The Making of T.S. Eliot

A Study of the Literary Influences


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About the Book

This chronological survey of major influences on T.S. Eliot’s worldview covers the poet’s spiritual and intellectual evolution in stages, by trying to see the world as Eliot did. It examines his childhood influences as well as the literary influences that inspired him to write his earliest poetry; his life as an American expatriate living in London from 1915 to 1930, including his ill-fated marriage and his intellectual engagement with the literary traditions of his new country; and the ways in which his intellectual pursuits fostered a spiritual rebirth that simultaneously reflected his past and revealed his future, demonstrating how the early Romantic revolutionary became a staunch defender of tradition.

About the Author(s)

Joseph Maddrey is a television producer and freelance writer. He lives in Studio City, California.

Bibliographic Details

Joseph Maddrey
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 190
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4271-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

A Note on Translations      1

Preface      3

Part I: A Point of Departure (1905–1910)

Childhood      7

Edgar Allan Poe and Edward Fitzgerald: Shadowy Sounds from Visionary Wings      9

Fin de Siècle      10

William Butler Yeats and Arthur Symons: Dance on Deathless Feet      12

Charles Baudelaire: Something New      13

Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine: Something Sacred      14

Jules Laforgue: An Art of the Nerves      15

Inventions      18

Part II: A Passion for Wholeness (1910–1911)

The Teachings of Irving Babbitt      20

The Soul of Homer      22

The Birth of Tragedy      23

The Epistemology of Plato      25

The Metaphysics of Aristotle      27

The Life of Reason      29

The Metamorphoses of the Roman Empire      30

The Birth of Christianity      33

The Confessions of St. Augustine      36

The Inferno of Dante      37

The Legend of Shakespeare      38

Eliot and Shakespeare, “Hamlet and His Problems”      40

Interlude in Paris      41

Henri Bergson: Creative Evolution      43

Walt Whitman: Mosaic      44

Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man      45

Part III: Appearance and Reality (1911–1915)

Prelude      49

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad      50

The Bhagavad Gita      51

The Light of Asia      52

Buddhism, Christianity and the Fire Sermon      54

Josiah Royce: The Problem of Christianity      56

Mysticism      57

The Burnt Dancer      59

Bertrand Russell: Mysticism and Logic      60

First Debate Between Body and Soul      61

F.H. Bradley: Notes Towards the Absolute      62

Eliot, Bradley and Symbolism      64

T.E. Hulme: Castles in the Air      65

The Death of Saint Narcissus      66

Part IV: The Beginning of Wisdom (1915–1920)

Vivienne      69

The Education of Henry Adams      71

Matthew Arnold: The Function of Criticism      73

Four Jacobean Dramatists      75

Thomas Middleton: A Game of Chess      76

John Webster: The Skull Beneath the Skin      77

Saving Tom      79

Saving Sweeney      80

John Donne: Whispers of Immortality      82

William Wordsworth: Intimations of Immortality      85

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Secondary Imagination      87

Supernatural Horror in Shelley and Browning      89

William Blake: The Religion of Art      91

Lines for an Old Man      93

The Alchemy of Words      95

Breakdown      96

Part V: Beyond Good and Evil (1920–1921)

The Decline of the West      99

Goethe: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future      100

Friedrich Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil      101

Zarathustra: Nietzsche As Symbolist Poet      103

Fyodor Dostoevsky: In Sight of Chaos      105

Herman Hesse: The Journey to the East      107

Carl Jung and James George Frazer: Symbols of Transformation      108

The Mythical Method      110

Arthurian Legend      110

From Ritual to Romance      113

Breakthrough      113

The Waste Land: The Burial of the Dead (Part I)      114

The Waste Land: The Burial of the Dead (Part II)      116

The Waste Land: A Game of Chess / In the Cage      117

The Waste Land: The Fire Sermon      119

The Waste Land: Death by Water      121

The Waste Land: What the Thunder Said (Part I)      121

The Waste Land: What the Thunder Said (Part II)      123

Part VI: Between Dying and Birth (1922–1930)

Purgatory      125

Dante II: The New Love      126

The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry      128

Lancelot Andrewes      129

Death’s Other Kingdom      130

Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness      133

Paul Valéry: Between the Motion and the Act      135

Poetry and Belief      138

Belief and Politics      140

The Wine of the Puritans      141

Ralph Waldo Emerson: The Web of God      142

The Hawthorne Aspect of Henry James      144

Ash Wednesday and the Ariel Poems: A Long Journey      145

Ash Wednesday and the Ariel Poems: The Turning Point      147

Ash Wednesday and the Ariel Poems: After the Turning      149

Ash Wednesday and the Ariel Poems: Life in Flux      150

Lusts of an Old Man      153

Afterword      155

Appendix I: A Chronology of Eliot’s Collected Poetry, Written Between 1905 and 1916      157

Appendix II: A Chronology of Eliot’s Collected Poetry and Fiction, Published Between 1915 and 1930      159

Appendix III: A Chronolog y of Eliot’s Collected Criticism, 1916–1932      161

Notes      163

Bibliography      171

Index      177

Book Reviews & Awards

“this immersion in Eliot provides a comprehensive perspective and certainly signifies Maddrey’s passion for his subject. Recommended”—Choice.