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‘A new occasion, a new term of relation’: Samuel Beckett and T. S. Eliot

  • William Davies
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature book series (PMEL)

Abstract

This essay examines the understudied relationship between T. S. Eliot and Samuel Beckett. In the first part of this essay, previous critical treatments of this relationship are considered and factual corrections are made where error has been introduced regarding remarks by Beckett on Eliot. This essay then explores Beckett’s treatment of what he identifies as two distinct versions of Eliot: the early twentieth-century experimental writer of such poems as The Waste Land; and the critic-publisher of The Criterion, Faber & Faber, and the producer of what Beckett labelled a ‘professorial’ approach to poetry. In doing so, this essay considers how the conflicts between Beckett’s rejection of Eliot as a critic and his more ambivalent treatment of Eliot as a poet allow for an exploration of the tensions that are central to modernism, and how this impacts the configuration of both Eliot and Beckett within what has come to be thought of as ‘Late Modernism’.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ReadingReadingUK

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