Four Quartets

ELIOT, T.S. Four Quartets.

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ELIOT, T.S. Four Quartets. New York, Harcourt Brace and Company 1943

8vo. Black Cloth with gilt stamped title to the spine, Dust Jacket printed in Black, Cream and Grey is unclipped, pp. [10] 3-39 [1], jacket edge-worn and chipped/ slightly bumped at spine ends, jacket toned, otherwise very good.
First American Edition, Second Issue without the edition note on publication page; in the first state dust jacket, $2 to front flap
One of the most esteemed poets of the 20th Century, Eliot's four long poems Four Quartets were his last influential contribution to his illustrious poetic legacy and its famous structural complexity means it is frequently asssigned partnership with James Joyce's Ulysses. Each poem (previously published seperately) can be interpreted as a meditation on time, which struck a chord with readers facing the reality of WWII. Eliot's poems corresponded with this disturbance and disillusionment as it drew on the idea of past and present and envisaged a place where the traditions of England would supersede the terror and sorrows of war. Each poem can be seen to correpsond to one of the four classical elements and take insipiration from a variety of thinkers and philosophies including Dante (whom he imagines meeting during a Blitz raid in 'Little Gidding'). Eliot would be buried in East Coker, the origin of his ancestral line and the title of one of the Quartet poems. The words that adorn his memorial stone adhere to the cyclical theme present in the 'Four Quartets' where the quote reads, 'In my beginning is my end'. Five years subsequent to the collection, Eliot would be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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