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Tradition and the individual talent-Jameel Al-Ghaberi

T.S.Eliot Tradition and the individual talent prepared by Jameel Al-gahberi,University of Hyderabad

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Tradition and the individual talent-Jameel Al-Ghaberi

  1. 1. University of Hyderabad School of Humanities Centre for Comparative Literature
  2. 2. “Tradition and the Individual Talent” PPrreesseenntteedd bbyy:: Jameel Ahmed Al-Ghaberi SSuuppeerrvviisseedd bbyy:: Dr.Sowmya
  3. 3. T. S. Eliot “Tradition And The Individual Talent”  “Tradition and the Individual Talent” is one of the more well-known works that Eliot produced in his critic capacity.  The essay is divided into three parts:  Part I:Eliot’s Concept of Tradition  Part II:Eliot’s Theory of Impersonality of Poetry  PartIII:Summary
  4. 4. Part I:Eliot’s Concept of Tradition  The significance of tradition 1. Tradition doesn’t mean a blind adherence to the ways of the previous generation. 2. Tradition cannot be inherited; it can only be obtained by hard labor. 3. Tradition can only obtained by those who have historical sense.
  5. 5. The sense of tradition implies  Recognition of the continuity of literature  A critical judgment as to which of the writers of the past continue to be significant in the present.  A knowledge of the significant writers obtained through painstaking effort.
  6. 6. A dynamic conception of tradition  Tradition isn't anything fixed and static; it is constantly changing, growing and becoming different from what it is. When a new work is created, the whole literary tradition is modified. The relationship between the past and the present is not one-sided; it is reciprocal. The past directs the present, and is itself modified and altered by the present.
  7. 7. The Function of Tradition  The work of art of a poet in the present is to be compared and contrasted with works of the past…  This judgment doesn’t mean “good” or “bad”.  The comparison is for knowing the facts about the new works of art.  The comparison is for the purpose of analysis and forming better understanding of the new.
  8. 8. The sense of tradition  It doesn’t mean to know the past as a whole without any discrimination.  The sense of tradition doesn’t mean that the poet should know only a few poets whom he admires, a particular age, or period which he likes. This is a sign of immaturity and inexperience.
  9. 9. Part II: Impersonality of poetry (The Extinction of Personality) “Honest Criticism and sensitive appreciation is directed not upon the poet but upon the poetry.” The artist must surrender himself to tradition. He must allow his poetic sensibility to be shaped and modified by the past. His emotions and feeling must be depersonalized; he must be as impersonal and objective as a scientist. The poet’s personality is merely a medium; as a catalytic agent, or a receptacle in which chemical reactions take place.
  10. 10. A)The poetic process  “it is not the “greatness", the intensity of the emotions, the components, but the intensity of the artistic process, the pressure, under which the fusion takes place, that accounts.” The more intense the artistic process, the greater the poem. The mind of the poet is like the catalytic agent. It is merely a medium of combination.
  11. 11. Rejecting Wordsworth’s Theory of poetry  Eliot denounces the Romantic criticism saying….  In the process of poetic composition, there's neither emotion, nor recollection, nor tranquility.  In the poetic process, there's only concentration of a number of experiences, and a new thing results from this concentration.
  12. 12. Part III: Summary  Eliot concludes: – “poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality.” – Eliot doesn’t deny personality or emotion to the poet. Only he must depersonalize his emotions. – The poet can know what is to be done if he acquires a sense of tradition; the historic sense which makes him conscious not only of the present but also of the present moment of the past.
  13. 13. Criticism of Eliot  Eliot’s theory of tradition has been criticized for….. 1. Its limited definition of what constitutes the canon of tradition. 2. The “mind of Europe” reeks of Euro-centriism.

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T.S.Eliot Tradition and the individual talent prepared by Jameel Al-gahberi,University of Hyderabad


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