Eliot


Life
1)Early life and love for literature
He was born in Missouri in 1888
2) Study years
Studied philosophy at Harvard. He doesn't graduated.
He studied also italian literature, in particular Dante.
3)1910- PARIS. He got in touch with French Symbolism
4) London
Relationship with Ezra Pound, he introduces Eliot to the literary circles he's in.

He studied Dante and the symbolism and his studies became part of him, at some point it's almost impossible to distinguish his thoughts from quotations.

1915- marriage with a British dancer (Vivien)--> she was mentally ill but he married her just to have an excuse to remain in England. This marriage was unhappy and it affected him deeply.
He started working in a bank and teaching because his poetry wasn't enough to support himself.
1922- publication of The Waste Land
1927- turning point- Spiritual change(he converts to Anglicanism)

He thought religion would help him to find an answer to all his "overwhelming questions" and to his dispair.
Also his poetry shifts from pessimism to hope.

5) separation + remarriage (Valerie)- she didn't give him children
6) 1965- Death
His chosen epitaph: “In my beginning is my end, in my end is my beginning” (Four Quartets)

Style
Fragmentary, mixture of different poetic styles(blank verse, free verse, ode, quatrain)- it reflects the decay caused by WWI and modernity.
The meaning is not in the fragment but in the whole. There is a framework that manages to connect all these fragments: the mythical method and the narrator (the mute seeker that wander through the streets)

Technique of implication
Technique of the objective correlative (explained in the essay Hamlet and his problems)- which is a combination of images objects or description evoking an appropriate emotion.
Technique of juxtaposition (trivial vs sublime, squalid vs poetic for examples bible vs cockney accent)
Repetition of words, images - increase in musicality


The concept of tradition
Eliot believes that no poet and no artist has his meaning alone, but within the sphere of tradition, because he thinks that tradition is directly connected with the present. Past and present coexist in a man. Therefore the poet’s task is creating new links to connect the past with the present

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