About the BookEliot’s poetry is not only critical of the colossal growth of the realistic society, it also points to the cultural aberration and ethnological confusion prevailing in a society wherein diverse cultures and identities are getting commingled. Eliot puts more emphasis on the “extinction of personality” rather than on the play of aesthetic emotion. A character portrayed in Eliot’s poetry, goes on to remain a prisoner of the illusive realistic society. The realistic portrayal of society, applied on the canvas of his private workshop of poetry, “ends not with a bang but with a whimper”.
What is striking in his poetry is that the assimilation of varied identities, cultures, ethos and milieu, intends to take man to a larger realization of self-fulfilment and receptivity. Eliot’s major poems like “The Waste Land”, “The Hollow Men” and “Gerontion” are essentially the outcome of the decay of culture. He is equally influenced by Matthew Arnold’s disinterestedness. But, while Eliot emphasizes the role of tradition in adjusting and accommodating every existing generation, Arnold projects his own canons of criticism based on religion and morality. In Eliot’s point of view, culture provides the basis on which art and literature need to be interpreted and understood. His early poetry is reminiscent of Boston. In “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and other poems, the characters he portrays are ironically oblivious of their ethos, milieu, root and cultural heritage, and can be seen talking of Michaelangelo without being conscious of the meaning of their discourse. His later poetry is reminiscent of Mississippi river and Dry Salvages.
The growth of the realistic cult of society, Eliot saw, gave rise to the phenomenal experiences like alienation, rootlessness and spiritual emptiness. Man, says Eliot, ironically finds himself a prisoner of the illusiveness of the realistic society. What Eliot searches for with all his despair and melancholy is to address all those issues and problems emanating from the cross-cultural identify.
The book attempts to explore Eliot’s poetry from a cross-cultural perspective. His point of view, that culture provides the basis on which art and literature need to be interpreted, as reflected in his poetry, has been probed. The book will be useful for the students and teachers of English literature, particularly poetry, and researchers in these fields.About the Author/sAdibur Rahman, M.A. Ph.D., is Lecturer and Head, Department of English, G.D.M. College, Harnaut, Nalanda, and a freelance writer. He has also done Journalism and Mass Communication from N.O.U. Patna. He has contributed numerous articles on diverse issues in widely circulated journals and newspapers. His earlier two books written on George Orwell and Somerset Maugham have been published by Atlantic and Kalpaz Publishers, New Delhi. He has actively participated in literary seminars and conferences.