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T. S. Eliot
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Table of Contents

ContentsPrefaceA Note on SourcesIntroductionPart 1. 1888-1906: Origins1. 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 PoemsPart 2. 1902-1914: Early Influences1. 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 Under1. 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 1906-1910Part 4. 1906-1910: Harvard Influences: Teachers, Texts, TemptationsTeachers: 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 Paris1. 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 1911-1914Part 6. 1911-1914: Eliot Absorbed in Philosophical Studies1. 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 Tradition1. 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 Consequences1. 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 1914-1915Part 9. 1916: Making Do, Finding Means, Expanding Connections1. "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 ArtistsPart 10. 1917-1918: T. S. Eliot: Banker, Lecturer, Editor, Poet, Almost Soldier1. 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 1917-1918Part 11. 1919-1920: Up the Ladder, Glimpsing the Top1. 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 1918-1920Part 12. 1919-1921: Notable Achievements, Domestic Disasters, Intimate Friends1. 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, RitchiePart 13. 1922: Over the Top1. "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 CriterionPart 14. A Glance Ahead: The Making of an American Poet1. T. S. Eliot and Walt Whitman;2. An American Poet Discovers His American-nessReferences to Works by T. S. EliotReferences to Works by Other AuthorsIndex

About the Author

James E. Miller, Jr., 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 Waste Land (1977).

Reviews

In his 1977 work, T.S. Eliot's Personal Waste Land: Exorcism of the Demons, Miller (English, emeritus, Univ. of Chicago) attempted to analyze Eliot's poems based on the writer's experiences despite Eliot's own insistence that his own poetry was impersonal. At the time, critics had reservations about Miller's conclusions because insufficient information was available to back them. Since then, however, Eliot's early letters and several reputable biographies (e.g., Lyndall Gordon's T.S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life, Peter Ackroyd's T.S. Eliot: A Life) have been published, which Miller uses to document and expand upon his thesis. His original book focused on Eliot's poetry; this new volume concentrates on his life and provides a "biographical interpretation" of the poems he'd written through 1922. While the aforementioned biographers are British, the American Miller builds a case for defining Eliot as an American poet despite his thoroughly British lifestyle. This scholarly study sheds new light on Eliot's early poems but is marred somewhat by repetition, excessive cross-referencing, and occasional factual errors (e.g., a line from the "Hail Mary" is attributed to the Lord's Prayer). Of interest to academic libraries.-Denise J. Stankovics, Rockville P.L., Vernon, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Given the importance of James E. Miller's previous work on Eliot for understanding the erotic energies driving his poetry, T. S. Eliot: The Making of an American Poet is an especially welcome event. This biography represents the culmination of decades of research and will be indispensable reading for Eliot scholars." - Tim Dean, University at Buffalo (SUNY)"

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