Biography Sept. 26, 1888 Thomas Stearns Eliot is born in St. Louis, Missouri. 1906-1909Undergraduate at Harvard. Discovers Symbolists, including Laforgue. 1909-1910Grad. Student at Harvard 1910-1911Studies in Paris. Prufrock completed. 1911-1914Continues Grad. Studies at Harvard 1915Eliot becomes resident of London and marries Vivien Haigh-Wood in July.
Biography (continued) 1915- 1922 Eliot holds several jobs, including being a teacher, bank clerk and editor of the literary magazine Egoist and The Criterion. 1917Prufrock and Other Observations 1920Poems and Sacred Wood: Essays in Poetry and Criticism 1922The Waste Land 1925The Hollow Men
Biography (continued) 1927Eliot is confirmed in the Church of England and becomes a naturalized British citizen. Publishes The Journey of the Magi. 1930Ash Wednesday 1939Old Possums Book of Practical Cats 1943Four Quartets 1948Eliot is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature 1950- 58 The Cocktail Party, The Confidential Clerk, The Elder Statesman 1965Died in London
Eliot as Modernist Break in Logical Sequenceto think in human way, like a stream-of-consciousness approach Thick Languagelayers/allusions/puns Inner (Psychological) Realityperspective of world from one person Impressionismfocuses on the the act of noticing things in the worldhow is it shaped, what is going on? JuxtapositionsIn The Waste Land, idea of forced multiperspectivism (like Picasso). In Prufrock, idea of shocking reader with contrasting images Open Endings-some ideas unresolved/ also resists single-interpretation
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is from a collection of poems titled Prufrock and Other Observations (1917) Originally titled Prufrock Among the Women J. Alfred Prufrock follows early form of Eliots signature: T. Stearns Eliot As we read, we want to question what about this poem makes it a love song. The Titles
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The Epigraph These lines are taken from Dante's Inferno (all part of The Divine Comedy), and are spoken by the character of Count Guido da Montefelltro. Dante meets the punished Guido da Montefelltro in the Eighth chasm of Hell. He explains that he is speaking freely to Dante only because he believes Dante is one of the dead who could never return to earth to report what he says.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Translation "If I thought that my reply would be to someone who would ever return to earth, this flame would remain without further movement; but as no one has ever returned alive from this gulf, if what I hear is true, I can answer you with no fear of infamy."
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Biblical References Matthew 14:3-11, Mark 6:17-29 in the Bible; the death of John the Baptist. King Herod was enamored of a dancing girl named Salome. He offered her a gift of anything she wanted in his kingdom. Salome's mother told her to request the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter. Herod complied.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufock "And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.'" "But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.'" "And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'" "He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead'" (Luke 16:19-31).
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock For everything there is a season, And a time for every matter under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to seek, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to throw away; A time to tear, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate, A time for war, and a time for peace (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).