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Letters

The only excuse I can imagine for David P. Goldman’s taking up the shopworn claim that T. S. Eliot was an anti-Semite (“T. S. Eliot and the Jews,” March) is that, having been repeated so many times before, it might as well be repeated again as one of the unexamined prejudices of our culture. . . . . Continue Reading »

T. S. Eliot and the Jews

There recur in the work of ­T. S. Eliot two obsessions that make one cringe: his Jew-­hatred and his contempt for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The first is sometimes excused as a reflection of ambient prejudice, the second as critical crankiness. In fact, these obsessions have a common source. The . . . . Continue Reading »

An Affair of Things

Christianity is an affair of things. The things we see and touch and smell are bearers of the living Christ over time. As inspiring and edifying as the works of great artists are—Caravaggio’s The Calling of St. ­Matthew in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, . . . . Continue Reading »

Cutting Down Chrysanthemums

“What we call the beginning is often the endAnd to make an end is to make a beginning.The end is where we start from.”              —T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets (“Little Gidding”) The end is where we start from. This last choreOf Autumn must be . . . . Continue Reading »

An Irish Dante

The Five Quintets by micheal o’siadhail baylor, 381 pages, $34.95 Sartre famously wrote that “hell is other people,” but for the poet Micheal O’Siadhail, hell is a highly specific group of other people. Among the damned are Franz Kafka, Karl Marx, and—you guessed it—a certain . . . . Continue Reading »

T. S. Eliot, Populist

What defines the essence of populism? What is it for, and what is it against? T. S. Eliot had some insights into this question nearly one hundred years ago. In Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, Eliot drew a fruitful distinction between the upper class and the elite. Class . . . . Continue Reading »

Old Possum in Full Glory

The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition, Vols. 1–4edited by ronald schuchard et al.johns hopkins, 3,728 pagesWith four of a projected eight volumes of The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot now available in an online edition, alongside a two-volume edition of Eliot’s poems finally . . . . Continue Reading »

Eliot and Liberalism

I‘ve been rereading T.S. Eliot's Idea of a Christian Society. He wrote the book as World War II was beginning. It was a time when many were questioning whether liberal democratic societies had any future. Fascism and Communism seemed the vital new movements that had the upper hand. The gist of . . . . Continue Reading »

50 Years from T. S. Eliot

Much already has been and will be said about T. S. Eliot this year, which marks a half-century since his death. Attempts to map his posthumous critical fortunes inevitably convey a downright Biblical pattern—the uniform literary “Hosanna!” of the 1960’s morphing, by the 1990’s, into a collective “Crucify him!” The turnabout is well expressed by literary maven Cynthia Ozick, who displayed something of both attitudes in an exquisite essay entitled T. S. Eliot at 101. Continue Reading »

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