The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock By T. S. Eliot
Who is T. S. Eliot? .. Thomas Stearns Eliot was a pioneering essayist, publisher, playwright, and an eminent literary and social critic. He is acclaimed as one of the twentieth century’s major poets. Eliot was born in 1858. He studied in two of the finest universities of the world –Harvard and Sorbonne (Paris). The literary talent in him blossomed when he came under the influence of his contemporary, Ezra Pound. Ezra Pound, an American expatriate poet and critic of the early modernist movement realized quite quickly that Eliot’s style was unique.
Eliot’s rise to fame .. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” saw the light of the day because Ezra Pound goaded Eliot to publish the poem. It appeared in Poetry in 1915. His first book of poems, Prufrock and Other Observations, was published in 1917. From then on, Eliot’s fame as a writer of a new genre saw a meteorite rise phenomenally. With the publication of The Waste Land in 1922, he became the undisputed doyen of English literature. The English-speaking world adored him.
Other poets’ influences on Eliot …. In his works, the echo of Dante, John Donne and the French poets Baudelaire and Laforgue is clearly discernible. In many ways, his poems reflect the confusion and disillusionment of the generation born after the World War 1. These people called into question the Victorian Era values and conventions—both literary and social.
How Eliot influenced others? … Eliot’s style and thinking also loomed large over the works of his contemporaries. As a critic, his comments were greatly valued. After he converted to orthodox Christianity, he became a vociferous supporter of social and religious conservatism. Ash Wednesday (1930) and Four Quartets (1943) are two of his best writings. In the realm of literary and social criticism, he wrote The Sacred Wood (1920), The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933), and After Strange Gods (1934). In Murder in the Cathedral, The Family Reunion, Eliot’s brilliance as a playwright comes to the fore.
Eliot’s patronizing spurs many others … The publishing house of Faber & Faber had a long and productive association with Eliot. He was quite encouraging towards budding poets, whose works he published through Faber and Faber.
Moments of Eliots tragedy and triumph … Sadly, marital discord with his wife marred the life of this literary genius. After a painful separation from her, he married Valerie Fletcher, in 1956. The world recognized his outstanding talent when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948. He breathed his last in London in 1965. Eliot’s style in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufork –Analysis (In the next post) ——————————–To be continued——————————-