Poetry and Exile: T. S. Eliot, ‘Four Quartets’ – Professor Belinda Jack

Belinda Jack

Professor Belinda Jack examines the power and impact of T.S. Eliot’s works ‘The Four Quartets’:http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and…

These poems retain a stubborn opacity and no interpretation is ever wholly satisfactory. The difficulty of Eliot’s poetry is partly a function of the poems’ dense allusions to so much other poetry. But by exploring the idea of exile in relation to locality and the idea of space more abstractly, the shape of Four Quartets as descriptive of a spiritual journey comes into better focus. Autobiographically it is clear that Burnt Norton, the house and its extensive gardens, East Coker, and above all the religious community at Little Gidding, matter greatly to our understanding of both Eliot’s life and also his poetry. But the antithesis of place, that is the idea of exile from place, is equally important.

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and…

Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 1,800 lectures free to access or download from the website.
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