Eloise Knapp Hay

T. S. Eliot's Negative Way

Harvard University Press
Cambridge, Massachusetts and London England

Copyright © 1982 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College

Printed in the United States of America

Blurb from the book jacket:

In this perceptive and subly argued study of T. S. Eliot's poems and plays, Eloise Knapp Hay explores the theme of negation manifested both in the negativities of Eliot's early poems and in his use of the Christian via negativia as matrix for his later works.

By relating Eliot's work to his American and English roots, Hay examines the choices he had to make between the two traditions and the meaning that "negativity" came to have for him. His early philosophical skepticism crucially affected his later uses of language and his invention of new poetic and dramatic structures. Eliot's final adherence of to the via negativia of the Christian mystics takes on a new significance when seen in the context of his entire intellectual and artistic development. The author's argument draws upon important unpublished materials made available to her by Mrs. Valerie Eliot.

Eloise Knapp Hay is Professor of English, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Hay, Eloise Knapp.
    T. S. Eliot's Negative Way
    Includes bibliographical references and index.
    1. Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965--Philosophy. 2. Negativity (Philosophy) in literature.
I. Title.
PS3509.L43Z6817      821'.912      81-23747
ISBN 0-674-24675-6      AACR2

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