Interviewer : Do you talk like this all the time? Drawing on recently discovered letters, she addresses in full the issue of Eliot's anti-Semitism as well as the less-noted issue of his misogyny. But Gordon treats the art as art and allows the poet to speak for himself through his work, illuminating how his life and his works intertwined without reducing to the lowest common denominator. Eliot's life before I read this book. However, the organization of this volume is somewhat jumbled and required consistent concentration to follow. Eliot's life: the first half up the final ending of his first marriage, then the rest.
Yes, he could be a terrible human being: certainly not a personality anyone would want to model themselves after. And he was especially secretive about his thirty-year friendship with Emily Hale, who believed that he loved her and would eventually marry her. How did Virginia Woolf put up with those dinner dates with the Eliots? I thought he was British wrong. But now I know much more about Tom Eliot than I ever wanted to know. None of these terms mean anything to me - conquer time? Oops, she married the wrong guy.
Gordon transitions often and well between the biographical and the critical, a la Richard Ellmann, though there is little original in the literary analysis. Possibly the problem is that I can't understand any of the arsey abstract folderol in Four Quartets and also he was supposed to be a rightwing antisemitic creep. A huge fight breaks out in the crowd between those who say that the personality and life of the author are irrelevant where great art is concerned and those who want to call a guy a big fat antisemite if he is one and relegate his works thereby to a lesser status. Renunciation and self denial pervades his work long before his religious justification for them. Eliot by Lyndall Gordon Title: T.
Eliot preserved for the outside world a smooth and cultured exterior, behind which, however, raged a tormented soul, steeped in New England Puritanism. Eliot, who fell in love with Emily as a fellow student and continued covertly to visit her in Chipping Campden, then dropped her completely. I admire her efforts in such a daunting challenge. These fleeting apprehensions of something beyond the chaotic flux of daily life, working on a man whose ancestry, upbringing and education had fostered the religious and philosophical side of his character, came to dominate his life. But Gordon treats the art as art and allows the poet to speak for himself through his work, illuminating how his life and his works intert My new gold standard for biography - insightful but ruthless, appreciative but not idolizing. I find it hard to understand that a book published in 1998 as this was is so terrified that Eliot was a homosexual. Eliot preserved for the outside world a smooth and cultured exterior, behind which, however, raged a tormented soul, steeped in New England Puritanism.
Gordon elaborates these views with great skill, in great detail, and with meticulous care to stay close to her primary sources. Thomas Stearns Eliot was a Nobel Prize winning poet and literary critic best known for The Waste Land, and other works. At this point, probably the definitive biography of Eliot. Everything was subsumed to a religious mission, whose by-product was the poetry. His life has a pattern, a self-determined path toward his spiritual objective.
Also, her poetical examinations are scattered haphazardly throughout the volume and rely solely upon biographical data. Eliot has won many dramatic accolades. Eliot Author s : Share Highly acclaimed when it was first published, Virago now reissues Lyndall Gordon's wonderful biography, The Imperfect Life of T S Eliot. Eliot is far from a likeable character, but Gordon goes to pains to give context, colour, and the benefit of the doubt to all of his bad behaviour. He used women, somewhat leading them on, by never committing himself, yet utilising their formidable resources and willpower.
She has no feel for the verse itself, its rhythms and imagery, its quality, whether it is better or worse than what went before. My first wife was a lunatic, And I am an anti-semite. They flail at each other using copies of Ted Hughes' collected works and reproductions of Picasso. Born in Cape Town, she was an undergraduate at the University of Cape Town, then a doctoral student at Columbia University in New York City. This gives us a better idea of what Eliot was like. He also had a passionate non sexual friendship with Mary Trevelyan, with whom he went out to parties, concerts, literary gatherings with his friends. Here, close up, is the divide between saint and sinner in the greatest poet of the twentieth century.
Both these women nurtured hopes of marriage, but he let them down badly when he got married to a much younger woman,Valerie Eliot, who had been his typist. Eliot once spoke of a lifetime burning in every moment. Her source references are collected at the end of the text and arranged according to page-numbers, which has the advantage that the reader is not distracted by them but the disadvantage that, like me, readers may not discover them until they are well into the book. She became his Beatrice figure. That's the author speaking - I assume she's something of a fan.
In all of this horribleness Eliot wrote much allegedly - no allright, really - importantly miserable poetry. Eliot wore a mask to keep others at a distance, the evasive public man. Eliot was afraid of women, Gordon asserts, and only at the very end of his life did he find happiness - with his former secretary, Valerie. Her presentation of the material and her own personal insights shed light remarkably well on all aspects of a man otherwise obscured by many masks. It's funny, but it's really sad. Eliot came to be so popular that in 1956 he attracted 13,700 people to a basketball stadium in Minneapolis to hear him speak. He wrote using personae, thinly-veiled characterisations.
Her most recent publication is Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and her Family's Feuds 2010 , which has overturned the established assumptions about the poet's life. It is however a fascinating insight into the mind and art of Eliot, his many masks and his difficulties with women, especially those whom he served badly. Drawing on recently discovered letters, she addresses in full the issue of Eliot's anti-Semitism as well as the less-noted issue of his misogyny. Now consider what would have happened if he'd married a major babe like Rebecca West and enjoyed a ten year shagtastic bonkfest with venturesome trips to discreet nudist colonies in Montserrat. Russell had an affair and ditched her. Since then, Eliot's early correspondence and the apprentice poems Inventions of the March Hare have been published, and Gordon has assiduously tracked down correspondence and manuscripts that the Eliot estate has not put under embargo. Gordon began her research in 1970.