The Sacred Wood

by Anthony Domestico Published in 1920, The Sacred Wood solidified T.S. Eliot’s status as one of the preeminent critical voices of his generation.  Containing the canonical “Tradition and the Individual Talent” as well as essays on Ben Johnson, Swinburne, and others, the collection shows Eliot working through a number of his most pressing critical interests:… Continue Reading The Sacred Wood

“Tradition and the Individual Talent”

by Pericles Lewis T. S. Eliot expressed a typically ambivalent view of the past when he wrote in his essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent” (1919). The essay gives voice to the fact that modernist experiments seldom simply destroyed or rejected traditional methods of representation or traditional literary forms; rather, the modernists sought to enter… Continue Reading “Tradition and the Individual Talent”

“‘Ulysses,’ Order and Myth”

by Anthony Domestico Published in The Dial in November of 1923, T.S. Eliot’s essay “‘Ulysses,’ Order, and Myth” is a rare opportunity to see one of modernism’s giants grappling with one of modernism’s greatest works.  Having met Joyce for the first time while delivering a pair of old shoes on behalf of Ezra Pound on… Continue Reading “‘Ulysses,’ Order and Myth”

The Waste Land

by Pericles Lewis “Eliot’s Waste Land is I think the justification of the ‘movement,’ of our modern experiment, since 1900,” wrote Ezra Pound shortly after the poem was published in 1922. T.S. Eliot’s poem describes a mood of deep disillusionment stemming both from the collective experience of the first world war and from Eliot’s personal… Continue Reading The Waste Land

La Figlia Che Piange

by Sam Alexander “La Figlia Che Piange” (“young girl weeping”) is the final poem in T.S. Eliot’s Prufrock and Other Observations (1917). This short (24-line) poem describes a lovers’ parting, but its speaker plays a curious dual role. He not only describes his lover and the feelings aroused by remembering her, but also directs her–… Continue Reading La Figlia Che Piange

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915), a poem T.S. Eliot had drafted by the age of 23, he adopted the voice of a weary middle-aged man, or indeed a damned soul from Dante’s Inferno. The balding Prufrock finds in an appointment for tea with some fashionable ladies the occasion for existential suffering.… Continue Reading The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

T.S. Eliot

  Biography by Anthony Domestico and Pericles Lewis For many readers, T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) is synonymous with modernism.  Everything about his poetry bespeaks high modernism: its use of myth to undergird and order atomized modern experience; its collage-like juxtaposition of different voices, traditions, and discourses; and its focus on form as the carrier of meaning.  His… Continue Reading T.S. Eliot