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T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot
Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888–1965) was an essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic, and "one of the twentieth century's major poets." Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 and was naturalized as a British subject in 1927. Eliot wrote some of the best-known poems in the English language, including The Waste Land (1922), "The Hollow Men" (1925), "Ash Wednesday" (1930), and Four Quartets (1943). He was also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Cocktail Party (1949). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry."
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There are several attitudes towards Christmas, Some of which we may disregard: The social, the torpid, the patently commercial, The rowdy (the pubs being open till midnight), And the childish — which is not that of the child For whom the candle is a star,...
eeldrop
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The majority not only have no language to express anything save generalized man; they are for the most part unaware of themselves as anything but generalized men... I Eeldrop and Appleplex rented two small rooms in...
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Because I do not hope to turn again Because I do not hope Because I do not hope to turn Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope I no longer strive to strive towards such things (Why should the aged eagle...
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Thou hast committed — Fornication: but that was in another country, And besides, the wench is dead. (The Jew of Malta) I Among the smoke and fog of a December afternoon You have the scene arrange itself—as it will seem to do— With "I have...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join T.S. Eliot as he considers what it means to be a man of letters. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher I...
1 1949

The Universal Church is today, it seems to me, more definitely set against the World than at any time since Pagan Rome. I do not mean that our times are particularly corrupt; all times are...
idols in their hearts
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The number of people in possession of any criteria for discriminating between good and evil is very small; the number of the half-alive hungry for any form of spiritual experience, or what offers itself as spiritual experience, high or...
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In English writing we seldom speak of tradition, though we occasionally apply its name in deploring its absence. We cannot refer to "the tradition" or to "a tradition"; at most, we employ...
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To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man's life. Few men have known better than he* how to...
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“First of all no art, and particularly and especially no literary art, can exist in a vacuum. We are , in in practice, creatures of divers...

  I had the privilege of transcribing Eliot's famous essay, "Thoughts on Lambeth." Below is a significant part of the essay (roughly  2/3 of it). I have edited it only down in size; I've not made any...
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With this number I terminate my editorship of The Criterion. I have been considering this decision for about two years: but I did not wish to come to a conclusion precipitately, because I...
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I wish first to define the sense in which I shall use the term "man of letters." I shall mean the writer for whom his writing is primarily an art, who is as...
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TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES Sir.—