It was only in his later writings that he realized that in poetic composition many elements are involved. In his poetic dramas, he sought to brodent his scope. Eliot has also ignored other traditions that go into social formations. In 'Religion and Literature', he has dealt with the non-poetic elements of tradition at length. Creative writer has artistic sensibility. He observes the world like any common men. But his vision observes the world quite differently.
He can perceive from life-experience what common man cannot see at all. This experience and observation get imaginative colours with the help of artistic sensibility. He creates a world of imaginative reality. His world is more beautiful and artistic than the real world. He is naturally gifted to create the work which has power to move or transport the reader. He gets his raw material from the life. He is critic of life. Can be elucidate as a Only the poets can make honest criticism and sensitive appreciation of his own poetry. Eliot has not completed his notion of tradition in this essay; he develops it further in …….
Eliot defines poetry as …………………… a "The spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling: it takes its origins from emotion recollected in tranquility. Eliot, T. Jovanovich, Harcourt Brace.
T.S. Eliot: Culture and Anarchy ~ The Imaginative Conservative
By Adams, Hazard, Uni. Nagarajan, M. Prasad, Birjadish. Praz, Mario. Eliot Winter, , pp. Jump to: navigation , search. Chapter Outline 4.
Answers to Self Assessment Questions Learning Objectives After reading this chapter, you are expected to learn about: 4. Introduction ' T. Eliot as a Critic' Besides being a poet, playwright and publisher, T.
For the sake a systematic discussion, his critical works may be grouped under the following headings: a theoretical criticism dealing with the principles of literature, b descriptive and practical criticism dealing with the works of individual writers and evaluation of their achievements, and c theological essays. Honest criticism and sensitive appreciation are directed not upon the poet but upon the poetry.
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If we attend to the confused cries of the newspaper critics and the susurrus of popular repetition that follows, we shall hear the names of poets in great numbers; if we seek not Blue-book knowledge but the enjoyment of poetry, and ask for a poem, we shall seldom find it. I have tried to point out the importance of the relation of the poem to other poems by other authors, and suggested the conception of poetry as a living whole of all the poetry that has ever been written. The other aspect of this Impersonal theory of poetry is the relation of the poem to its author. The analogy was that of the catalyst.
When the two gases previously mentioned are mixed in the presence of a filament of platinum, they form sulphurous acid. This combination takes place only if the platinum is present; nevertheless the newly formed acid contains no trace of platinum, and the platinum itself is apparently unaffected; has remained inert, neutral, and unchanged.
The mind of the poet is the shred of platinum. It may partly or exclusively operate upon the experience of the man himself; but, the more perfect the artist, the more completely separate in him will be the man who suffers and the mind which creates; the more perfectly will the mind digest and transmute the passions which are its material. The experience, you will notice, the elements which enter the presence of the transforming catalyst, are of two kinds: emotions and feelings.
The effect of a work of art upon the person who enjoys it is an experience different in kind from any experience not of art. It may be formed out of one emotion, or may be a combination of several; and various feelings, inhering for the writer in particular words or phrases or images, may be added to compose the final result. Or great poetry may be made without the direct use of any emotion whatever: composed out of feelings solely.
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Canto XV of the Inferno Brunetto Latini is a working up of the emotion evident in the situation; but the effect, though single as that of any work of art, is obtained by considerable complexity of detail. The episode of Paolo and Francesca employs a definite emotion, but the intensity of the poetry is something quite different from whatever intensity in the supposed experience it may give the impression of. It is no more intense, furthermore, than Canto XXVI, the voyage of Ulysses, which has not the direct dependence upon an emotion.
Great variety is possible in the process of transmutation of emotion: the murder of Agamemnon, or the agony of Othello, gives an artistic effect apparently closer to a possible original than the scenes from Dante. In the Agamemnon , the artistic emotion approximates to the emotion of an actual spectator; in Othello to the emotion of the protagonist himself. But the difference between art and the event is always absolute; the combination which is the murder of Agamemnon is probably as complex as that which is the voyage of Ulysses.
In either case there has been a fusion of elements.
The ode of Keats contains a number of feelings which have nothing particular to do with the nightingale, but which the nightingale, partly, perhaps, because of its attractive name, and partly because of its reputation, served to bring together. Impressions and experiences which are important for the man may take no place in the poetry, and those which become important in the poetry may play quite a negligible part in the man, the personality. I will quote a passage which is unfamiliar enough to be regarded with fresh attention in the light—or darkness—of these observations:.
Does the silkworm expend her yellow labours For thee? For thee does she undo herself?
