Four Quartets in the Light of the Chinese Jar discusses how Four Quartets should be explored afresh with a prosodic-philosophically sustained interdisciplinary and cross-cultural literary approach in ways as the often overlooked pivotal image of the Chinese jar so indicates in the great sequence; the pivotal image suggests the subtle but vital elixir from both "The 'shores of Asia and the Edgware Road' [which] are brought together as they had been brought together to The Waste Land." With a steady focus on the function words-mediated and phonemes-facilitated, and "autochthonously" void-suggesting verbal transformation, the book shows how the verbal transformation, especially of the cases with "parts of speech" in the live context, makes Four Quartets truly a "rhythmical creation of [meaningful] beauty"; it demonstrates how the meaningful poetic beauty culminates in a quintessential state or being of poetry not merely being "poetic" particularly in terms of its prosodically sustained philosophical tenets, which are often so serendipitously transformed into "virtuoso mastery of verbal music." As genuine poetry, the great sequence flows freely from inside out at once in accordance with and in spirt of any given rhythmical form or rhyming pattern.
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About the Author
Shudong Chen is professor of humanities at Johnson County Community College.