Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965)
American-English poet, playwright, and literary critic, a leader of the
modernist movement in poetry. In 1948 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for
Literature. Eliot's work as a critic is probably best represented by
his first critical volume The Sacred Wood (1920) The essays
introduced two concepts which became important in later critical theory:
the Objective Correlative (the use of an external object, event,
or situation to evoke emotion in the reader) and dissociation of sensibility
(a phrase he invented to explain the change that came over English
poetry after John Donne and Andrew Marvell). Later critical works
broadened his interests into theology and sociology.
Born in Missouri, Eliot was educated at Harvard and moved to England in 1914.
Eliot taught for a year, then worked briefly as a bank clerk.
- The Sacred Wood (1920)
- The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933)
- Thoughts After Lambeth (1931)
- The Idea of a Christian Society (1939)
- Notes Toward the Definition of Culture (1948)
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