T S Eliot's Tradition and Individual Talent

Topics: Emotion, Poetry, Literature Pages: 3 (963 words) Published: January 16, 2011
Eliot’s Tradition and the Individual Talent
T. S. Eliot is a well-known critic, poet and writer who has done a great amount of literary work. Eliot has his own views for judging and analyzing poets and poetry. In "Tradition and The Individual Talent", Eliot has given some significant ideas, which are essential to understand in order to understand Eliot’s perceptions regarding poetry and poets.  T.S Eliot’s critical essays are the one, which cause a mind to think over a situation, he has described. Eliot’s importance as a critic is linked with his importance as a poet. Some critics are of the view that Eliot was trying to make a ground for his own productions (Poetry) by the help of his criticisms. Tradition and The Individual Talent is such an essay in which, Eliot talks about poetry, tradition and talent of the poets. Geoffrey G. O’ Brien identifies “Tradition” and “Individual Talent” as synonyms for Eliot. , “the moments of reciprocal constitution, two aspects of the same substance”. Taylor Sharpe emphasizes that Eliot is himself not clear about the word “tradition”. Because of this reason, he is unable to explain the word “tradition” in his essay. The word “tradition” may stand for religion. By “tradition”, he also means that all the European Literature from Homer till present time is continuity and forms a simultaneous whole. Every new work has meaning only in the context of what has come before, and it should be capable of changing the past. Therefore, the word “tradition” has multiple interpretations, as the critic, Eliot himself is unable to provide it a singular meaning. Eliot begins his essay with an opposition between criticism and creativity, which Mathew Arnold has made famous in “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time”. Arnold has called for a new spirit of critical thinking to replace the emotional immaturity of the Romantics. According to Eliot, “criticism is inevitable as breathing” and also that every nation and race has the creative as...
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