Ts Eliot Critical Essays

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A sense of tradition, respect for order and authority is central to Eliots classicism.

He sought to correct the excesses of the abstract and intellectual school of criticism represented by Arnold.

Still, such faults do not detract Eliots greatness as a critic.

His criticism has revolutionized the great writers of the past three centuries.

He sought to raise criticism to the level of science. George says: Eliots theory of the impersonality of poetry is the greatest theory on the nature of the process after Wordsworths romantic conception of poetry.

In his objectivity and logical attitude, Eliot most closely resembles Aristotle. Poetry was an expression of the emotions and personality for romantics.In The Metaphysical Poets, he writes: When a poets mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is constantly amalgamating disparate experiences; the ordinary mans experience is chaotic, irregular, fragmentary.Perfect poetry results when instead of dissociation of sensibility there is unification of sensibility.The emotional and the rational, the creative and the critical, faculties must work in harmony to produce great work of art.Critics stressed that the aim of poetry is to give pleasure or to teach morally.He has restored Dryden and other Augustan poets to their due place.His essay on Dante aroused curiosity for the latter middle ages.John Hayward says: Matthew Arnold was such a critic as were Coleridge and Johnson and Dryden before him; and such, in our own day, is Eliot himself.Eliots criticism offers both reassessment and reaction to earlier writers. His vital contribution is the reaction against romanticism and humanism which brought a classical revival in art and criticism.The poet is only a catalytic agent that fuses varied emotions into new wholes.He distinguishes between the emotions of the poet and the artistic emotion, and points out that the function of criticism is to turn attention from the poet to his poetry.


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