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Guilty Knowledge, Guilty PleasureThe Dirty Art of Poetry$
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William Logan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166867

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166867.001.0001

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Eliot in Ink

Eliot in Ink

(p.68) Eliot in Ink
Guilty Knowledge, Guilty Pleasure

William Logan

Columbia University Press

This chapter reviews The Letters of T. S. Eliot. Eliot's letters detail his struggle to find a career and to shoulder his way into London's cutthroat literary world. Most of his early letters were addressed to a small cast: his parents and his brother Henry, the local literati, and a few gossipy London hostesses. Among the literary figures, the most impressive were Ezra Pound, Virginia Woolf, and Bertrand Russell. Many of his letters were merely social, invitations extended or declined, appointments made or broken, but Eliot's hobnobbing life also paved the way for the opportunities that followed, especially the editorship of the Criterion, which became the premier literary journal of its day. The chapter also describes how Eliot's buttoned-up private life became the vivid background to The Waste Land, a highly personal, even confessional poem, as well as a savage social analysis.

Keywords:   T. S. Eliot, letters, correspondence, poets, poetry, The Waste Land, reviews

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