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T.S. Eliot (1888–1965) “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” The Sacred Wood (1919)

  • Lee Morrissey

Abstract

In English writing we seldom speak of tradition, though we occasionally apply its name in deploring its absence. We cannot refer to “the tradition” or “a tradition”; at most, we employ the adjective in saying that the poetry of So-and-so is “traditional” or even “too traditional.” Seldom, perhaps, does the word appear except in a phrase of censure. If otherwise, it is vaguely approbative, with the implication, as to the work approved, of some pleasing archaeological reconstruction. You can hardly make the word agreeable to English ears without this comfortable reference to the reassuring science of archaeology.

Keywords

Actual Spectator Individual Talent English Writing Historical Sense Private Mind 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Lee Morrissey 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee Morrissey

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