My original involvement in this thread was a question:
Could it be said that Eliot, Virgil-like, led Dante into the 20th Century?
It was just an idle speculation which was focussed on his poetry. Surely Eliot's prose can't be said to have led anything into the 20th century, except perhaps, F.H. Bradley. My question was focussed on the irony of Eliot supplanting Virgil, the student leading the teacher. Rightly or wrongly, clearly or vaguely, my wonderment was focussed on the effects for Dante of his presence in Prufrock & TWL.
Given the popularity of those two works, it seemed quite legitimate to speculate on whether the student led the teacher. That is not a sophisticated scholarly concern, just a wonderment as to what the popularity of Dante would be without those two works of Eliot. And said popularity would, I suppose, be focussed particularly on the Inferno.
If idle speculation is a sin on this list then I relish it all the more. Surely the value of idle speculation is lost if all its implications have to be spelled out.
Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Paul's descriptiveness tends to
support Peter's original thought in this thread. Not too
surprising, I suppose.
On 1/9/2013 6:51 PM, Nancy Gish wrote:
[log in to unmask]"
Paul was being descriptive: doing what editors do. Perhaps
you might like to read the book as a whole and see the varied
views, including mine.
>>> Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>01/09/13 6:38 PM
<[log in to unmask]>
vis-a-vis Peter Montgomery's remark
"Dante's influence on European
literature was enhanced greatly by T. S. Eliot, who in a
sense renovated Dante for modern literature. ...
is fitting that the last word in this volume should fall
to the writer who brought the topic of T. S. Eliot and
Dante to coalescence over twenty years ago in T. S. Eliot and Dante (1989).
One of the most compelling responses to the Eliot-inspired
embrace of Dante by twentieth-century writers has come
recently from the pen of American writer Wendell Berry.
The vital European tradition appears to form the core of
Berry's contemporary American literary project. On
receiving the T. S. Eliot Award for Creative Writing in
1994, Berry paid tribute to Eliot's "pilgrimage of works"
from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" to The Elder Statesman.
Eliot, according to Berry, presented "dismembered"
personalities who move out of the shadows of the wasteland
and into the light of what Berry calls "a love far
greater… than their own." Manganiello argues that Berry's
own fragmented figures in novels such as Remembering (1988) and
(2000) follow a similar trajectory to become transfigured
pilgrims in a divine comedy. The exchanges of love and
compassion that restore fractured family relationships in
Eliot's The Elder
Statesman are echoed in Berry's work, which
Manganiello argues is founded on Dantesque themes that
reaffirm the importance of "Europe's Epic" and therefore
an "idea of Europe" propounded by Eliot."
INTRODUCTION, PAUL DOUGLASS in T. S. Eliot, Dante, and the
Idea of Europe (2011), edited by Paul Douglass
Well, largely, if
not solely, I would suppose.
//Could it be said that Eliot,
Virgil-like, led Dante into the 20th
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
The Poet in
Transformation: Dantean Aesthetics in T.S. Eliot's The Waste
Dante was a
seminal influence in T. S. Eliot’s
poetry. Many scholars have acknowledged
Eliot’s professed debt to Dante and have
examined Eliot’s explicit imitations of
Dante; however, few have pinpointed
Dantean influences in non-explicit
references to Dante, and few have
credited the influence of a Dantean
progress narrative across Eliot’s poem The Waste
Land. This thesis broadly
analyzes the principles of Dante’s
aesthetic in the poem while analyzing
the Sibyl, the Hanged Man, and the
Prajapati parable for their relevance to
Eliot’s aesthetic theory. When Dantean
aesthetics and close readings of The Waste
Land are compared with Eliot’s
contemporary essays on art, a fuller
view of the aspects of Dante’s
fundamental influence emerges. In
particular, the prominence of Dante in
the sub-text of Eliot’s The Waste
Land reveals the nature of
their shared aesthetic—that art is a
moral work by virtue of a spiritual
transformation endured by the artist,
which involves both a sacrifice of self
and a substantiation of self. A deeper
examination of Dante’s influence on T.
S. Eliot yields a vaster understanding
of Eliot’s aesthetics while helping to
elucidate one of the central mysteries
in Eliot’s theory of art, the role of