A T. S. Eliot Companion: Life and Works by F. B. Pinion

By F. B. Pinion

Aiming to supply a finished survey of the paintings, poetry and prose of the poet T.S.Eliot (1888-1965), this article can be of designated worth to academics of all educational degrees and to school and school scholars at domestic and in a foreign country.

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Whether it improved his relations with his wife seems very doubtful, for she could be cruel and cutting, had very little sympathy with his new ways , and rarely accompanied him to church. The vicissitudes of Eliot's new hope are the subject of a number of poems from 1927 to 1930. Until he began them , he thought he would be unable to write more poetry after 'The Hollow Men'. The first , 'J ourney of the Magi' , was issued as one of the series of 'Ariel' poems which were published singl y for various authors.

Then, in November, on the advice of Ottoline Morrell, with reassurances from Julian Huxley, he set off to Switzerland, Vivienne accompanying him as far as Paris, where she stayed for a time with the Pounds. During his six weeks at a sanatorium in Lausanne he learned that there was nothing mentally wrong with him, and found the quiet and relaxation he needed to revise, assemble, and expand sketches and jottings he had made towards the ill-defined poem he had contemplated for years. Whether the poetic release which came, with especial freedom and felicity in the final part of the poem," was due, as Aiken believed, to Eliot's anger, before leaving England, on hearing Homer Lane's view that his inability to write was due to his fear offalling short of perfection, and that he (Eliot) thought he was God, seems very dubious, so far apart were the breaking of the log-jam (as Aiken described it) and its conjectural cause.

L. Lucas regretted that this 'unhappy composition' had not been left to sink itself, wryly acknowledging the appeal such a 'new masterpiece' would have for coteries, eccentrics, 'the blase and the young' . Eliot had more demanding matters to consider. With The Dial as his closest model, he aimed to make The Criterion a forum for the most significant thought relevant to western Europe, in literature, philosophy, religion, and politics. By March 1923 he wished he had never undertaken a task which had become too exhausting a drain on time and energy, with no financial reward.

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