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Download PDF by Harold, Ed Bloom: T.S. Eliot (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)

By Harold, Ed Bloom

ISBN-10: 143813553X

ISBN-13: 9781438135533

ISBN-10: 1604138793

ISBN-13: 9781604138795

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To evoke such an experience, Eliot uses contradictory perspectives resembling those of the epigraphs. indd 38 9/7/10 9:53:27 AM “Little Gidding” 3: Indifference and the Process of Reading Four Quartets 39 “Little Gidding” 3, which suggest in turn a way to read the epigraphs. In the epigraphs and the passage, opposites are identical, but the identity may be largely a matter of a difference from something whose character is not entirely specifiable. The live and the dead nettle are one and the same as ways of living, both being nettles, but indifference is as different from them as death is from life or the one is from the understanding of the many.

To evoke such an experience, Eliot uses contradictory perspectives resembling those of the epigraphs. indd 38 9/7/10 9:53:27 AM “Little Gidding” 3: Indifference and the Process of Reading Four Quartets 39 “Little Gidding” 3, which suggest in turn a way to read the epigraphs. In the epigraphs and the passage, opposites are identical, but the identity may be largely a matter of a difference from something whose character is not entirely specifiable. The live and the dead nettle are one and the same as ways of living, both being nettles, but indifference is as different from them as death is from life or the one is from the understanding of the many.

In Four Quartets Eliot seeks to avoid these pitfalls by insisting that the cost of wisdom is “not less than everything” (CPP 145). “Everything” here must, I think, be seen to include much doctrinal and pious certainty often associated with these poems. ‘That old-time religion’ is simply not celebrated here, not even in the service of “a further union, a deeper communion” (CPP 129). Among the certainties which, for Eliot, must be sacrificed are a naive and uncritical belief in the immortality of what we like to think of as the individual self or soul, an unqualified affirmation of Christian belief as superior to other beliefs in all respects, and an easy expectation that all pain and suffering will be taken care of either by a simple passage of time or by some system of rewards and punishments after death.

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T.S. Eliot (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold, Ed Bloom


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