T. S. Eliot and Ideas of Oeuvre



In early 1917 Ezra Pound wrote to Margaret Anderson, founder of the Little Review in America; backed by John Quinn’s money, he was about to undertake an editorial role. ‘I want’, he told her, ‘a place where I and T. S. Eliot can appear once a month (or once an issue) and where Joyce can appear when he likes, and where Wyndham Lewis can appear if he comes back from the war’1 Like the room of one’s own and £500 a year which Virginia Woolf was to define as the desiderata for a woman writer, a little magazine of one’s own was regarded by the early Modernists – and particularly by Pound – as the essential springboard for launching, and then for maintaining, a reputation. To have control of such an organ freed a writer from editorial capriciousness, and avoided that resistance to the new that seemed – to Pound at any rate – a distinguishing characteristic of the editors with whom he had himself to deal (it had, for example, taken him quite a while to browbeat Harriet Monroe into publishing ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ in he Chicago-based Poetry).


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  1. Helen Gardner, The Composition of Four Quartets (London: Faber & Faber, 1978), p. 220n.Google Scholar
  2. Ronald Bush, T. S. Eliot: A Study in Character and Style (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 96.Google Scholar
  3. Donald Gallup in his T. S. Eliot: A Bibliography (London: Faber & Faber, 1969).Google Scholar
  4. Lyndall Gordon, in Eliot’s New Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 102n.Google Scholar
  5. T. S. Eliot, On Poetry and Poets (London: Faber & Faber, 1957), p. 193.Google Scholar
  6. T. S. Eliot, Selected Essays, 3rd enlarged edition, ‘new impression’ with index (London: Faber & Faber, 1972), p. 398.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

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