Not likely: here are only three of many books on Dante in the early 20th century published before Eliot's essays. There are more and easy to find in Google.
- Henry Holt and Company 1922
- Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321--Criticism and Interpretation
...pres-ence of God. It has been said of Dante"Paradiso," that it should not have...expressive ofaspiration for I know not what of divine and intangible, a saying which...fear andhope, of distress and joy. But Dante, when hecomposed the "Divine Comedy," was not inthis narrow condition of...
...forever. This, in brief, is the system onwhich Dante represents God as dealing with mankind...well as the greatest.TWO WAYS OF READING THE DIVINE COMEDYIn The Divine Comedy Dante relates an imaginative experience, but...
...particularcase it is), more happy than in Dante's treatmentof what he regards as the...namely, of the humanwill.Aquinas and Dante are equally emphatic in theirinsistence...are impossible, and thevery idea of divine justice perishes.Many passages in the "Comedy" will occur tothe reader's mind in which Dante dwells upon this
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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)
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.”