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T. S. Eliot and the Cultural Divide (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Dezember 2005


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Synopsis

For decades T. S. Eliot has been applauded and denounced as a staunch champion of high art and an implacable opponent of popular culture. But Eliot's elitism was never what it seemed. "T. S. Eliot and the Cultural Divide" represents this great writer as the complex figure he was, an artist attentive not only to literature but also to detective fiction, Vaudeville Theater, jazz, and the songs of Tin Pan Alley. David Chinitz argues that Eliot was productively engaged with popular culture in some form at every stage of his career, and that his response to it, as expressed in his poetry, plays, and essays, was dynamic rather than hostile. He shows that American jazz, for example, was a major influence on Eliot's poetry during its maturation. He discusses Eliot's surprisingly persistent interest in popular culture, both in such famous works as "The Waste Land" and in such lesser-known pieces as "Sweeney Agonistes". And he traces Eliot's long, quixotic struggle to close the widening gap between high art and popular culture through a new type of public art: contemporary popular verse drama.

What results is a work that will persuade adherents and detractors alike to return to Eliot and find in him a writer who liked a good show, a good thriller, and a good tune, as well as a "great" poem.

Klappentext

The modernist poet T. S. Eliot has been applauded and denounced for decades as a staunch champion of high art and an implacable opponent of popular culture. But Eliot's elitism was never what it seemed. T. S. Eliot and the Cultural Divide refurbishes this great writer for the twenty-first century, presenting him as the complex figure he was, an artist attentive not only to literature but to detective fiction, vaudeville theater, jazz, and the songs of Tin Pan Alley.

David Chinitz argues that Eliot was productively engaged with popular culture in some form at every stage of his career, and that his response to it, as expressed in his poetry, plays, and essays, was ambivalent rather than hostile. He shows that American jazz, for example, was a major influence on Eliot's poetry during its maturation. He discusses Eliot's surprisingly persistent interest in popular culture both in such famous works as The Waste Land and in such lesser-known pieces as Sweeney Agonistes. And he traces Eliot's long, quixotic struggle to close the widening gap between high art and popular culture through a new type of public art: contemporary popular verse drama.

What results is a work that will persuade adherents and detractors alike to return to Eliot and find in him a writer who liked a good show, a good thriller, and a good tune, as well as a "great" poem.

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13 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Not your grandfather's T.S. Eliot . . . 20. Januar 2005
Von A reader from San Diego - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I learned a great deal from this extremely readable book, which argues

that Eliot should be viewed through the lens of his relationship with

popular culture and not just as a literary highbrow. Chinitz shows how

Eliot has been constructed over time by critics and others as an elitist

or stuffy intellectual, and he develops his own intriguing portrayal of

Eliot as someone who wanted to, tried to, and often but not always

succeeded in crossing the "cultural divide," that space between high art

and popular culture. He doesn't just point out pop culture references in

Eliot's work; he also very effectively reveals how various sources,

ranging from popular songs and plays to comedians and comic strips,

influenced Eliot's poetry, his ideas, and the path of his career. The

book leaves you feeling that Eliot needs to be reinterpreted and newly

understood. I found Chinitz's writing style very accessible and

"user-friendly" as well as entertaining.
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