T. S. Eliot, anti-Semitism, and literary form

T. S. Eliot, anti-Semitism, and literary form

With a preface and a response to the critics
  1. Anthony Julius
  • ISBN 9780500282809
  • 22.90 x 15.00 cm
  • Paperback
  • 360pp
  • First published 2003
‘… it has altered the landscape of Eliot scholarship’ – Times Literary Supplement
‘A greater, and always a more honest, admirer of Eliot than those who habitually plaster him with saintliness … mould-breaking’ – Frederic Raphael
‘A long overdue act of critical praise … Eliot studies will never be the same post-Julius’ – Tom Paulin
The London Review of Books
‘Julius has forced us to rethink some of our most fundamental, received ideas about art, ideas that for years protected Eliot from the sort of scrutiny found in these pages … He has written an important – and long overdue – book’ – Michiko Kakutani
The New York Times

Of the many different kinds of anti-Semite, T.S. Eliot was the rarest: one who placed his anti-Semitism at the service of his art. Contemporary readers of his work are likely to ask themselves certain questions. Is literary merit compatible with expressions of racial contempt? How are those scorned by such work to respond?

Anthony Julius’s acclaimed book addresses these important questions in a series of remarkable adversarial readings, which both relate Eliot’s anti-Semitism to his greater literary undertaking, and consider it in the context of arguments about the censorship of ‘offensive’ literature.

This new edition of a seminal study includes an introductory chapter telling the story of the critical furore the book provoked on its first publication, and a concluding response, in-depth, to the reassessment of Eliot’s work among poets, scholars and readers that has since ensued.