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TSE  October 2012

TSE October 2012

Subject:

Re: Christian Discrimination

From:

Rickard Parker <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Wed, 10 Oct 2012 04:55:57 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (73 lines)

On Tue, 9 Oct 2012 12:33:54 +0100, David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Point well-made, Nancy - didn't Eliot even, much later in life, describe
>his *Tradition and the Individual Talent *as juvenile (or at least
>something like that)?


Here's Eliot on TIT (from the Preface to the 1964 edition of
"The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism").

IT is said that Yeats had more than enough of
The Lake Isle of Innisfree as his anthology
piece. In my youth La Figlia Che Piange was fa-
voured as the most innocuous of my poems, but
in later years I have been more fairly repre-
sented (though I should be glad to hear no more
of a bang and a whimper). But with my essays I
have not been so fortunate. Just as any student
of contemporary literature, putting pen to paper
about my criticism, is certain to pass an exami-
nation on it if he alludes to the' dissociation of
sensibility' and the 'objective correlative', so ev-
ery anthologist wishing to include a sample of my
essays will choose Tradition and the Individual
Talent-perhaps the most juvenile and certainly
the first to appear in print.

I reprint The Use of Poetry and the Use of
Criticism in the faint hope that one of these lec-
tures may be taken instead of Tradition and
the Individual Talent by some anthologist of the
future. That, the best known of my essays,
appeared in 1917, when I had taken over
the assistant-editorship of The Egoist on Richard
Aldington's being called up for military service,
and before I had been asked to contribute to any
other periodical. The lectures which compose
the present book were written during the winter
of 1932-33. I had been honoured with appoint-
ment to the Charles Eliot Norton Professorship
at Harvard-a position offered annually to some
man of letters, American or European, for the pe-
riod of one year. I did not find leisure to prepare
the lectures until I arrived in Cambridge, Massa-
chusetts, in the autumn of 1932, and so they had to
be composed, under considerable pressure, during
the period of my residence there. Nevertheless, af-
ter re-reading them twice, I found to my surprise
that I was still prepared to accept them as a state-
ment of my critical position.

My earliest critical essays, dating from a period
when I was somewhat under the influence of Ezra
Pound's enthusiasm for Remy de Gourmont, came
to seem to me the product of immaturity-though
I do not repudiate 'Tradition and the Individual Tal-
ent.' The eight lectures in this volume, in spite of
the fact that some of them were written in the
course of delivering the series, seem to me still
valid. At least, I am ashamed neither of the style
nor of the matter. Not having looked at them for
many years, I found them, after two readings, ac-
ceptable enough for me to hope that republication
in the present form may justify itself.

As for the opening paragraph of the first lecture,
I should explain that the United States were at thai
moment on the eve of the presidential electior
which brought Franklin D. Roosevelt his first tern
of office.

T.S.E.
1963

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