Certainly Eliot’s mind was a vast, labyrinthine echo chamber, and perhaps more than any other canonical poet of the English language, with the possible exception of his great antagonist John Milton, he was conscious of the previous uses by other writers of the words he deployed in his poems.
Posts Tagged: T.S. Eliot
Rappers Meek Mill and Drake have been come to blows lately, since Mill claimed Drake doesn’t write his own raps. This also launched a series of Meek Mill memes which Drake projected on stage at OVO Fest while he performed....more
Let’s talk about sentences. Let’s talk about how poets, when they let their lines run long to prose, can make sentences sing. And if we’re going to talk about those sentences, we must also talk about details. Details, details, and more details....more
For the Tin House blog, Heather Hartley spends the holiday season perusing letters between T.S. Eliot and Groucho Marx. Through their love of “good cigars” and a “weakness for making puns,” Eliot and Marx show a humorous affection that inspires Hartley to do some letter writing of her own....more
For the Atlantic, Karen Swallow Prior puts a new spin on the origin story of the “hipster,” arguing that T.S. Eliot’s J. Alfred Prufrock was actually one of the first:
Prufrock of the cuffed white flannel trousers cultivates a detached earnestness that isn’t unlike the modern-day adult who is as eager to reject a hollow consumerism as he is to signify that rejection through the material signs of thrift-store chic: the trucker cap, fuzzy sweater, the thrift-store trousers, or horn-rimmed eyewear.
New audio preservation technology just opened a treasure trove at Harvard: thousands of recordings of influential poets reading their work, once feared too deteriorated to salvage, are now being recovered. As WBUR reports, the IRENE program takes high-res 3D photographs of old records deemed too fragile to play with an ordinary needle, which can then be digitally converted into audio without the risk of damaging the original vinyl....more
As conscientious writers know, punctuation can make all the difference in a sentence, sculpting mush into meaning or cluing the reader in to nuances of intonation.
Vulture’s Kathryn Schulz has compiled some of literature’s most effective and memorable instances of punctuation, from Nabokov’s parenthetical “(picnic, lightning)” to the ellipses in T....more
By 2007, PJ Harvey had released six studio albums, which ran the gamut in style from explosive blues-punk to near-industrial electronica to soulful pop rock. To the surprise of all (and dismay of many), her seventh album, White Chalk, marked a dramatic departure from all that....more
In a letter of May 21, 1924, an English literary critic invited T.S. Eliot to speak to the club on “any subject connected with the Elizabethan drama.”
As late as November 6, Eliot told Richard Aldington that the lecture was “still in very rough shape.” Shortly afterward he wrote to Virginia Woolf that, despite all of his labors, it proved “unworthy of subsequent publication.”
Don’t let that Oxford education and British citizenship fool you: 125 years ago today, Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri.
He went on to become one of the defining voices of the modernist movement with poems like The Waste Land and plays like Murder in the Cathedral—oh, and that children’s book that eventually became the musical Cats....more
From Novels to Notes is a new blog by journalist Johnny Garcia chronicling songs inspired by fiction or poems.
It’s still getting started, but it looks promising: there are already two entries about PJ Harvey, and there are bound to be more once Garcia discovers those lines she cribbed from T....more
One February night in T.S. Eliot’s mid-twenties, he went his aunt’s house in Boston. It was 1913, and the occasion was one of those delightful-sounding “evenings of amateur theatricals” that no one bothers with anymore. (It’s a tradition that really ought to be revived, if anyone’s asking me.) Eliot performed as Mr....more