T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot

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by Craig Raine
     
 

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The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, the twentieth century's most famous poet and its most influential literary arbiter, T.S. Eliot has long been thought to be an obscure and difficult poet—forbiddingly learned, maddeningly enigmatic.
Now, in this brilliant exploration of T.S. Eliot's work, prize-winning poet Craig Raine reveals that, on the

Overview

The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, the twentieth century's most famous poet and its most influential literary arbiter, T.S. Eliot has long been thought to be an obscure and difficult poet—forbiddingly learned, maddeningly enigmatic.
Now, in this brilliant exploration of T.S. Eliot's work, prize-winning poet Craig Raine reveals that, on the contrary, Eliot's poetry (and drama and criticism) can be seen as a unified and coherent body of work. Indeed, despite its manifest originality, its radical experimentation, and its dazzling formal variety, his verse yields meaning just as surely as other more conventional poetry. Raine argues that an implicit controlling theme—the buried life, or the failure of feeling—unfolds in surprisingly varied ways throughout Eliot's work. But alongside Eliot's desire "to live with all intensity" was also a distrust of "violent emotion for its own sake." Raine illuminates this paradoxical Eliot—an exacting anti-romantic realist, skeptical of the emotions, yet incessantly troubled by the fear of emotional failure—through close readings of such poems as "The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock," "Gerontion," The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday, and many others. The heart of the book contains extended analyses of Eliot's two master works—The Waste Land and Four Quartets. Raine also examines Eliot's criticism—including his coinage of such key literary terms as the objective correlative, dissociation of sensibility, the auditory imagination—and he concludes with a convincing refutation of charges that Eliot was an anti-Semite.
Here then is a volume absolutely indispensable for all admirers of T.S. Eliot and, in fact, for everyone who loves modern literature.

Editorial Reviews

Michiko Kakutani
Unlike many academic critics who have expended huge amounts of energy on uncovering Eliot’s sources, pointing to obscure allusions that might unlock hidden meanings in the verse, Mr. Raine zeros in on the emotional core of the poems, using his own familiarity with Eliot’s work to give the lay reader a visceral understanding of how the poet came to articulate his ideas and how those ideas evolved over the years.

As a poet himself, Mr. Raine has a practitioner’s understanding of language and rhythm and sound, and he uses this knowledge to convey the beauty and power of Eliot’s verse, and the myriad, subtle ways it works its magic on the reader.
— The New York Times

From the Publisher
"Raine the critic, like Raine the poet, is incapable of a dull thought."—Ian McEwan

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199774173
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
09/01/2011
Series:
Lives and Legacies Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Craig Raine is Fellow and Tutor in English at New College, Oxford, and editor of Areté, a tri-quarterly arts magazine. Poet, literary critic, playwright, librettist, and editor, Raine has been a powerful voice and an adversarial, intellectually independent figure in the literary world for the last 40 years.

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T. S. Eliot 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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