrock," the Waste Land, and Four Quartets: T. S. Eliot's Aesthetic Response to the Spiritual Collapse of His Era
"Even now, in sordid particulars / The eternal design may appear." T. S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral T. S. Eliot, in a 1920 essay "Dante," writes this of the poet he most admired: "The contemplation of the horrid or sordid or disgusting, by an...
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Vol. 26, No. 2, Summer

Temporal, Mnemonic, and Aesthetic "Eruptions": Recontextualizing Eliot and the Modern Literary Artwork
When a theory of art passes it is usually found that a groat's worth of art has been bought with a million of advertisement .... A mythical revolution will have taken place and produced a few works of art which perhaps would be even better if still...
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T. S. Eliot and the Premio Camoes: A Brief Honeymoon and Anointment of Portuguese Fascist Politics
In T. S. Eliot: A Life, Peter Ackroyd writes that in April 1938 T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) "travelled to Lisbon in order to sit on the jury for the Camoens Prize" (241) without any further reference. Time and time again, I have reflected on the implications...
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Vol. 26, No. 1, Spring

Apeneck Sweeney's Penitential Path
Sweeney is a baffling person. He runs in and out poems like a naughty boy, scarcely offers an explanation of his conduct, and generally confounds" critics by his bad manners and rude behaviour.--T. H. Thompson (161) Names are critically important...
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A Millennium's Journey into "The Deep Heart's Core"
William Butler Yeats" "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" and Green Martyrdom Most readers agree that the persona in William Butler Yeats' "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" is longing for and celebrating his mental return to a bucolic setting, despite his physical...
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Vol. 25, No. 2, Summer

More Than "Prufrock," Less Than "Gerontion": The Moment of Knowledge in Inventions of the March Hare
The important theme of T.S. Eliot 's early poems is "observation," especially what the narrators fix their gaze upon, as we can guess from the title of his first collection of poems, Prufrock and Other Observations. (1) They observe and fragmentally...
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"Not Known, Because Not Looked For": Eliot's Debt to Browning
In his criticism and in his poetry, T.S. Eliot openly acknowledges many of his literary influences. He dedicates The Waste Land to Ezra Pound, the friend and editor whom he terms 'il miglior fabbro." He maintains that Dante and Shakespeare "divide...
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Vol. 25, No. 1, Spring

Cultural Continuity in a Time of War: Virginia Woolf's between the Acts and T.S. Eliot's East Coker
In "East Coker', T. S. Eliot describes the ongoing struggle "to recover what has been lost I And found and lost again", an action now taking place "under conditions I That seem unpropitious." (1) Such words could certainly describe the historical...
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Vol. 24, No. 4, Winter

Eliot's Echo Rhetoric
In Eliot and the Art of Collaboration, Richard Badenhausen characterizes Eliot's relationship to other poets in a number of ways--as "conversation alliance," using Eliot's own words; as reliance on a "stabilizing field"," and, overarchingly, as collaboration,...
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Eliot Shadows: Autography and Style in the Hollow Men
Locked up in an archive at Princeton University and sealed by order until 1 January 2020, the letters of Thomas Stearns Eliot to Emily Hale, upwards of a thousand, currently sit gathering dust. Hale was an intimate of Eliot's, who Ronald Bush ambiguously...
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Vol. 24, No. 3, Fall

Cultural Continuity in a Time of War: Virginia Woolf's between the Acts and T.S. Eliot's East Coker
In "East Coker', T. S. Eliot describes the ongoing struggle "to recover what has been lost / And found and lost again" an action no w taking place "under conditions / That seem unpropitious." (1) Such words could certainly describe the historical moment...
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Yeats and the Celtic Twilight: Between the Worlds
Like Voltaire's proclamation that if God did not exist it would be necessary to invent him, so too is the case with history: if the past is not recorded, it becomes necessary for a culture to partake in a narrative that invents (or re-invents) it....
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Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer

Between Augustine and Derrida: Reading T.S. Eliot's Poetry of Exile
Hugh Kenner's observation that "commentators tour the Eliot territory in chartered buses" (x-xi) rings true even today, particularly in reference to Four Quartets. Post-deconstructionist criticism may have taken us beyond Dame Helen Gardner's orotund...
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The Aristotelian Mr. Eliot: Structure and Strategy in the Waste Land
Agnostic though he was at the time, T.S. Eliot undoubtedly was searching for some degree of spiritual direction in his Waste Land Cycle of poems. His thoughts might well have been incarnated in Gerontion's words: I have not made this show purposelessly...
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Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring

Paris during Eliot's Residence in 1910-1911: A Practical Guide to the City
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Vol. 23, No. 3-4, Fall-Winter

