Tradition and individual talent text pdf. (PDF) The Critic: Important Essays1 I. TRADITION AND INDIVIDUAL TALENT TEXT I 2022-11-18
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In T.S. Eliot's essay "Tradition and the Individual Talent," he argues that a poet's work should not be solely a self-expression of the individual, but rather a continuation of the tradition of poetry. Eliot asserts that a poet must be aware of and knowledgeable about the tradition in order to create meaningful and successful work.
According to Eliot, the poet must "develop or procure the consciousness of the past" in order to fully understand and engage with the tradition of poetry. This includes not only knowledge of past poets and their works, but also an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts in which these works were produced. The poet must also be aware of the technical aspects of poetry, such as meter and form, which have evolved over time and are a crucial part of the tradition.
Eliot believes that the poet must be able to strike a balance between being an individual talent and being a part of the tradition. The poet must be able to bring something new and unique to the tradition, while also being aware of and respectful of the tradition. Eliot asserts that the poet must be able to "moderate his natural impulses" in order to fit within the tradition, but also be able to "use the tradition...as a means of creating his own work."
Eliot's idea of tradition and individual talent has been highly influential in the field of poetry, and has helped shape the way in which poets approach their work. It is important for poets to be able to draw upon the tradition in order to create meaningful and successful work, but at the same time they must also be able to bring their own unique perspective and voice to the table. The tension between the individual talent and the tradition is what ultimately drives the evolution and advancement of poetry.
Tradition and the Individual Talent by T. S. Eliot
It involves, m the first place, the historical sense, which we may call nea'rly. . But the whole effect, the dominant tone, is due to the fact that a number of floating feelings, having an affinity to this emotion by no means superficially evident, have combined with it to give us a new art emotion. The experience, you will notice, the elements which enter the presence of the transforming catalyst, are of two kinds: emotions and feelings. The existing monuments form an ideal order among themselves, which is modified by the introduction of the new the really new work of art among them.
It cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labour. It involves, in the first place, the historical sense, which we may call nearly indispensable to any one who would continue to be a poet beyond his twenty-fifth year; and the historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence; the historical sense compels a man to write not merely with his own generation in his bones, but with a feeling that the whole of the literature of Europe from Homer and within it the whole of the literature of his own country has a simultaneous existence and composes a simultaneous order. To proceed to a more intelligible exposition of the relation of the poet to the past: he can neither take the past as a lump, an indiscriminate bolus, nor can he form himself wholly on one or two private admirations, nor can he form himself wholly upon one preferred period. One error, in fact, of eccentricity in poetry is to seek for new human emotions to express; and in this search for novelty in the wrong place it discovers the perverse. We know, or think we know, from the enormous mass of critical writing that has appeared in the French language the critical method or habit of the French; we only conclude we are such unconscious people that the French are 'more critical' than we, and sometimes even plume ourselves a little with the fact, as if the French were the less spontaneous.
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Impressions and experiences which are important for the man may take no place in the poetry, and those which become important in the poetry may play quite a negligible part in the man, the personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things. Or great poetry may be made without the direct use of any emotion whatever: composed out of feelings solely. It may partly or exclusively operate upon the experience of the man himself; but, the more perfect the artist, the more completely separate in him will be the man who suffers and the mind which creates; the more perfectly will the mind digest and transmute the passions which are its material. Some can absorb knowledge, the more tardy must sweat for it.
In a peculiar sense he will be aware also that he must inevitably be judged by the standards of the past. Since the late 1960s, we have experimented with generation after generation of electronic publishing tools. In English writing we seldom speak of tradition, though we occasionally apply its name in deploring its absence. We cannot refer to 'the tradrtion' or to 'a tradItion'; at most, we employ the adjective in saying that the poetry of So-and-su is 'tradItional' or even 'too traditional'. In either case there has been a fusion of elements. Whereas if we approach a poet without this prejudice we shall often find that not only the best, but the most individual parts of his work may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously. The mind of the poet is the shred of platinum.
