The Real World ... Blogger Style: T.S. Eliot by RLB, Period 5

Friday, February 15, 2008

T.S. Eliot by RLB, Period 5

I found a high school English report I wrote about T.S. Eliot which is just over 20 years old today. It's not very interesting, but I think it's pretty amusing.
First off, there are some style issues - While the paper begins as a properly type-written paper (although the pages are numbered by hand), things take a radical turn at page 3 when I switched to a double-spaced hand-written style for no apparent reason until I decided to resume typing at page 7:
Page 1Page 3Page 7
I don't remember if I was having trouble with my typewriter, or if I decided to add a section at the last minute after typing the final draft, but it's a pretty early indicator that inconsistency has never been a big deal with me. Actually, the flow of the paper isn't altered at all, so I don't think I added the handwritten section later. I probably ran out of typewriter ribbon, continued by hand, then resumed typing when I got a new typewriter ribbon but I didn't want to re-type what I just wrote.

I also noticed common spelling mistakes which I still make today (for some reason, I always want to spell "heavily" as "heavilly".

But stylistic concerns aside, this paper has some pretty piss-poor content. All I remember about the assignment is we were supposed to incorportate historical criticism of the author and I never bothered to read any of Eliot's works when I wrote that paper. I just checked some criticism and published interviews out from the local library and wrote the paper more or less in a vacuum, applying quotations randomly and entirely out of context; which is the main reason it's such a crappy paper.

So, for your edification:
Here's an extremely brief history of T.S. Eliot as told by a young RLB through selected excerpts from that paper:

In 1914, Eliot decided to move to Europe because he considered America to be unstimulating to his poetic needs...Eliot was not suited to live in America...He hated the democratic one point, he even seriously considered becoming a Bhuddist, but decided against it after realizing that...would require him to give up his European style of thinking, which he did not feel was worth the price.

While always staying very private and unopen about his personal life, one of the most widely known facts about T.S. Eliot is that his first marriage was a total disaster. Vivienne Haigh-Wood was a mentally unstable, sickly, over-dependent burden who did not deserve a relationship with a man of Eliot's intelligence and social standing. She always would whine around and force Eliot to grant her every wish...The only really suitable reason for the continuance of Eliot's marriage to Vivienne was that he sort of thrived on pain.

Some critics of Eliot consider him to be the type of man to latch onto certain people because of their social class...This is, however, a drastically inaccurate picture of Eliot and holds no merit whatsoever...In the words of Doris L. Elder, "No social climber would have married Vivienne haigh-wood".

His boss gave him a paid one month leave of absence to straighten out his mind, but he only seemed to decline.

In 1927, his life began to come together after he joined the Anglo-Catholic church and also became a citizen of England...The only problem that Eliot faced was that of his wife Vivienne continually nagging at him.

While professing to believe in a monarchy as the best form of government, it is apparent that Eliot just did not want to admit that he favored the fascist form of government...T.S. Eliot wanted to take away the free thinking of the Jews.

When questioned aboout his anti-Jewish sentiments, Eliot would always state that it was against his religion to have such thoughts, but would never actually deny them.

T.S. Eliot is without a doubt one of the greatest poets of all time. His poetry ranges from the philosophical to the Christian.

Maybe I'll try to add some of this to Eliot's wikipedia entry.

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