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Based upon manuscript sources and the uncollected prose writings, as well as the published works, this is a profound exploration of Eliot's life-long preoccupation with mysticism. The author advances new readings of the familiar poems and essays through attention to Eliot's concern in poetry and prose with his roles as mystic, son and lover.
In Modernism and Eugenics, first published in 2001, Donald Childs shows how Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot and W. B. Yeats believed in eugenics, the science of race improvement and adapted this scientific discourse to the language and purposes of the modern imagination. Childs traces the impact of the eugenics movement on such modernist works as Mrs Dalloway, A Room of One's Own, The Waste Land and Yeats's late poetry and early plays. The language of eugenics moves, he claims, between public discourse and personal perspectives. It informs Woolf's theorization of woman's imagination; in Eliot's poetry, it pictures as a nightmare the myriad contemporary eugenical threats to humankind's biological and cultural future. And for Yeats, it becomes integral to his engagement with the occult and his commitment to Irish Nationalism. This is an interesting study of a controversial theme which reveals the centrality of eugenics in the life and work of several major modernist writers.
In Modernism and Eugenics, Donald Childs reveals how Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, and W.B. Yeats believed in eugenics, the science of racial improvement, and adapted this scientific discourse to the language and purposes of the modern imagination. He traces the impact of the eugenics movement on such modernist works as Mrs. Dalloway, The Waste Land, and Yeats's late poetry and early plays. This is an original study of a controversial theme which reveals the centrality of eugenics in the life and work of several major modernist writers.
Eliot is the rare case of a great poet who was also an academic
philosopher. Donald Childs' study examines the relationship between
Elliot's writing of poetry and his philosophical pursuits, in
particular his lifelong occupation with the work of F.H. Bradley,
Henri Bergson, and William James. This account also considers the
reception of Eliot's writing in philosophy and argues that the
study of this work has significantly entered recent Eliot
criticism. Overall, this volume provides a new reading of Eliot's
famous poems, his literary criticism, and social commentary.
Amid competing claims about who first developed the theories and practices that became known as New Criticism - the critical method that rose alongside Modernism - literary historians have generally given the lion's share of credit to William Empson and I.A. Richards. In The Birth of New Criticism Donald Childs challenges this consensus and provides a new and authoritative narrative of the movement's origins. At the centre stand Robert Graves and Laura Riding, two poet-critics who have been written out of the history of New Criticism. Childs brings to light the long-forgotten early criticism of Graves to detail the ways in which his interpretive methods and ideas evolved into the practice of "close reading," demonstrating that Graves played such a fundamental part in forming both Empson's and Richards's critical thinking that the story of twentieth-century literary criticism must be re-evaluated and re-told. Childs also examines the important influence that Riding's work had on Graves, Empson, and Richards, establishing the importance of this long-neglected thinker and critic. A provocative and cogently argued work, The Birth of New Criticism is both an important intellectual history of the movement and a sharply observed account of the cultural politics of its beginnings and legacy.
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