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.
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">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.N>>> Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>01/09/13 6:38 PM >>>
<[log in to unmask]>this 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. ...
It 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 Jayber Crow (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 Century?//
Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
The Poet in Transformation: Dantean Aesthetics in T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land (2012)
By Jamie Berlin
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 “personality.”