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.