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January 03 , 2011

The Letters of T. S. Eliot Volume 2: 1923-1925


Volume Two covers the early years of his editorship of The Criterion (the periodical that Eliot launched with Lady Rothermere's backing in 1922), publication of The Hollow Men and the course of Eliot's thinking about poetry and poetics after The Waste Land. The correspondence charts Eliot's intellectual journey towards conversion to the Anglican faith in 1927, as well as his transformation from banker to publisher, ending with his appointment as a director of the new publishing house of Faber & Gwyer, in late 1925, and the appearance of Poems 1909-1925, Eliot's first publication with the house with which he would be associated for the rest of his life.

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The Waste Land and Other Poems

April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain . . . Published in 1922, The Waste Land was the most revolutionary poem of its time, offering a devastating vision of modern civilisation which has lost none of its power as we enter a new century.

It was partly because of Eliot's profoundly influential work as cultural commentator and editor that the correspondence is so prolific and so various, and Volume Two of the Letters fully demonstrates the emerging continuities between poet, essayist, editor and letter-writer.

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