Ts Eliot Critical Essays
His criticism was revolutionary which inverted the critical tradition of the whole English speaking work.
John Hayward says: I cannot think of a critic who has been more widely read and discussed in his own life-time; and not only in English, but in almost every language, except Russian. At times he assumes a hanging-judge attitude and his statements savor of a verdict.
In The Metaphysical Poets, he writes: When a poets mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is constantly amalgamating disparate experiences; the ordinary mans experience is chaotic, irregular, fragmentary.
Perfect poetry results when instead of dissociation of sensibility there is unification of sensibility.
He sought to correct the excesses of the abstract and intellectual school of criticism represented by Arnold.
Often his criticism is marred by personal and religious prejudices blocking an honest and impartial estimate.
Moreover, he does not judge all by the same standards.
However, for Eliot the greatness of a poem is tested by the order and unity it imposes on the chaotic and disparate experiences of the poet.
Wimsatt and Brooks are right in saying: Hardly since the 17th century had critical writing in English so resolutely transposed poetic theory from the axis of pleasure versus pain to that of unity versus multiplicity.