........Mr Eliot had burst through the seams of a
worn-out and shabby diction - this had been done before.
Wordsworth had done the same thing for his generation by
relating poetic diction to common speech. Moreover
succeeded better than anyone before or since because
he had a wonderful sense for those words which are so
essential, so basic to the language and the emotions, that they
scarcely change their significance from age to age. If you
examine the poems like the
Matthew and the Lucy series you
will find that hardly a word he uses has become debased in
meaning. Mr Eliot, however, related poetry not so much to
common speech (though he made some experiments in that
line in his dramatic works and monologues) but to that great
commerce of language from which the modern reader draws
his vocabulary - slang, journalism, literature and every other
possible source. The result was that in these earlier poems he
did not so much create a poetic diction as make it possible for
other poets to create theirs......
Sadly, the OU's Twentieth Century Poetry Course has long ago been subsumed by more general 'Literature' courses, but I was very pleased to note that similar things are afoot across the www - see attached, which my partner recently very much enjoyed (I drag her to Eliotic events, so that's made her want to learn more...). I did find it very odd, though, that Eliot was largely excluded - for being UnAmerican, presumably........
To paraphrase a great colleague who studies how students learn, students are novices; faculty are (or should be) experts. Our job is to help novices become experts. That requires that their prior learning is valid, or they just add on more error. So scholars come from advanced study; they are not already ready as undergraduates. They definitely do not come from being affirmed as scholars long before they are prepared. It is not being compassionate or encouraging to treat novice work as if it were already expert scholarship. In the case presented, the student needed a great deal of work on basic terminology and on the kind of research that goes far beyond just reading the Norton intro, let alone imagining himself capable of totally dismissing Stallworthy, who is a very serious scholar and extremely knowledgeable. I repeat that I don't always agree with him, but that is irrelevant. There is no one critical position, but there are many that can be argued with logic and evidence and research.NancySince I am treating this as a serious question, though it may be meant as sniping, I would appreciate it if this could remain serious.>>> P 12/02/12 12:26 AM >>>
From where else are the new scholars to come?
"[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Still, this is a student and one must encourage such endeavors even though a student's perspective will always be limited by his or her limited experience and understanding.The Norton Anthology is a standard compilation used in colleges to study periods of literature. Introductory and basic but if one reads it cover to cover one does get a good dosage of a period's prose and poetry, albeit edited. Not the best but not a bad starting place. The ideal of course is that the student wants more after reading a writer and goes forth into the promised land on his or her own.As I said, encourage such stufents ventures and be compassionate of the young eager for poetry.Eugene Schlanger
Sent from my iPhone
On Dec 1, 2012, at 5:59 AM, David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:Sorry, CR, found this pretty underwhelming - readable style, yes, but rather stating the obvious, and very thin on any review of any Eliot commentary, other than this 'Norton Anthology' (which I've never read.)
On 1 December 2012 04:17, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
amazing student scholarshipCMC Senior Theses / CMC Student Scholarship / 2012T.S. Eliot's Anti-Modernism: Poetry and Traditionin the European Waste LandJohn BedecarréClaremont McKenna Collegemost worthy of scholarly noteCR