T. S. Eliot: Four Quartets

(6488 words)
  • Marianne Thormahlen (Lund University )

T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets were written between 1935 and 1942 when the poet was in his late 40s and early 50s, an internationally famous man of letters who had not yet attained iconic status. The matter of his age is noteworthy because the Quartets are often thought of as an illustrious ageing poet’s last work of any significance, a kind of grand old man’s testament. In fact, they came into being as a result of, and in constant struggles with, the middle-aged writer’s anxieties about whether he still had anything to say in the first place and if he had, what medium would be suitable for it.

Despite his pontifical manner, Eliot was never complacent about his writing. Always aware of the necessity for a…

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Thormahlen, Marianne. "Four Quartets". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 January 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5073, accessed 26 September 2016.]