By Russell Kirk
Kirk elaborates right here an important idea of literary that means normally, exhibiting how nice literary works wake up our intuitive cause, giving us profound visions of fact that go beyond logical procedures. And he lines Eliot’s political and cultural rules to their precise resources, displaying the stability and subtlety of Eliot’s perspectives. Eliot and His Age is a literary biography that would suffer while a lot of the newer writing on Eliot is collecting dust.
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Additional resources for Eliot and his age;: T. S. Eliot’s moral imagination in the twentieth century
Kirk experienced a kind of mystical connection with Eliot on Ash Wednesday of 1975. On that day he read part of the poem of that title to students at Olivet College. Later that night the old section of his house in Mecosta, Michigan, burnt to ashes. Sharing a somewhat skeptical temperament, neither expected much improvement in the world, yet by the same token neither was given to despair. A comment of Eliot’s (made in his essay on F. H. Bradley) frequently quoted by Kirk asserted, “There is no such thing as a Lost Cause because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause.
The worst that can be said of most of our malefactors, from statesmen to thieves, is that they are not men enough to be damned. … Baudelaire perceived that what really matters is Sin and Redemption … ; and the possibility of damnation is so immense a relief in a world of electoral reform, plebiscites, sex reform and dress reform, that damnation itself is an immediate form of salvation—of salvation from the ennui of modern life, because it at least gives some significance to living. The horrific infernal visions in Eliot’s early poetry (and those in the fiction of Kirk and O’Connor) have the same effect of bringing the reader face-to-face with evil and refusing simplistic modern scientific and social solutions to the human dilemma.
By 1956, Eliot was occasionally beginning his letters with the familiar salutation “My dear Kirk,” though the younger man continued to greet him deferentially with “Dear Mr. ” This warm friendship between two men of letters flourished during the last decade of Eliot’s life. Eliot’s last letter to Kirk is dated August 25, 1964, less than six months before his death. The Kirks maintained friendly relations with Mrs. Eliot afterward, and their daughters gave dramatic performances of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats before Andrew Lloyd Webber did the same on a larger scale.