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G. Douglas Atkins here offers an original consideration of T. S. Eliot’s essay as a form of embodied thinking. A combination of literature and philosophy, the genre of the essay holds within itself a great tension—that between truth and creative prose. And, as Atkins explains, these conflicting forces of truth and creativity exist not only within the literary format itself but also within the writers and their relationships with the genre, making essay writing a wonderfully enriching “impure art.”

Exploring the similarities between Eliot’s prose and poetry with the art of essay writing, Atkins discovers remarkably similar patterns of Incarnational thinking that emerge in each. In so doing, he establishes for the first time the essayistic nature of the great poem Four Quartets and provides an eloquent reflection on how the essay in all its impurity functions as Incarnational art, an embodiment of truth.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. p. v
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction—Eliot the Essayist
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. 1 Against (Pure) Transcendence: The Essay and Embodied Truth
  2. pp. 11-28
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  1. 2 Eliot, Montaigne, and the Essay: The Matter of Personality
  2. pp. 29-44
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  1. 3 Turning the Essay: “Tradition and the Individual Talent”
  2. pp. 45-58
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  1. 4 The Perfect Critic and Imperfect Critics: The Essay, Criticism, and Impurity
  2. pp. 59-68
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  1. 5 Eliot’s Prose Voice: The Critical Essayist as Medium
  2. pp. 69-80
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  1. 6 “Restoring / With a New Verse the Ancient Rhyme”
  2. pp. 81-90
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  1. 7 Four Quartets: The Poem as Essay
  2. pp. 91-110
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  1. 8 The Impure Art of Four Quartets: Where Literature and Philosophy Meet
  2. pp. 111-122
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  1. Conclusion—Faring Forward, Exploring Still: Participation Instead of Puritan’s Progress
  2. pp. 123-130
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 131-134
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 135-138
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 139-147
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781602584815
Related ISBN
9781602582552
MARC Record
OCLC
794698780
Pages
160
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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