Listening for the "Sound of Water over a Rock": Heroism and the Role of the Reader in the Waste Land
Eliot breaks all the rules of epic poetry in The Waste Land. For an epic poem it appears to be too short; it does not have a unifying voice; and it lacks the primary characteristic that defines this genre--a hero. (1) Eliot, nevertheless, employs an...
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Thomas MacGreevy Reads T.S. Eliot and Jack B. Yeats: Making Modernism Catholic
In the nineteen-thirties, Irish poet and critic Thomas MacGreevy elaborated a project of interpreting and promoting artistic and literary modernism as complementary to a Catholic worldview. He published a handful of slim volumes, including one collection...
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Return to the Ordinary World: From the Family Reunion to the Cocktail Party
A memorial plaque to Eliot mounted in 1998 on the sidewalk at the site of his birthplace, 2635 Locust Street in St. Louis, notes his titles: "Poet, Philosopher, Literary Critic, Dramatist, Nobel Laureate." In fact, Eliot did not get down to writing...
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Vol. 23, No. 2, Summer

The Full or the Dark: An Analysis of Phases 1 & 15 in Yeats's System
The two forces that constitute the "Principal Symbol"--the "Great Wheel" --namely, the primary and antithetical tinctures which, in their mutual opposition, create material existence, are known. However, our published knowledge tends to reiterate rather...
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Vol. 23, No. 1, Spring

Crazed by the Moon: The Duality of the Heron in Yeats's Calvary
"Moccasins set in hoar frost, eyes fixed on the bird, Thought: 'On that sky it is black.' Thought: 'In my mind it is white.' Thinking: 'Arden occidentalis, heron, the great one." --Robert Penn Warren "Audubon" In 1895, a short story by W....
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Examining Yeats's Colon: The Magical and Philosophical Progression of Ideas in "Among School Children"
Yeats's "Among School Children" is perhaps the most anthologized of his poems, undoubtedly because it is narrative in nature, captures a cross-section of both his exoteric and esoteric ideas, and contains a number of intertextual references to his...
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Vol. 22, No. 4, Winter

Reality and Its Double in T. S. Eliot's the Cocktail Party
In a letter dated August 19,1949, T. S. Eliot described his latest play to fellow author and sometime playwright, Djuna Barnes: "THE COCKTAIL PARTY is the name of it, but that's only what I call it in order to entice the public--the esoteric name is...
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The Influence of Hinduism in William Butler Yeats's "Meru"
William Butler Yeats considered himself to be "very religious," (1) and in his search for Truth one direction he turned was to the East, to an old, established religion: Hinduism. His first encounter with the philosophy was in 1885 or 1886, when he...
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Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and Shakespeare's Prince Hal: An Unnoticed Parallel
Prufrock's consciousness is peopled by heroic exemplars who when alluded to only deepen our sense of his timidity and paralyzing weakness of will. When weighed in the scales against Dante, Michelangelo, John the Baptist, the speaker of Marvell's "To...
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Vol. 22, No. 3, Fall

Yeats and Taoism (1): To Maria Motxobe Legarreta
This essay explores the connections between some of the metaphysical beliefs reflected in the work of W. B. Yeats and the main ideas of Taoist philosophy, paying particular attention to the links between Yin Yang theory and the system of the Gyres...
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[While it is impossible to avoid errors, especially when articles are transmitted electronically and then "translated" from one word processing program to another, there was an exceptionally inordinate number, and one serious lacuna, in J.H.Copley's...
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Vol. 22, No. 2, Summer

Chess Is the Game Wherein I'll Catch the Conscience of the King: The Metaphor of the Game of Chess in T.S. Eliot's the Waste Land
The metaphor of the game of chess, which T.S.Eliot crystallised in the final version of The Wasteland, functions as a structural node that coordinates the dynamics of meaning within the poem. By substituting the original title and subtitle of section...
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Meeting Eliot and Hodgson in Five-Finger Exercises
Recently, I came upon Patrick Heron's half-scowling, half-smiling painting of T. S. Eliot reproduced in an anthology (1) alongside Eliot's part V of Five-finger Exercises. (2) It seemed to me that the pairing was emblematic of the partial familiarity...
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"Several Centers": T. S. Eliot's Wartime Agenda of Cultural Unity and Diversity
In his reflections on poetry's social significance in times of conflict, Seamus Heaney quotes a low-point in T. S. Eliot's wartime morale--a letter written to E. Martin Brown in October, 1942: In the midst of what is going on now, It is bard, when...
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Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring

Plurilingualism and the Mind of Europe in T. S. Eliot and Dante
'They tell me this is me light of Asia, me light of Palestine, of Persia, of Egypt; and I realise me unity of history that for thousands of years past shapes our inner destiny. Troy--me Ten Thousand under Xenophon--Cleopatra--Theodora of Byzantium,...
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