Category Archives: T.S. Eliot

On Achieving Disagreement

In After Strange Gods, Eliot takes a leaf from Newman’s book: “In our time, controversy seems to me, on really fundamental matters, to be futile. It can only usefully be practised where there is common understanding. It requires common assumptions; and … Continue reading

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Eliot’s Midrash on Augustine and the Buddha

The third section of T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land,” is titled, “The Fire Sermon,” after a famous discourse attributed to the Buddha, in which the sage maintains that all sensibles and sense experiences, indeed every act of consciousness, are aflame with … Continue reading

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Eliot’s Inferno

In The Waste Land, Eliot observes, “Unreal City / Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, / A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, / I had not thought death had undone so many” (lines 6o-3). The last … Continue reading

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The Confessions of Prufrock and Guido

Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” has for an epigraph a quotation from Dante’s Inferno 27, on the lips of Guido da Montefeltro: “S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse / A persona che mai tornasse al mondo, / Questa fiamma staria … Continue reading

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Echoes of Eliot in David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace is much-beloved by enthusiasts of so-called postmodern literature, fiction dripping with irony, luxuriating in the annihilation of substance by form. His own fiction fits within the world of pomo-lit at least in its technical wizardry (Infinite Jest … Continue reading

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