From Philosopher to Critic/Poet: Quest for the Soul in the Poetry of T.S.Eliot

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Chung, Kyungsim
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서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
영학논집 22(1998): 156-186
What does "the soul" mean for T.S. Eliot and why is it most important to make out the process of "soul-making" in order to understand his poetry? It is not possible to answer these questions without the knowledge of Eliot's "Impersonal theory of poetry" and his philosophical thought of our knowledge and experience in the world. It is famous that Eliot requested of the poet escape from personality. By depersonalizing his personal experiences into something impersonal the poet is said to unite himself with tradition. Eliot's sense of tradition, his definition of poetry as "organic wholes", and what he thought the true poet to do ultimately come from his understanding of the world. But my
object in this writing is not to introduce those old philosophical arguments around Eliot's doctrine about impersonality. In this essay I will try to understand the relationship of Eliot's philosophical thoughts and his early literary thoughts. Even though Eliot's doctoral dissertation on F.R. Bradley was published in 1964, the fact is that it was written in 1915 and 1916, and his first important literary writing, The Sacred Wood (1920), was published several years later.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)영학논집(English Studies)영학논집(English Studies) No.22 (1998)
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