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Eliot as Satirist

POMEROY, ANDREW,DAVID (2023) Eliot as Satirist. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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T. S. Eliot is seldom considered a satirist, even though satirical elements have long been perceived in his early poetry, most notably by Hugh Kenner and W. B. Yeats. Building on the scholarship from the last two decades which explores Eliot’s relationship with popular culture, as well as the recently published letters from Eliot’s early life and the drafts of The Waste Land, this dissertation argues that Eliot’s earliest impetus was towards satire, and that his early career was a development, and finally an abandonment, of this mode. The first section surveys Eliot’s earliest satirical poetry from Inventions of the March Hare to the controversial ‘King Bolo’ verses, contending that Eliot’s initial satirical project was to provoke the particularly American puritanical culture that he grew up in. The second chapter explores Eliot’s development of this satirical impetus as it relates to Poems 1920, particularly as it manifests in Eliot’s defences of Wyndham Lewis, Ben Jonson, and Francis Cornford’s theory of ancient ‘tragi-comedy’. The concluding chapter deals with The Waste Land, firstly with the earliest reviews that correctly perceive Eliot’s satirical tone in the poem, and then with Ezra Pound’s edits, contending that the pair’s differing opinions on the nature and purpose of satire motivated this editorial process and Eliot’s eventual abandonment of the form.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:T. S. Eliot ; Wyndham Lewis ; Ezra Pound ; Ben Jonson ; Satire ; Modernism ; The Waste Land ; Inventions of the March Hare ; Prufrock and Other Observations ; King Bolo ; Poems 1920 ; Sweeney Agonistes ; Blast ; Vorticism ;
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Aug 2023 12:44

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