Yes, one can show in all the canonized modernists just that search for a past with order and meaning. If Eliot were "anti-modernist," one would have to add Joyce, H. D., Pound, Lawrence, Yeats, Jones, MacDiarmid, Muir. . . . . As I noted before, the student who wrote that needs to study terms and context.
>>> Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]
> 12/05/12 9:09 AM >>>
Nancy: In any case, David's point is right, though "thin" is an understatement. The
> student wants to emphasize Eliot's desire for tradition and the past, but that is not
> in opposition to the his very open and self-conscious sense of being "new" . . . .
I haven't followed this thread, but on this point, I had always assumed that one of the essential features of "modernism" was specifically this search for a tradition. "To have gathered from the air a live tradition" (Pisan Cantos). It was this lust _not_ to be "new," to have penetrated through the clutter of the "new" to a lost reality, that is one of the links between "modernism" and fascism. To speak of Eliot as "anti-modernist" is merely childish play with the many senses of the word "modern."