T. S. Eliot



Tradition and the Individual Talent



It is not in his personal emotions, the emotions provoked by particular events in his life, that the poet is in any way remarkable or interesting. His particular emotions may be simple, or crude, or flat. The emotion in his poetry will be a very complex thing, but not with the complexity of the emotions of people who have very complex, or unusual emotions in life. One error, in fact, of eccentricity in poetry is to seek for new human emotions to express: and in this search for novelty in the wrong place it discovers the perverse. The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual [73] emotions at all. And emotions which he has never experienced will serve his turn as well as those familiar to him. Consequently, we must believe that "emotion recollected in tranquillity," is an inexact formula. For it is neither emotion, nor recollection, nor, without distortion of meaning, tranquillity. It is a concentration, and a new thing resulting from the concentration, of a very great number of experiences which to the practical and active person would not seem to be experiences at all; it is a concentration which does not happen consciously or of deliberation. These experiences are not "recollected," and they finally unite in an atmosphere which is "tranquil" only in that it is a passive attending upon the event. Of course this is not quite the whole story. There is a great deal, in the writing of poetry, which must be conscious and deliberate. In fact, the bad poet is usually unconscious where he ought to be conscious, and conscious where he ought to be unconscious. Both errors tend to make him "personal." Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.





Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

The Egoist.
Bd. 6, 1919:
Nr. 4, September, S. 54-55
Nr. 5, Dezember, S. 72-73.

Gezeichnet: T. S. Eliot.

Unser Auszug: S. 72-73.

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).







Altieri, Charles: Theorizing Emotions in Eliot's Poetry and Poetics. In: Gender, Desire, and Sexuality in T. S. Eliot. Hrsg. von Cassandra Laity u.a. Cambridge 2004, S. 150-172.

Bendixen, Alfred u.a. (Hrsg.): The Cambridge History of American Poetry. Cambridge 2015.

Brandmeyer, Rudolf: Poetiken der Lyrik: Von der Normpoetik zur Autorenpoetik. In: Handbuch Lyrik. Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte. Hrsg. von Dieter Lamping. Stuttgart u.a. 2011, S. 1-14.

Chinitz, David E. (Hrsg.): A Companion to T. S. Eliot. Hoboken 2014.

Cianci, Giovanni u.a. (Hrsg.): T. S. Eliot and the Concept of Tradition. Cambridge u.a. 2007.

Davis, Alex u.a. (Hrsg.): A History of Modernist Poetry. Cambridge 2015.

Freed, Lewis: T. S. Eliot's Impersonal Theory of Poetry and the Doctrine of Feeling and Emotion as Objects. In: Yeats Eliot Review 17.1 (2001), S. 2-18.

Gallup, Donald: T. S. Eliot. A Bibliography. London 1969.

Kalaidjian, Walter (Hrsg.): The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Poetry. Cambridge 2015.

O'Neill, Michael (Hrsg.): The Cambridge History of English Poetry. Cambridge u.a. 2010.

Plasa, Stefan: Knots und Vortices. T. S. Eliots und Ezra Pounds Dichtungstheorie zwischen Tradition und Innovation. Paderborn u.a. 2010.

Pondrom, Cyrena N.: The Road from Paris. French Influence on English Poetry, 1900 – 1920. Cambridge 2010.   –   Zuerst 1974.

Rabaté, Jean-Michel: Tradition and T. S. Eliot. In: The Cambridge Companion to T. S. Eliot. Hrsg. von A. David Moody. 10. Aufl. Cambridge u.a. 2008, S. 210-222.

Rabaté, Jean-Michel: Gender and Modernism: The Freewoman (1911-12); The New Freewoman (1913), and The Egoist (1914-19). In: The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines. Hrsg. von Peter Brooker u.a. Bd. 1: Britain and Ireland 1880-1955. Oxford 2009, S. 269-289.

Rainey, Lawrence: Eliot's Poetics: Classicism and Histrionics. In: A Companion to T. S. Eliot. Hrsg. von David E. Chinitz. Oxford 2009, S. 301-310.

Rives, Rochelle: Modernist Impersonalities. Affect, Authority, and the Subject. Basingstoke u.a. 2012.

Schwartz, Sanford: The Matrix of Modernism. Pound, Eliot, and Early Twentieth Century Thought. Princeton, NJ 1985.

Schwartz, Sanford: Beyond the Objective Correlative. Eliot and the Objectification of Emotion. In: T. S. Eliot. Man and Poet. Hrsg. von Laura Cowan. Orono, Me. 1990, S. 321-341.

Schwartz, Sanford: Eliot's Ghosts: Tradition and its Transformations. In: A Companion to T. S. Eliot. Hrsg. von David E. Chinitz. Oxford 2009, S. 15-26.

Stayer, Jayme (Hrsg.): T. S. Eliot, France, and the Mind of Europe. Newcastle upon Tyne 2015.

White, Peter: Tradition and the Individual Talent Revisited. In: Review of English Studies 58,235 (2007), S. 364-392.



Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer