Davidson, Harriet

Davidson, Harriet

Longman Reader on T. S. Eliot

  • Published Date: Longman Publishing Group, 1999

Harriet Davidson (Editor)

Longman Reader on T.S. EliotOne of the most influential poets of the twentieth century, T. S. Eliot is generally regarded as a leading exponent of the literary movement which came to be known as Modernism. In this volume, Harriet Davidson collects key recent essays by such internationally renowned critics as Terry Eagleton, Sandra Gilbert, Jacqueline Rose, Jeffrey Perl, Christine Froula, Maud Ellmann, and Michael North, placing Eliot's work centrally in the context of postmodern critical theory.

Eliot's writing is often perceived as incompatible with or resistant to new theoretical approaches, but this volume demonstrates the continuity between Eliot's own theoretical writings and contemporary theory, and illuminates his poetry with imaginative readings from deconstructive, Marxist, psychoanalytic, and feminist perspectives. Head notes to the essays and a bibliography which lists other informative readings make this book an invaluable guide to all students of twentieth century poetry, and to scholars interested in the relationship between critical and creative writing.

T. S. Eliot and Hermeneutics: Absence and Interpretation in The Waste Land

  • Published Date: Louisiana State University Press, 1985

Harriet Davidson

T.S. Eliot and HermeneuticsSurveying the flurry of critical activity that The Waste Land inspired, T. S. Eliot commented, "I regret having sent so many enquirers off on a wild goose chase after Tarot cards and Holy Grail." He preferred that readers try to perceive what he called the poem's "entelechy." In T. S. Eliot and Hermeneutics: Absence and Interpretation in 'The Waste Land', Professor Harriet Davidson establishes a similar distinction between two possible critical approaches, using Paul Ricoeur's terms "hermeneutics of suspicion" and "hermeneutics of recovery." The former involves a search for structures of meaning underlying a work; the latter questions the primacy of this critique by beginning with an act of faith in what we always already understand in the work.