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The Sacred Wood

The Sacred Wood

Essays on Poetry and Criticism

by T S Eliot
Publication Date: 05/02/2015
2015 Reprint of Original 1920 Edition. Exact facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. 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: the necessary and inviolable bond between past and present literary achievement; the need for criticism that carefully attends to the integrity of a work of art, its essential relation of part to whole; and the concepts of poetic impersonality and the objective correlative. The central essay in "The Sacred Wood" is "Tradition and the Individual Talent." Most fascinating in an initial reading of this essay is Eliot's circling, complex definition of literary tradition. It is not, he claims, a dead collection of writings by dead poets, "a lump, an indiscriminate bolus"; neither is it a body of work from which a few personal favorites can be chosen as exemplars of excellence. Instead, it is a complete order, an organic body in which each part (individual poem) relates to and derives its significance from its place in the whole (tradition). Contents: Introduction -- The perfect critic -- Imperfect critics: Swinburne as critic, A romantic aristocrat, The local flavour, A note on the American critic, The French intelligence -- Tradition and the individual talent -- The possibility of a poetic drama -- Euripides and Professor Murray -- "Rhetoric" and poetic drama -- Notes on the blank verse of Christopher Marlowe -- Hamlet and his problems -- Ben Jonson -- Philip Massinger -- Swinburne as poet -- Blake -- Dante.
Publication Date:
Martino Fine Books
Country of origin:
United States
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