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T. S. Eliot and the Dynamic Imagination


  • Date Published: April 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108425216

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About the Authors
  • How is a poem made? From what constellation of inner and outer worlds does it issue forth? Sarah Kennedy's study of Eliot's poetics seeks out those images most striking in their resonance and recurrence: the 'sea-change', the 'light invisible' and the 'dark ghost'. She makes the case for these sustained metaphors as constitutive of the poet's imagination and art. Eliot was haunted by recurrence. His work is full of moments of luminous recognitions, moments in which a writer discovers both subject and appropriate image. This book examines such moments of recognition and invocation by reference to three clusters of imagery, drawing on the contemporary languages of literary criticism, psychology, physics and anthropology. Eliot's transposition of these registers, at turns wary and beguiled, interweaves modern understandings of originary processes in the human and natural world with a poet's preoccupation with language. The metaphors arising from these intersections generate the imaginative logic of Eliot's poetry.

    • Contextualises Eliot's work in relation to the intellectual currents of his time
    • Engages with recent developments in the theory of metaphor while modelling their application to a clear range of examples
    • Provides close-readings of Eliot's poetry, plays and criticism that will appeal to students and general readers who are looking for guidance in their reading of a difficult and allusive poet
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'It's remarkable for its depth of knowledge of Eliot's work, in prose and in poetry (a pre-condition for such a book one might suppose but often less evident than in this case) as well as of her other sources. Sarah Kennedy draws selectively but astonishingly widely on her predecessors (paying due tribute) but her book stands out also for its penetration into the imaginative workings of Eliot the creative artist.' Chris Joyce, Exchanges (Newsletter of the T. S. Eliot Society)

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108425216
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Sea Voices: Eliot's Tempest:
    1. Immersion: Eliot, James and Shakespeare
    2. Hints of earlier and other creation
    3. This isle is full of noises
    Part II. Broken Images: Illuminating Time and Space:
    4. Vacant interstellar spaces
    5. Looking backward
    6. Luminous recognitions
    Part III. Gestation and Resurrection:
    7. His dark materials
    8. Dark doubles
    9. Blood for the ghosts.

  • Author

    Sarah Kennedy, University of Cambridge
    Sarah Kennedy is a Fellow in English at Downing College, University of Cambridge. She gave the 2016 T. S. Eliot Lecture on 'Eliot's Ghost Women', and contributed a chapter on 'Ash-Wednesday and the Ariel Poems' to the New Cambridge Companion to T. S. Eliot, (Cambridge, 2016).

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