By Ronald Schuchard
Schuchard's severe research attracts upon formerly unpublished and uncollected fabrics in displaying how Eliot's own voice works throughout the sordid, the bawdy, the blasphemous, and the awful to create a special ethical global and the single concept of ethical feedback in English literature. The e-book additionally erodes traditional attitudes towards Eliot's highbrow and religious improvement, exhibiting how early and continually his classical and non secular sensibility manifests itself in his poetry and feedback. The ebook examines his analyzing, his instructing, his bawdy poems, and his life-long allure to track halls and different modes of pop culture to teach the advanced relation among highbrow biography and paintings.
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Extra resources for Eliot's Dark Angel: Intersections of Life and Art
The external world, as it appears in his poetry, is manifestly but the mirror of a darker world within. . 27 It was a startling analogy, as if from a distance he could finally identify Prufrock's octopus and the poet's dark angel as both the agon and the muse of his morbid art. Under the pressure of this "rude" negative mass, the creative process begins; the poet finds himself oppressed by a burden which he must bring to birth in order to obtain relief. Or, to change the figure of speech, he is haunted by a demon, a demon against which he feels powerless, because in its first manifestation it has no face, no name, nothing; and the words, the poem he makes, are a kind of form of exorcism of this demon.
In a separate general critique of the class, Eliot reveals the frustrations of a first-year lecturer: "The audience seemed ex- 32 Eliot's Dark Angel tremely intelligent, but somewhat passive; it seemed to consider the subject rather as interesting information than as matter to provoke original thought. " Eliot concluded his report by regretting the diminutive "male element" at the lectures. The scarcity of men was of course due to the war, and its effect on the performance of the class is reflected in the Local Secretary's report, which tempers Eliot's criticism of the students' lack of energy and initiative: The hour of the lectures was unpopular—It also made it impossible for most teachers to attend the course—The subject was difficult, and it was all new ground—Lectures much appreciated by the better educated members of the audience, who used the Library hard—The war has affected the centre adversely— Many of our members are away nursing and so on—others are too busy or tired to attend regularly or to read—.
Eliot impatiently exclaims in violent protest against Symons's psychological portrait, "was any one ever less hysterical, more lucid than Baudelaire? " To Eliot, Symons fails to perceive the spiritual mechanism at work in Baudelaire's "accentuation of vice with horror," fails to comprehend that Baudelaire's sense of the Shadow was so strong and terrifying in the presence of persistent passions that his poetry was driven not by nerves and hysteria but by his failure to master passion in a desperate search for the divine.