T. S. Eliot: The Making of an American Poet, 1888-1922

T. S. Eliot: The Making of an American Poet, 1888-1922

By: James E. Miller (author)Hardback

Special OrderSpecial Order item not currently available. We'll try and order for you.


Late in his life T. S. Eliot, when asked if his poetry belonged in the tradition of American literature, replied: "I'd say that my poetry has obviously more in common with my distinguished contemporaries in America than with anything written in my generation in England. That I'm sure of. . . . In its sources, in its emotional springs, it comes from America." In T. S. Eliot: The Making of an American Poet, James Miller offers the first sustained account of Eliot's early years, showing that the emotional springs of his poetry did indeed come from America. Miller challenges long-held assumptions about Eliot's poetry and his life. Eliot himself always maintained that his poems were not based on personal experience, and thus should not be read as personal poems. But Miller convincingly combines a reading of the early work with careful analysis of surviving early correspondence, accounts from Eliot's friends and acquaintances, and new scholarship that delves into Eliot's Harvard years. Ultimately, Miller demonstrates that Eliot's poetry is filled with reflections of his personal experiences: his relationships with family, friends, and wives; his sexuality; his intellectual and social development; his influences. Publication of T. S. Eliot: The Making of an American Poet marks a milestone in Eliot scholarship. At last we have a balanced portrait of the poet and the man, one that takes seriously his American roots. In the process, we gain a fuller appreciation for some of the best-loved poetry of the twentieth century.

About Author

James E. Miller is the Helen A. Regenstein Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Chicago. Penn State Press also published his earlier book, T. S. Eliot's Personal Wasteland (1977). He is also the author of The American Quest for a Supreme Fiction: Whitman's Legacy in the Personal Epic (1979) and, most recently, Leaves of Grass: America's Lyric-Epic of Self and Democracy (1992).


