Eliot And Bradley

Eliot's critique of Bergson in his Harvard essay shows the early influence of the philosopher who would become the topic of Eliot's doctoral dissertation the English idealist, F.H. Bradley (1846-1924). In 1914 Eliot was awarded a fellowship to work on his dissertation in Oxford under the tuition of Harold Joachim, one of Bradley's disciples. The dissertation, which focussed on Bradley's 1893 book, Appearance and Reality, was completed under the title 'Experience and the Objects of Knowledge in...

Eliots Ara Vos Prec

The poem in Ara vos Prec which most directly relates to Eliot's writings on classicism is 'Whispers of Immortality' (1918) it anticipates the argument of 'The Metaphysical Poets' published a year later. In the first half of the poem Eliot describes the sensibility of John Webster and John Donne, whom he thought achieved a union of thought and feeling in their writings. Of Webster, best known for his macabre tragedies, The Duchess of Malfi and The White Devil, Eliot writes that he 'knew that...

Dramatis Personae

The Waste Land and The Cantos may be read as an ideology critique of the kind Hulme set out in his introduction to Reflections on Violence. Both poems question and severely criticize the religious, social and political ideologies that structure our lives. But to retain the integrity of the poetry, the poems' arguments cannot be made in the authorial voice that would be to descend to the level of the propagandist. Instead, Eliot and Pound make their poems out of many voices - some imaginary,...

Theorists Of Modernist Poetry

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Pound And Imagism

Although Pound later claimed Hulme's importance for imagism had been overstated, his first public announcement of the new movement nevertheless accorded Hulme a paternal role. Pound's sixth collection of poetry, Ripostes (1912), contained an appendix of five poems entitled 'The Complete Poetical Works of T.E. Hulme', which Pound introduced with a jocular note. Though not entirely complimentary, it described the imagists as 'the descendents' of Hulme's 'Secession Club' (1990 251). In his...

The Objective Correlative

The philosophies of both Bergson and Bradley inform Eliot's concept of the 'objective correlative'. Though it was not the first use of the term or the idea, Eliot's formulation, in 'Hamlet and his Problems' (later renamed 'Hamlet') (1919), was certainly the most influential. Arguing that Hamlet is not Shakespeare's masterpiece, but in fact an 'artistic failure', Eliot locates that failure in Shakespeare's inability to express 'the essential emotion of the play', which he takes to be Hamlet's...