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Alexander Gonzalez on T. S. Eliot

Eliot's Influence on Other Writers
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No writer as famous or revolutionary as Thomas Stearns Eliot lacks disciples, and Eliot's are large in number.  His writing influenced the entire Fugitive school, which included Allen Tate and John Crowe Ransom, influential writers for the New Criticism, a periodical dealing, naturally, with literary criticism (Life Studies).  Though the Fugitives were primarily reacting against the industrialization of the northern states and idolizing the agricultural nature of the South, they incorporated elements of Eliot's style, and sometimes subject matter, into their work (Life Studies).  Ransom in particular adopted Eliot's axiom that poetry was the highest form of knowledge and science (Life Studies).  The Fugitives were part of the larger movement known as Modernism, which is mainly Eliot’s creation.

 

Oddly enough, the Postmodernist movement that succeeded the Modernist movement of which Eliot was a part owed a great deal to Eliot’s influence.  Postmodernist writing is in many ways a reaction to the somewhat impersonal styles of modernism, and features poets such as Dylan Thomas and Theodore Roethke (Life Studies).  While the postmodernists, such as the beat movement, relied on confessional styles and other emotional expositions for their art, modernism preferred more objective work.  Other writers who draw upon Eliot’s legacy include Sylvia Plath and John Berryman.

 

Works Cited

Life Studies: American Poetry from T. S. Eliot to Allen Ginsberg. 1997. The Academy of American Poets. 2 Mar. 2005 <http://www.poets.org/exh/Exhibit.cfm?prmID=1>.

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