The emotion in his poetry will be a very complex thing, but not with the complexity of the emotions of people who have very complex or unusual emotions in life. Perhaps they are; but we might re-rrnnd ourselves that crItlcism is as mevitable as breathing, and that we should be none the worse for articulatlllg what passes in our mmas when we read a book and feel an. The objection is that the doctrine requires a ridiculous amount of erudition pedantry , a claim which can be rejected by appeal to the lives of poets in any pantheon. The necessity that he shall conform, that he shall cohere, is not onesided; what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it. Through our commitment to new products—whether digital journals or entirely new forms of communication—we have continued to look for the most efficient and effective means to serve our readership. In English writing we seldom speak of tradition, though we occasionally apply its name in deploring its absence.
And it is at the same time what makes a writer most acutely conscious of his place in time, of his own contemporaneity. You can hardly make the word agreeable to Enghsh ears without this comfortable refer-e;nce to the reassuring science of archaeology. The first course is inadmissible, the second is an important experience of youth, and the third is a pleasant and highly desirable supplement. For thee does she undo herself? Certainly the word is not likely to appear in our appreciations of living or dead writers. And I do not mean the impressionable period of adolescence, but the period of full maturity. And the poet who is aware of this will be aware of great difficulties and responsibilities.
Tradition is a matter of much wider significance. I mean this as a principle of aesthetic, not merely historical, criticism. I have tried to point out the importance of the relation of the poem to other poems by other authors, and suggested the conception of poetry as a living whole of all the poetry that has ever been written. It cannot be inherited, and it you want it you must obtain It by great labour. Perspecta: The Yale Architectural Journal, the oldest student-edited architectural journal in the United States, is internationally respected for its contributions to contemporary architectural discourse with original presentations of new projects as well as historical and theoretical essays. When the two gases previously mentioned are mixed in the presence of a filament of platinum, they form sulphurous acid. Are lordships sold to maintain ladyships For the poor benefit of a bewildering minute? A great artist must have a sense of tradition and he must pass this tradition to the next generations; otherwise he will be isolated.
(PDF) The Critic: Important Essays1 I. TRADITION AND INDIVIDUAL TALENT TEXT I
It may be formed out of one emotion, or may be a combination of several; and various feelings, inhering for the writer in particular words or phrases or images, may be added to compose the final result. The emotion of art is impersonal. And he is not likely to know what is to be done unless he lives in what is not merely the present, but the present moment of the past, unless he is conscious, not of what is dead, but of what is already living. In these aspects or parts of his work we pretend to Hud what is individual, what is the peculiar essence of the man. His particular emotions may be simple, or crude, or flat. That this development, refinement perhaps, complication certainly, is not, from the point of view of the artist, any improvement.
The ode of Keats contains a number of feelings which have nothing particular to do with the nightingale, but which the nightingale, partly, perhaps, because of its attractive name, and partly because of its reputation, served to bring together. There is a great deal, in the writing of poetry, which must be conscious and deliberate. The existing order is complete before the new work arrives; for order to persist after the supervention of novelty, the whole existing order must be, if ever so slightly, altered; and so the relations, proportions, values of each work of art toward the whole are readjusted; and this is conformity between the old and the new. If otherwise, it is vaguely approbative, with the implication, as to the work approved, cf some pleasing archaeological reconstruction. Perhaps not even an improvement from the point of view of the psychologist or not to the extent which we imagine; perhaps only in the end based upon a complication in economics and machinery. No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. It is in this depersonalization that art may be said to approach the condition of science.
But very few know when there is an expression of significant emotion, emotion which has its life in the poem and not in the history of the poet. We have seen many such simple currents soon lost in the sand; and novelty is better than repetition. Perspecta's editors solicit articles from distinguished scholars and practitioners from around the world, and then, working with graphic design students from the School of Art, produce the journal. In these aspects or parts of his work we pretend to find what is individual, what is the peculiar essence of the man. Every nation, every race, has not only its own creative, but its own critical turn of mind; and is even more oblivious of the shortcomings and limitations of its critical habits than of those of its creative genius.