T. S. Eliot

(1888–1965)

T. S. Eliot

Anecdote...

Publisher Robert Giroux once asked Eliot whether he agreed with the widely held belief that most editors are failed writers. Eliot pondered for a moment, then said, “Yes, I suppose some editors are failed writers — but so are most writers.”

Quote-worthy...

If you arent in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?

~T. S. Eliot

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Biographical Note: 

Thomas Stearns Eliot was an American-born poet, critic, playwright, editor; he studied philosophy at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Oxford. He remained a permanent resident of England but made occasional visits to the U.S.A. He took British citizenship in 1927, the same year he joined the Church of England and embraced Anglo-Catholicism. His main career was as an editor at an English publishing firm, where he discovered and supported many modern writers. Although in some respects out of step with his century — being deeply religious and conservative, antisecular and antiromantic — he had an astonishing impact on his times. His literary criticism set forth the literary tastes of a whole generation, while his own early poetry, such as “Prufrock and Other Observations” (1917) and “The Wasteland” (1922), virtually defined an era. He personally remained aloof from most public events and political developments, but in 1948 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, formal recognition of his widespread influence.

More Information: 

Read a short biography of T.S. Eliot along with his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1948.
Or find other books by and about T.S. Eliot for further reading.

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