A Companion to T. S. Eliot


Reflecting the surge of critical interest in Eliot renewed in recent years, A Companion to T.S. Eliot introduces the 'new' Eliot to readers and educators by examining the full body of his works and career. Leading scholars in the field provide a fresh and fully comprehensive collection of contextual and critical essays on his life and achievement.

  • It compiles the most comprehensive and up-to-date treatment available of Eliot's work and career
  • ...
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A Companion to T. S. Eliot

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Reflecting the surge of critical interest in Eliot renewed in recent years, A Companion to T.S. Eliot introduces the 'new' Eliot to readers and educators by examining the full body of his works and career. Leading scholars in the field provide a fresh and fully comprehensive collection of contextual and critical essays on his life and achievement.

  • It compiles the most comprehensive and up-to-date treatment available of Eliot's work and career
  • It explores the powerful forces that shaped Eliot as a writer and thinker, analyzing his body of work and assessing his oeuvre in a variety of contexts: historical, cultural, social, and philosophical
  • It charts the surge in critical interest in T.S. Eliot since the early 1990s
  • It provides an illuminating insight into a poet, writer, and critic who continues to define the literary landscape of the last century
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As a resource for both scholars and students the book is very strong, and stand-out contributions come from John Xiros Cooper, on Eliot's social critiques (pp. 287-97), and John Timberman Newcomb's reconsideration of Eliot's influence as an editor (pp. 399-410), in which he notes the sometimes overlooked role Eliot played not only in British modernism but also, with Pound, in shaping the public face of the likes of Oppen, Louis Zukofsky, and Marianne Moore. The collection as a whole, finely edited by Chinitz, will be a necessary reference for students." (Ywes, 28 August 2011)

"The articles are fully informative, readable and stimulating. There are mostly free of unnecessary abstraction and of trendy jargon. Students, teachers and all readers interested in literature and poetry will enjoy-and benefits from- this companion." (Emerald, November 2010)

"A Companion to T. S. Eliot is a necessity for any college or university library and a worthwhile investment for your personal library. You will use it and reuse it, and you'll encourage your students to do the same. If Eliot's criticism influenced so much of what came after him, let's hope this volume influences literary scholarship as it's practiced today, inspiring us to teach instead of dazzle, to value quality over quantity, and to "reduce, reuse, and recycle" in order to produce a more sustaining and sustainable body of criticism." (Davidson College, Summer 2010)

"This Contextual Encyclopedia is a superb introduction to the wealth and diversity of world literature for school and students-both within and beyond the US-and for the reader." (Reference Reviews, April 2010)

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Product Details

Meet the Author

David E. Chinitz, Professor of English at Loyola University Chicago, is the author of T. S. Eliot and the Cultural Divide (2003) and Which Sin to Bear? Authenticity and Compromise in Langston Hughes (2013). He is currently first vice president of the Modernist Studies Association and past president of the T. S. Eliot Society.

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors viii

Preface xiv

Acknowledgments xvi

Abbreviations Used for Works by T. S. Eliot xvii

Part I: Influences 1

1 The Poet and the Pressure Chamber: Eliot's Life 3
Anthony Cuda

2 Eliot's Ghosts: Tradition and its Transformations 15
Sanford Schwartz

3 T. S. Eliot and the Symbolist City 27
Barry J. Faulk

4 Not One, Not Two: Eliot and Buddhism 40
Christina Hauck

5 Yes and No: Eliot and Western Philosophy 53
Jewel Spears Brooker

6 A Vast Wasteland? Eliot and Popular Culture 66
David E. Chinitz

7 Mind, Myth, and Culture: Eliot and Anthropology 79
Marc Manganaro

8 "Where are the eagles and the trumpets?": Imperial Decline and Eliot's Development 91
Vincent Sherry

Part II: Works 105

9 Searching for the Early Eliot: Inventions of the March Hare 107
Jayme Stayer

10 Prufrock and Other Observations: A Walking Tour 120
Frances Dickey

11 Disambivalent Quatrains 133
Jeffrey M. Perl

12 "Gerontion": The Mind of Postwar Europe and the Mind(s) of Eliot 145
Edward Brunner

13 "Fishing, with the arid plain behind me": Diffi culty, Deferral, and Form in The Waste Land 157
Michael Coyle

14 The Enigma of "The Hollow Men" 168
Elisabeth Däumer

15 Sweeney Agonistes: A Sensational Snarl 179
Christine Buttram

16 "Having to construct": Dissembly Lines in the "Ariel" Poems and Ash-Wednesday 191
Tony Sharpe

17 "The inexplicable mystery of sound": Coriolan, Minor Poems, Occasional Verses 204
Gareth Reeves

18 Coming to Terms with Four Quartets 216
Lee Oser

19 "Away we go": Poetry and Play in Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats 228
Sarah Bay-Cheng

20 Eliot's 1930s Plays: The Rock, Murder in the Cathedral, and The Family Reunion 239
Randy Malamud

21 Eliot's "Divine" Comedies: The Cocktail Party, The Confidential Clerk, and The Elder Statesman 251
Carol H. Smith

22 Taking Literature Seriously: Essays to 1927 263
Leonard Diepeveen

23 He Do the Critic in Different Voices: The Literary Essays after 1927 275
Richard Badenhausen

24 In Times of Emergency: Eliot's Social Criticism 287
John Xiros Cooper

Part III: Contexts 299

25 Eliot's Poetics: Classicism and Histrionics 301
Lawrence Rainey

26 T. S. Eliot and Something Called Modernism 311
Ann Ardis

27 Confl ict and Concealment: Eliot’s Approach to Women and Gender 323
Cyrena Pondrom

28 Eliot and "Race": Jews, Irish, and Blacks 335
Bryan Cheyette

29 "The pleasures of higher vices": Sexuality in Eliot's Work 350
Patrick Query

30 "An occupation for the saint": Eliot as a Religious Thinker 363
Kevin J. H. Dettmar

31 Eliot's Politics 376
Michael Levenson

32 Keeping Critical Thought Alive: Eliot's Editorship of the Criterion 388
Jason Harding

33 Making Modernism: Eliot as Publisher 399
John Timberman Newcomb

34 Eliot and the New Critics 411
Gail McDonald

35 "T. S. Eliot rates socko!": Modernism, Obituary, and Celebrity 423
Aaron Jaffe

36 Eliot's Critical Reception: "The quintessence of twenty-first-century poetry" 436
Nancy K. Gish

37 Radical Innovation and Pervasive Infl uence: The Waste Land 449
James Longenbach

Bibliography of Works by T. S. Eliot 460

Index 463

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