The Imperfect Life of T. S. Eliot Paperback – 1 Nov 2012
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The most authoritative life of Eliot ever written, acclaimed biographer Lyndall Gordon brings into focus a flawed yet brilliant man.
From the Back Cover
T. S. Eliot once spoke of a lifetime burning in every moment. He had the mind to conceive a perfect life, and he also had the honesty to admit he could not meet it.
'He was a man of extremes whose deep flaws and high virtues were interfused,' writes Lyndall Gordon in this perceptive and innovative biography of the great poet. She brilliantly explores his poetry, drama and essays in relationship to the four quite different women in his life and to his time in America and England. The Imperfect Life of T.S. Eliot follows the trials of a searcher whose flaws and doubts speak to all of us whose lives are imperfect.
'Writing with judicious sympathy and an intimate knowledge of his poetry and plays, Ms Gordon artfully moves back and forth between the life and the work, creating a subtle portrait of Eliot as a Jamesian hero torn between memory and desire, worldly happiness and a more rarefied world of the spirit' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
'Always revealing and interesting' Stephen SpenderSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
She interprets Eliot as striving towards modern sainthood. A person who hid his true spiritual inner self behind a mask of congeniality and English gentlemanly manners.
But saints can be hard to live with. He spent most of his lifetime regretting an impulsive marriage, unable to console his first wife or to acknowledge her illness. He was incapable of visiting her in the asylum where she had been locked away. He idealised another woman but when the opportunity finally arrived found he had no real desire to consummate the relationship. He finally came to a happy second marriage to a much younger woman who was a disciple as much as a wife.
Gordon is convincing in showing us how his poetry was influenced by these relationships. She explains though how it ultimately transcended them, in a way that speaks to poetry lovers for all time not just to Eliot's contemporaries.
The book makes no concessions to the general reader; getting to grips with it involves having to learn about the literature of New England and Puritan America. But if the reader perseveres they will get a valuable insight into the mindset behind some of the greatest literature of the twentieth century.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book reasonably priced and in perfect condition. Delivered promptly.I have the original two volumes, but this rewrite included much new material.Published on 13 May 2014 by William
Greatly enjoyed and gave me some real insights into a man I new little about.
I had read a book about his first wife, but that made him seem to me a rather dark character. Read more