Contents Preface A Note on Sources Introduction Part 1. 1888-1906: Origins 1. Eliot's St. Louis and "The Head of the Family" ; 2. Sons and Lovers: Sex and Satan; 3. A Frail Youth, a Bookish Boy; 4. Early Landscapes, Later Poems Part 2. 1902-1914: Early Influences 1. Eliot at Fourteen: Atheistical, Despairing, Gloomy; 2. Poetic Beginnings: Merry Friars and Pleading Lovers; 3. Missourian, New Englander: Double Identity; 4. A Soul's Paralysis: "Denying the Importunity of the Blood" Part 3. 1906-1911: Harvard: Out from Under 1. Prologue: A Problematic Student; 2. Bohemian Boston at the Turn of the Century; 3. Bohemian Harvard and Isabella Stewart Gardner ("Mrs. Jack"); 4. A Fellow Poet: Conrad Aiken; 5. "A Very Gay Companion": Harold Peters; 6. Practicing to Be a Poet: From Omar's Atheism to Laforgue's Masks; 7. Poems Written 1906-1910 Part 4. 1906-1910: Harvard Influences: Teachers, Texts, Temptations Teachers: 1. Irving Babbitt: Human Imperfectability; 2. Barrett Wendell: The Inexperience of America; 3. George Santayana: Philosopher of Reason; 4. William Allan Neilson: Poetic Theorist; Texts: 5. Dante and Eliot's "Persistent Concern with Sex"; 6. Petronius's Satyricon: A "Serene Unmorality"; 7. Symons/Laforgue: The Ironic Mask; 8. Havelock Ellis, "Sexual Inversion"; 9. John Donne: Thought as Experience; Temptations: 10. The Lure of Europe: Brooks's The Wine of the Puritans; 11. "T. S. Eliot, the Quintessence of Harvard" Part 5. 1910-1911: T. S. Eliot in Paris 1. The Primacy of Paris, 1910-1911; 2. Jean Verdenal: "Mon Meilleur Ami"; 3. Matthew Prichard: A Blurred Portrait; 4. Henri Bergson: A Brief Conversion; 5. Charles Maurras: The Action Francaise; 6. Finding the Personal in the Poem: Drafts of "Portrait" and "Prufrock"; 7. Poems Written 1911-1914 Part 6. 1911-1914: Eliot Absorbed in Philosophical Studies 1. Prologue: The Rise of Harvard's Philosophy Department and the Santayana Controversy; 2. The Decline and Fall of Harvard Philosophy in Eliot's Day and After; 3. Eliot and Oriental Philosophies and Religions; 4. Psychology as Philosophical, Religion as Psychological, Mysticism as Magical; 5. Eliot and the Elusive Absolute; 6. Epilogue: The Eliot Controversy, Part 7. 1914-1915: American Chaos versus English Tradition 1. Philosophy in Marburg, War in Europe; 2. London Interlude: Pound and Russell; 3. Oxford, 1914-1915: Reconsidering Philosophy; 4. New Friends and Old: Culpin, Blanshard, Pound, Lewis; 5. The Mystery of Emily Hale: "The Aspern Papers in Reverse" Part 8. 1915: An Inexplicable Marriage and the Consequences 1. A Sudden Marriage at the Registry Office; 2. Who Was Vivien?; 3. A Flurry of Correspondence, a Day of Decision; 4. An Unhappy Visit Home (Gloucester, July 24-September 4), a Disastrous Honeymoon (Eastbourne, September 4-10); 5. "Bertie" Russell's "Friendship"; 6. "What I Want Is MONEY!$!GBP;!! We are hard up! War!"; 7. Hallucinations, Heavenly and Hellish Poetic Visions: "St. Sebastian" and "St. Narcissus"; 8. Poems Written 1914-1915 Part 9. 1916: Making Do, Finding Means, Expanding Connections 1. "The Most Awful Nightmare of Anxiety"; "Pegasus in Harness"; 2. The Triumph of Poetry over Philosophy; 3. Reviews and Essays, Teaching and Lecturing: Total Immersion; 4. A Widening Circle of Friends and Associates, Writers and Artists Part 10. 1917-1918: T. S. Eliot: Banker, Lecturer, Editor, Poet, Almost Soldier 1. Eliot the Banker: March 19, 1917-November 1925; 2. Eliot the Extension Lecturer; 3. Eliot as Eeldrop; 4. Eliot the Assistant Editor: June 1917-December 1919, ; 5. Eliot the Poet, ; 6. America Enters War: April 6, 1917-Armistice Day, November 11, 1918; 7. "Writing . . . Again": The French and Quatrain Poems; 8. Poems Written 1917-1918 Part 11. 1919-1920: Up the Ladder, Glimpsing the Top 1. Death of a Father; 2. Banking, Teaching, Editing, Writing: Money and Power; 3. Friendships and Relationships: Deeper and Wider; 4. A Voice from the Past; "An Encounter of Titans"; Moving Again; 5. Three New Books: Poetry and Prose; 6. "Gerontion": Return of Fitzgerald's Omar; 7. Poems Written 1918-1920 Part 12. 1919-1921: Notable Achievements, Domestic Disasters, Intimate Friends 1. Prologue: Paris and the Pension Casaubon, Paris Again in the Spring; 2. "A Long Poem . . . on my Mind for a Long Time"; 3. A Family Visit: Mother, Brother, Sister-Wife; 4. A Room of One's Own, Wearing Makeup, Confidante Virginia Woolf; 5. Roommates, "Renowned Pederasts": Kitchin, Senhouse, Ritchie Part 13. 1922: Over the Top 1. "The Uranian Muse," The Waste Land, and "il miglior fabbro"; 2. Publication of The Waste Land; 3. "Out into the World": The Waste Land Reviewed; 4. Pound's Financial Scheme for Eliot: "Bel Esprit"; 5. Birth of The Criterion Part 14. A Glance Ahead: The Making of an American Poet 1. T. S. Eliot and Walt Whitman; 2. An American Poet Discovers His American-ness References to Works by T. S. Eliot References to Works by Other Authors Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780271026817
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 488
  • ID: 9780271026817
  • weight: 907
  • ISBN10: 0271026812

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly