Vernon Lee (Violet Paget)

Eliot English

Thomas Stearns Eliot

T.S.Eliot

 1888~1965. An American poet and critic. He was naturalized in Britain later in life. He is a representative poet of modernism. The major works of his are The Waste Land (1922)、 Four Quartets (1935~42) and so on. He was given the Nobel Prize of Literature.
 Eliot declared that his literature and literature in the 19th century were severed and his work has no relationship with those of Walter Pater or John Addington Symonds. He little mentioned Vernon Lee, but in the scrapped manuscript of 'The Fire Sermon' in The Waste Land he mentioned Lee. Thus: "Fresca was baptised in a soapy sea / Of SymondsーWalter PaterーVernon Lee." In this way, Eliot treated Lee in the same way as Pater and Symonds.
 It is well-known that Eliot revalued metaphysical poets such as John Donne and it is because he values “emphatic connection” between poets and readers. (Suzanne Keen, Empathy and the Novel, P.57.)On the other hand, he hated excessive “emphatic connection” found in poets of romanticism, which led to so-called new criticism. Anyway, “emphatic” relationship between authors and readers is a matter of concern for Eliot and for Vernon Lee.

Four Quartets

 His sense of time shown in The Four Quartets has some in common with that of Vernon Lee. The beginning of the poem is as follows:

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable. ('Burnt Norton')

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