T.S.Eliot : A Study in Character and Style

3.75 (8 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author) 

List price: US$10.95

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


In this major new study, Ronald Bush probes the complex relationship between the life and work of T.S. Eliot, "one of the most subjective and daemonic poets who ever lived, the victim and helpless beneficiary of his own inexorable compulsions and obsessions."(Randall Jarrell) Bush demonstrates how Eliot's character was torn by the same conflict that charged his greatest poetry: an almost unbearable tension between romantic yearning and intellectual detachment. Skillfully combining biography and literary analysis, he examines all the factors that contributed to Eliot's personal development and explains why these elements were necessary to the production of his poems. From "Prufrock" and The Waste Land through Four Quarters, Bush traces Eliot's journey of artistic development and relates how his work set the standard for all of twentieth-century writing. An indispensable and beautifully crafted work, T.S. Eliot: A Study in Character and Style makes a major contribution to the scholarship on one of this century's most significant artists.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 134.62 x 205.74 x 20.32mm | 272.15g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • halftones
  • 019503726X
  • 9780195037265

Review Text

"Eliot's power," Bush asserts near the start of this conscientious overview, "is a result not of feeling and intellect working hand-in-glove but of powerful emotion held in powerful check." True, this view is not particularly original. But the tension it describes sets Bush out in a generally fruitful direction. He makes clear how, from The Waste Land (the world through a jaundiced eye) to the dark pessimism and limited compassion of the Four Quartets, Eliot is working as much to numb the reality leaning upon him as to redeem it. And Bush (The Genesis of Pound's Cantos) firmly illustrates how Eliot's literary influences were apparently absorbed - Dante (the Purgatorio, the Vita Nuova), then St. John Perse, Shakespeare, St. John of the Cross, and Mallarme: the transmutation of these elements into Eliot's gleaming classical personalism - a new voice in modern poetry - is lucidly chronicled. (Especially impressive: Bush's analysis of the odd conjuncture of Mallarme and Anglicanism that made the Four Quartets possible.) As a biographical character-study, on the other hand, this is sparse and thready at best. Bush's dry, faintly droning style is also a drawback. Overall, however: a careful, detailed, literary-and-humanistic appreciation - with considerable value for students at various levels. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

8 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 25% (2)
4 38% (3)
3 25% (2)
2 12% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X