I look forward, in this context, to making my acquaintance with Lawrence Rainey's
Eliot's Poetics: Classicism and
Chapter 25, pp. 301-310, in
Chinitz's A Companion to T. S. Eliot
as well as
T.S. Eliot and the Poetics of Evolution:
Sub/versions of Classicism, Culture, and Progress
Lois A. Cuddy
Bucknell University Press, 2000
Guardians of the Humanist Legacy: The Classicism of T.S. Eliot's Criterion Network and Its
Relevance to Our Postmodern World
In recent scholarly work, T.S. Eliot has usually been associated with cultural elitism and political conservatism, or even with proto-fascism and anti-Semitism. This book proposes a different view. During the Interbellum, Eliot and his review "The Criterion" were part of an international network of intellectuals that shared an open-minded Europeanness. Authors like T. Mann, Benda, Ortega y Gasset, Curtius and Hofmannsthal emphasized their common European roots and shared cultural legacy. Their 'classicism' stands in the European tradition of humanism and has remained highly relevant. Classicist ideas about literature, education and human
culture in general continue to inspire contemporary humanist thinkers, as the second part of this book demonstrates by discussing the work of Ferry, Todorov, Steiner, Scruton, Toulmin and others.
Do have a look at the CONTENTS in the Preview.
Perhaps they were operating with slightly different ideas of "classicism" or "classicist". // TSE being more inclusionary// while EP was, typically, exclusionary.
And yet Eliot, unlike Pound, called himself "a classicist in literature" (preface, FOR LANCELOT ANDREWS). What is really new, is always new. One of the poet's jobs is to recover the new. It is somewhat like classic cars which get to be classics by showing what is really good in car creation.
Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Agreed. i think EP wanted to "make it new" while retaining the essence of classics. Re, his idea of the spirit of prior poets being somehow incorporated into modern ones. He
was certainly not a classicist but made extensive use of not only classical forms but themes and personalities.
Cf. Ezra Pound's MAKE IT NEW.
Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
One of the pre-eminently "classical" attributes is an indifference to originality. Indeed, in the classical artist, originality would be a fault. He is given, he is served out,
with all he is supposed to require for his task: not his reason why, but to "get on with the job" ... He is tied hand and foot therefore to the values of his patrons. Their morals are his morals; it is the Weltanschauung that perforce he holds in common with
them that is his subject-matter. -- Wyndham Lewis, 'Men Without Art'
Some echoes here of what Eliot says in his essay on Tradition and what obtains in his work.