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Tradition and the Individual talent - "...The words of a dead manAre modified in the guts of the living..." "In Memory of W. B. Yeats"- W. H. Auden
The first 200 words of this essay...
TRADITION AND THE INDIVIDUAL TALENT:
"...The words of a dead man
Are modified in the guts of the living..."
"In Memory of W. B. Yeats"- W. H. Auden
Eliot has said that the poet/critic must inevitably write "programmatic criticism"- criticism that expresses the writer's own interests as a poet, and places him in his background. Consciously intended or not, this kind of criticism creates an atmosphere in which the poet/critics own poetry will be better understood and appreciated than if it had to appear in a literary milieu dominated by the standards of the preceding age. He has further elucidated this view in the essay "Tradition and the Individual Talent", which appeared in his first critical volume, "The Sacred Wood".
Eliot stresses the importance of both 'tradition'- the works of the poet's literary predecessors, inclusive of the grand output of the Roman and Grecian civilizations, along with the doctrines of Christianity, and of the 'individual talent'- the factors inherent in the writer, that combine in the creation of the new works of art. The correlation and the coexistence of both the present and the past are, according to Eliot, the components of the
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