T. S. Eliot’s Ariel Poems : Making Sense of the Times book cover
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T. S. Eliot’s Ariel Poems
Making Sense of the Times



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ISBN 9780367645311
September 6, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
240 Pages

 
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Book Description

What T. S. Eliot once said about Shakespeare and Dante—noting that the supreme poet "in writing himself, writes his time"—fittingly characterises his own work, also including The Ariel Poems with which he responded, promptly and pointedly, to the problems of the times. Published with unwavering regularity, a poem a year, they were composed in this period when Eliot was mainly writing prose; and, like his prose, they reverberated with various contemporary issues ranging from the revision of the Book of Common Prayer to translations of Heidegger to the questions of leadership and populism. This study, in order to highlight the historical specificity of the poems, or, their topicality, traces the constellations of thought linking Eliot’s prose and poetry. Additionally, it attempts to expose the Ariels’ shared arc of meaning—the unobtrusive incarnational metaphor which determines the perspective from which they propose a specific understanding of the epoch, the underlying figure of thought which brings them together into a conceptually discrete set. It is the first study that endeavours to both universalize and historicise the series, striving to disclose the regular without suppressing the random. Approaching the series as a system of orderly disorder, the notion very much at home with chaos theory, it offers interpretations that are either fresh, or significantly reangled, and suggests new intellectual contexts.

Table of Contents

 

Introduction

Chapter 1: Incarnation, or, the elevation of the quotidian: Giorgione, Andrewes, and Kipling in the tangible world

Journey of the Magi, 1927

Chapter 2: Prayer incorporated in poetry

A Song for Simeon, 1928

Chapter 3: The intellect incarnate: opposing Walter Pater, supporting neo-Scholasticism

Animula, 1929

Chapter 4: Emotion embodied and sensation bethought

Marina, 1930

Chapter 5: An idea incarnated in an individual: German philosophy and the First Marshal of Poland

Triumphal March, 1931

Chapter 6: An incarnation of religion: the return to ritual with an altered attitude

The Cultivation of Christmas Trees, 1954

Conclusion: Arcs converging

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Author(s)

Biography

Anna Budziak is Associate Professor at the University of Wrocław, Poland. She teaches and publishes in the areas of modernism, decadent aestheticism, and literary theory. She coedited Literature, Performance, and Somaesthetics: Studies in Agency and Embodiment, and she is author of a Polish book on Eliot, Historia u T. S. Eliota: konteksty filozoficzne  (2002), and Text, Body and Indeterminacy: Doppelgänger Selves in Pater and Wilde (2008), shortlisted for the biannual ESSE Book Award in 2010.