Remembering T. S. Eliot:
September 26, 1888–January 4, 1965
Thomas Stearns Eliot was one of the 20th century’s most influential poets, as well as an essayist, literary critic, playwright, and publisher. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1948. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, from old New England stock, Eliot emigrated to England in 1914 and was naturalized as a British subject in 1927.
His principal poems are “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915), “The Waste Land” (1922), “The Hollow Men” (1925), “Ash Wednesday” (1930), and “Four Quartets” (1945). His best-known play is Murder in the Cathedral (1935).
Eliot, like Ezra Pound, W. B. Yeats, Knut Hamsun, Wyndham Lewis, and many other great writers of the 20th century, was a man of the Right, although he never crossed “the line” into overt fascism. To learn more about his life, work, and metapolitical significance for the New Right, I recommend the following works published on this site:
- Kerry Bolton, “T. S. Eliot,” Part 1, Part 2, also included in More Artists of the Right
- Jonathan Bowden, “T. S. Eliot,” Part 1, Part 2, Q&A.
- Jonathan Bowden, “T. S. Eliot: Ultraconservative Dandy.”
- Christopher Pankhurst, “Little Gidding.”
- Quintilian, “Why I Write: Putting the Pieces Back Together.”
The best collections of Eliot’s writings are The Complete Poems and Plays: 1909-1950, which is not actually complete, but the best one-volume selection; Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot, which is a good selection of his literary criticism; and Christianity and Culture, his principal work on religion and culture.
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The population should be homogeneous; where two or more cultures exist in the same place they are likely to be fiercely self-conscious or both to become adulterate. What is still more important is unity of religious background; and reasons of race and religion combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable.–T.S. Eliot
You beat me to it. That was the very quote which comes to mind every time anyone mentions Eliot.
As a Columbia undergrad in the late 60’s, I was, of course, disturbed by discovering my favorite poet’s “antisemitic” streak.
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