Decisions and Revisions in T.S. Eliot

Decisions and Revisions in T.S. Eliot


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Decisions and Revisions in T.S. Eliot attends to one specific embodiment of Eliot’s re-thinking: changes that he made after publication. Such revisions have a different standing from any made prior to publication, and they raise questions about reception, audience, and (pre-eminently) self-criticism. In Eliot, the revisions are often substantial and always acutely of interest, for they incarnate a movement of mind even after he had given the work to the world. Such changes in Eliot’s poems and elsewhere have not much been pondered as evidence of his art and thought. Moreover there has been an unthinking assumption that revisions to discursive prose, in the nature of the case, do not much matter; yet, to look at the cases is to see how much each may contain.


1              In the Beginning

2              In the Middle

3              In the End


Christopher Ricks is professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and co-director of the Editorial Institute at Boston University.

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Dimensions 1 × 8 × 5 cm