Redeeming Time: T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets Paperback – 15 May 2007
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About the Author
Kenneth Paul Kramer is professor emeritus of comparative religious studies at San Jose State University.
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He sees Eliot primarily through the lens of John of the Cross and monastic retreat from the world. Partly justified by Eliot’s biography perhaps. Kramer’s discussion of Eliot’s use of the Gita’s “renounce fruits of action,” and Theravada Buddhist “desirelessness” seems to add up to a Gnostic denigration of the self and the material world. Proper self-love [vs. inordinate self-love] and proper care for constructive fruit of action in this world barely peep through. One is almost convinced that Eliot was a neurotic Gnostic, until his second marriage, and his last work, The Elder Statesman [dedicated to his new wife]. I remember Eliot reading his poems at S. M. U. in the late ‘50s. His new wife was with him, and they seemed to radiate serenity and quiet joy. Perhaps her accepting love mediated the grace to transcend his sense of guilt and despair.