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Are lordships sold to maintain ladyships For the poor benefit of a bewildering minute? In this passage as is evident if it is taken in its context there is a combination of positive and negative emotions: an intensely strong attraction toward beauty and an equally intense fascination by the ugliness which is contrasted with it and which destroys it. This balance of contrasted emotion is in the dramatic situation to which the speech is pertinent, but that situation alone is inadequate to it.
This is, so to speak, the structural emotion, provided by the drama. But the whole effect, the dominant tone, is due to the fact that a number of floating feelings, having an affinity to this emotion by no means superficially evident, have combined with it to give us a new art emotion. It is not in his personal emotions, the emotions provoked by particular events in his life, that the poet is in any way remarkable or interesting.
His particular emotions may be simple, or crude, or flat. The emotion in his poetry will be a very complex thing, but not with the complexity of the emotions of people who have very complex or unusual emotions in life. One error, in fact, of eccentricity in poetry is to seek for new human emotions to express; and in this search for novelty in the wrong place it discovers the perverse. The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all.
And emotions which he has never experienced will serve his turn as well as those familiar to him. For it is neither emotion, nor recollection, nor, without distortion of meaning, tranquillity. He denounces the Romantics for ignoring the Classical writers for the sake of novelty, and for their allusive Arnold uses the word 'suggestive' writing which defies easy comprehension.
In the preface to his Poems Arnold asserts the importance of architectonics; 'that power of execution, which creates, forms, and constitutes' in poetry - the necessity of achieving unity by subordinating the parts to the whole, and the expression of ideas to the depiction of human action, and condemns poems which exist for the sake of single lines or passages, stray metaphors, images, and fancy expressions. Scattered images and happy turns of phrase, in his view, can only provide partial effects, and not contribute to unity.
He also, continuing his anti-Romantic theme, urges, modern poets to shun allusiveness and not fall into the temptation of subjectivity. He says that even the imitation of Shakespeare is risky for a young writer, who should imitate only his excellences, and avoid his attractive accessories, tricks of style, such as quibble, conceit, circumlocution and allusiveness, which will lead him astray. Arnold commends Shakespeare's use of great plots from the past. He had what Goethe called the architectonic quality, that is his expression was matched to the action or the subject.
But at the same time Arnold quotes Hallam to show that Shakespeare's style was complex even where the press of action demanded simplicity and directness, and hence his style could not be taken as a model by young writers. Elsewhere he says that Shakespeare's 'expression tends to become a little sensuous and simple, too much intellectualised'. Shakespeare's excellences are 1 The architectonic quality of his style; the harmony between action and expression.
His attractive accessories or tricks of style which a young writer should handle carefully are 1 His fondness for quibble, fancy, conceit. As an example of the danger of imitating Shakespeare he gives Keats's imitation of Shakespeare in his Isabella or the Pot of Basil. Keats uses felicitous phrases and single happy turns of phrase, yet the action is handled vaguely and so the poem does not have unity.
By way of contrast, he says the Italian writer Boccaccio handled the same theme successfully in his Decameron , because he rightly subordinated expression to action. Hence Boccaccio's poem is a poetic success where Keats's is a failure. Arnold also wants the modern writer to take models from the past because they depict human actions which touch on 'the great primary human affections: to those elementary feelings which subsist permanently in the race, and which are independent of time'. A modern writer might complain that ancient subjects pose problems with regard to ancient culture, customs, manners, dress and so on which are not familiar to contemporary readers.
But Arnold is of the view that a writer should not concern himself with the externals, but with the 'inward man'. The inward man is the same irrespective of clime or time. It is in his The Function of Criticism at the Present Time that Arnold says that criticism should be a 'dissemination of ideas, a disinterested endeavour to learn and propagate the best that is known and thought in the world'.
He says that when evaluating a work the aim is 'to see the object as in itself it really is'. Psychological, historical and sociological background are irrelevant, and to dwell on such aspects is mere dilettantism. This stance was very influential with later critics. Arnold also believed that in his quest for the best a critic should not confine himself to the literature of his own country, but should draw substantially on foreign literature and ideas, because the propagation of ideas should be an objective endeavour.
In The Study of Poetry , which opens his Essays in Criticism: Second series , in support of his plea for nobility in poetry, Arnold recalls Sainte-Beuve's reply to Napoleon, when latter said that charlatanism is found in everything.
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Sainte-Beuve replied that charlatanism might be found everywhere else, but not in the field of poetry, because in poetry the distinction between sound and unsound, or only half-sound, truth and untruth, or only half-truth, between the excellent and the inferior, is of paramount importance. For Arnold there is no place for charlatanism in poetry.