Thomas Stearns Eliot: life, works, historical and cultural context and main characteristics of his modernist literature
Thomas Stearns Eliot was a well-known modernist English writer. He was born in Missouri in 1888. He studied literature and philosophy at Harvard University, and later he moved to Paris, where he met French Symbolists and Avant-garde artists.
Thomas Stearns Eliot published his first collection of verses in 1917, followed by "Poems", the essay "The Sacred Wood" and in 1921 his most important work and his masterpiece "The waste land". Later he also wrote the poem "The Hollow Men".
After this phase, there was a religious period that began with the baptism of the writer. During this period, the works are inspired by themes relating to spirituality and religious conversion.
Then, the works of maturity (including theatrical works) are: “Murder in the Cathedral”, “The family reunion”, “four quartets”, “Employee Engagement”, “The cocktail party”.
The first phase of Thomas Stearns Eliot's poetry is characterized by a strong pessimism towards contemporary society (particularly with regard to the peculiar desolation and crisis of values following the World Wars), in which there is no sense but only desolation and chaos, and the works that express it are " The waste land" and "The Hollow Men".