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T.S. Eliot’s Prose (Poetry)

  • Vidyan Ravinthiran
Chapter

Abstract

Looking at Eliot’s one published prose poem, ‘Hysteria’, this essay argues its centrality to the emergence of the form as an undecided and self-conscious twentieth-century genre. Eliot considered prose an artistic medium as complex as verse and, also, as the vehicle of thought. The first idea came to him from vers libre; the second, from the longstanding idea of prose as the manifestation of a cogent individuality—a clarified demonstration of the rounded literary intelligence. Bonamy Dobrée published Modern Prose Style in 1934 and Herbert Read’s English Prose Style appeared in 1946: as editor of The Criterion, Eliot worked with both. I look at these works, his unpublished prose poems, and scrutinise the rhythm and syntax of ‘Hysteria’ with this double-minded view of prose in mind.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vidyan Ravinthiran
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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