T. S. Eliot, Tradition and the Individual Talent

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“Tradition and the Individual Talent” (1919) is an essay in poetics by the American-born poet-critic T. S. Eliot, and is widely regarded as his most important statement of literary principle. First published in two instalments (September and December 1919) in the London literary-philosophical magazine The Egoist, of which Eliot was assistant editor, it reappeared as a single thirteen-page essay in Eliot’s first prose book, The Sacred Wood (November 1920), providing the intellectual centrepiece of that collection. Its subsequent impact and reputation have been remarkable: it became the most discussed, quoted and reprinted literary essay in English of the twentieth century, an almost obligatory item in a…

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Citation: Baldick, Chris. "Tradition and the Individual Talent". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 February 2021 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=39124, accessed 07 February 2023.]

39124 Tradition and the Individual Talent 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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