Selected Essays of T. S. Eliot, 1917-1932 Themes

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Selected Essays, 1917-1932 begins with what is probably the most important theme of the collection: tradition. Eliot has a complex and personal idea of tradition, but mainly he refers to the vast canon of literature written by great authors of the past. He does not specifically mean literature written in English, but he does mean "Western classical" literature, from the ancient Greeks to Seneca, Dante, Chaucer, the Renaissance writers, Dryden, and Pope, through the romantics and the Victorians. In other words, tradition in Selected Essays, 1917-1932 is literature that Eliot considers of the highest order, literature he deems important for modern English writers and critics to have read.

Eliot is one among many famous critics to have established such an idea of tradition; even in selecting and revising the list of important works, he heavily relies on such writers as Matthew Arnold, who is famous for identifying the...

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This section contains 761 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Selected Essays of T. S. Eliot, 1917-1932 Study Guide
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Selected Essays of T. S. Eliot, 1917-1932 from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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