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T.S. Eliot
True friendship : Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht, and Robert Lowell under the sign of Eliot and Pound
Christopher Ricks.
New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2010.
True Friendship looks closely at three outstanding poets of the past half-century--Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht, and Robert Lowell--through the lens of their relation to their two predecessors in genius, T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. The critical attention then finds itself reciprocated, with Eliot and Pound being in their turn contemplated anew through the lenses of their successors. Hill, Hecht, and Lowell are among the most generously alert and discriminating readers, as is borne out not only by their critical prose but (best of all) by their acts of new creation, those poems of theirs that are thanks to Eliot and Pound. "Opposition is true Friendship." So William Blake believed, or at any rate hoped. Hill, Hecht, and Lowell demonstrate many kinds of friendship with Eliot and Pound: adversarial, artistic, personal. In their creative assent and dissent, the imaginative literary allusions--like other, wider forms of influence--are shown to constitute the most magnanimous of welcomes and of tributes.
     
T.S. Eliot : a short biography
John Worthen.
London : Haus Pub., 2009.
There has been no biography of Eliot since the impact of his early poems were published.
     
The letters of T.S. Eliot
edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton ; general editor, John Haffenden.
London : Faber and Faber, 2009-
Volume Two covers the early years of his editorship of The Criterion (the periodical that Eliot launched with Lady Rothermere’s backing in 1922), publication of The Hollow Men and the course of Eliot’s thinking about poetry and poetics after The Waste Land. The correspondence charts Eliot’s intellectual journey towards conversion to the Anglican faith in 1927, as well as his transformation from banker to publisher, ending with his appointment as a director of the new publishing house of Faber & Gwyer, in late 1925, and the appearance of Poems 1909–1925, Eliot’s first publication with the house with which he would be associated for the rest of his life. It was partly because of Eliot’s profoundly influential work as cultural commentator and editor that the correspondence is so prolific and so various, and Volume Two of the Letters fully demonstrates the emerging continuities between poet, essayist, editor and letter-writer.
     
The making of T.S. Eliot : a study of the literary influences
Joseph Maddrey.
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c2009.
More than a century after his earliest works were published, T.S. Eliot remains one of the world's most celebrated-and highly enigmatic-20th century poets. He is often cited as an authority on modern art, philosophy, and religion, despite the fact that his words are cited in an overwhelming variety of conflicting contexts. An understanding of Eliot's work, then, requires knowledge of his attempts to assimilate many different ideas during his time as a Harvard University student, a struggling poet in World War I London, and an eventual spokesman for the Anglican Church.This chronological survey of major influences on Eliot's worldview covers the poet's spiritual and intellectual evolution in stages, by trying to see the world as Eliot did. The first half of the book examines his childhood influences as well as the literary influences that inspired him to write his earliest poetry. These chapters examine Eliot's formal education, including his years as an undergraduate at Harvard University, where he focused on the Western canon and came to understand his own writing as the product of a cumulative literary tradition. The second half of the book tracks Eliot's life as an American expatriate living in London from 1915 to 1930, studying his ill-fated marriage and his intellectual engagement with the literary traditions of his new country. This section also finds the poet examining his identity as a European in the aftermath of World War I-an examination which, coupled with personal crisis, produced his masterpiece The Waste Land. The final chapters reveal the ways in which Eliot's intellectual pursuits fostered a spiritual rebirth that simultaneously reflected his past and revealed his future, demonstrating how the early Romantic revolutionary became a staunch defender of tradition.
     

T.S. Eliot is likely the best known literary figure to have been born in St. Louis (in 1888).  His grandfather came from Harvard Divinity School and founded Washington University.  Both sides of the family took pride in their New England roots. 

St. Louis was where Eliot came from, but he was never very clear on where he belonged.  In later life he became an Anglican and a British subject and resident.  His writing grew out of world literature and most specifically, English literature, but its shape owes much to where he grew up.  Eliot said of his work in its sources, in its emotional springs, it comes from America.

Eliots poetry and criticism made him a giant in the world of letters.  The Wasteland became the symbol of its generation-even its title was definitively evocative.  The wide-ranging creative approach that drew from many distinct times and cultures struck a responsive chord with contemporary readers.  Eliots towering reputation was confirmed when he was awarded, at the age of sixty, the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In 1939, Old Possums Book of Practical Cats, a collection of whimsical poems Eliot had written for his young godchildren, was published.  This slim, uncharacteristic volume was later reworked into the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical Cats, which in 1997 became the longest-running Broadway show ever.

Cats, the musical

Locally, Eliot has not gotten as much recognition as he might deserve.  The house he was born in (2635 Locust St.) was torn down and became a phone company parking lot.  In the 70s, sculptor Andrew Osze was commissioned to create a memorial plaque, which was eventually given a home at the St. Louis Public Library.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff