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TS Eliot's postmodernist complaint

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Product Description

By Paul T Murphy

Published: 2003
ISBN: 978-1-876682-53-1
Pages: iv+132
Imprint: Post Pressed


In TS Eliot's Postmodernist Complaint Paul Murphy presents a radical and illuminating analysis of the most significant of TS Eliot's early and middle period verse. Refracting this work through Lacan's reworking of Freud's analytic work on the Oedipus Complex, Murphy portrays Eliot as a literary and social revolutionary:

Each persona is a mask behind which the author manages to negate the signs of his presence - the humble London bank clerk merges into Prufrock, the young suitor, the lady, Saint Narcissus and Gerontion. The suffering of the artist is transmuted into these 'deliberate disguises', so that the signs of his presence are erased just as much as they are transmuted or metamorphosed...

Eliot's doctrine of impersonality is the perfect metaphor for the alienation of the artist, as he attempts to evade what may be termed 'self-expression'. Finally, art itself is brought into question, Eliot's disintegrative poetics maintain the devious path language takes in poetry to question the foundations of that language, and to thereby renew it, or to revolutionise it.

Table of Contents


  • Chapter 1 - The Oedipus Complex as a Revolutionary Understanding of Knowledge: Sophocles, Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan
  • Chapter 2 - TS Eliot's Perivigilium: Inventions of the March Hare
  • Chapter 3 - The Dream-Interpretation and the Dark Continent of Femininity: Circe's Palace and On a Portrait
  • Chapter 4 - A Study in the Suicide of Selfhood: The Death of Saint Narcissus
  • Chapter 5 - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog: A Portrait of a Lady
  • Chapter 6 - A Study in Hysteria: The Love Sons of J Alfred Prufrock
  • Chapter 7 - The Evolution Movement and Rhapsody on a Windy Night
  • Chapter 8 - The Devious Path of Language in Gerontion

Notes Toward the Definition of TS Eliot
Endnotes and Bibliography

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