I agree with you that new theory is central to changing approaches to Eliot; I was suggesting that the theories are used to address his work because all the new material makes it stay fascinating. I'm sure you're right and it works both ways. Interestingly, when I teach Eliot, students love it. But I think there is less and less focus on any literary tradition that one "should" know. Even in universities they don't have to read anything in particular.
>>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 03/28/08 10:09 AM >>>
Nancy, not only new Eliot material becoming available but new literary theories have changed our ways of reading his work. Just as New Criticism considered his biography irrelevant to interpretation, some post-structuralists make it central, as do Marxist critics like Terry Eagleton who see his work as consummate bourgeoise expression.
I encounter references to Eliot by recent literary critics of varying persuasions, from structuralists to Language Poets. I am amazed that his work is still referenced so often. I'm equally amazed however, that young writers in my poetry fora hardly know his work.
I'll share some of the comments on Eliot as I encounter them in my reading since they will no doubt illustrate your point that his work is read differently now than it was in his own time or even in the 60s and 70s.
> Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 19:30:13 -0400> From: [log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: Copyright and TWL: new work> To: [log in to unmask]> > Dear Diana and All,> > I think I already told you all this, but we learned at the last TSE meeting that there is a great deal of uncollected Eliot material that Ron Schuchard will be editing at some point. I think it would be very interesting to consider how Eliot has changed in our ways of reading over the years because of new material.> > When I spent most of last spring and early summer rereading early reviews and early critics, I was fascinated at how varied and complicated were the first responses to his work. And by mid-century Helen Gardner claimed that his standing among the young--who love poetry--was now clear. I wonder how many of the young now love poetry in such forms and what his standing is. I think there has been a kind of renewal of critical interest and extensive commentary just because of the facsimile, INVENTIONS OF THE MARCH HARE, VARIETIES OF METAPHYSICAL POETRY, and more and more biographical material. But I wonder how that translates into the reading of the young. I find my own responses have changed many times and that the ways I learned to read his work seem still accurate about facts and sources but not what needs to be thought about now. By the mid-twentieth-century many critical opinions had simply been reified, and yet they did not at all reflect the earlier and, I think, fa!> r richer complex of views. For example, as I know is clear here, I do not believe his work is impersonal in any sense that he seems to claim in the early essays--which are contradicted in his later ones--though that concept is being revisited. And the very idea of a "universal" human experience has long been challenged. It is, at least, problematic and must be very limited. Even if, as Diana reads TWL, there are many voices, they are very alike in what they assume--not at all like the real diversity of characters in Shakespeare or Dostoevski. And the claim of many early critics that his own voice becomes much more open and overt in later poems than earlier ones is interesting.> > I would be interested in ways you have shifted responses, if you have, since I assume you all know so much of the work.> Cheers,> Nancy > > >>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 03/27/08 2:48 PM >>>> > Rick, I've bookmarked all those sites to which you provided links. A wonderful resource! Thanks so much!> > Nancy, can you speculate as to why the costs for TSE material are so high? Is it to discourage use? Or make money for the estate?> > Diana> Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 18:08:59 -0500> From: [log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: Copyright and TWL> To: [log in to unmask]> > "Rickard A. Parker" wrote:> > > > Cornell University has a great website on copyright at> > http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/> > In particular look at this page. It has the dates:> > http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/public_domain/> > > The copyright posts recently reminded me that I sent an email to the> copyright infringement email address at a website saying that> something they had up was, indeed, a copyright infringement. This was> just an attempt to get them to do something before the real copyright> owner found out about the "theft." I haven't heard back and the site> still has the offending material. I'm going to email again and put> the fear of God in them (or at least get them thinking how much nicer> $150,000 would be in their OWN pocket.) So I did an internet search> and came up with a couple of pages that have the necessary scary> !> material. I thought that it might interest a few TSE listers too.> > I never ran into or heard of the FairUseNetwork website before but a> quick look shows that it might be very nice. There is also the> copyright office website. These all deal with U.S. law of course.> > http://www.copyright.gov/> > http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/copy-corner66.htm> COPYRIGHT CORNER> Increased penalties of up to five years imprisonment and $250000 in> fines were available only if the infringement involved reproduction or> distribution of ...> > http://www.fairusenetwork.org/reference/c-infringement.php> Fair Use Network: Copyright 101 - InfringementPenalties for Infringement.> If a use is found to be a copyright infringement, the court may order> any one of a number of possible "remedies" for the ...> > Regards,> Rick Parker> _________________________________________________________________> Windows Live Hotmail is giving away Zunes.> http://www.windowslive-hotmail.com/ZuneADay/?locale=en-US&ocid=TXT_TAGLM_Mobile_Zune_V3
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