By Dr. Paul Murray
The tale of the composition of "Four Quartets", when it comes to mysticism, constitutes an attractive bankruptcy in sleek literary background. T.S. Eliot drew his suggestion not just from the literature of orthodox Christian mysticism and from a number of Hindu and Buddhist resources, but additionally from the literature of the occult, and from a number of unforeseen and thus far unacknowledged resources corresponding to the "mystical" symbolism of Shakespeare's later performs and the visionary poetry of Rudyard Kipling. the first obstacle of this research isn't with the resources as such, nor with a space someplace in the back of the paintings, yet fairly with that time in "Four Quartets" the place Eliot's personal mystical angle and his poetry unite and intersect.
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The tale of the composition of "Four Quartets", when it comes to mysticism, constitutes an enticing bankruptcy in glossy literary background. T. S. Eliot drew his notion not just from the literature of orthodox Christian mysticism and from numerous Hindu and Buddhist assets, but additionally from the literature of the occult, and from a number of unforeseen and thus far unacknowledged resources resembling the "mystical" symbolism of Shakespeare's later performs and the visionary poetry of Rudyard Kipling.
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Additional resources for T. S. Eliot and Mysticism: The Secret History of Four Quartets
His intention in doing this is not simply to compare from the outside, as it were, the visionary ideal of the Victorine with the poetic vision of Dante in the Divina Commedia. ' 8 It seems likely that Eliot had a similar 'method and intention' in mind when he was writing the final section of 'Burnt Norton'. This section contains a moment of intense visionary experience: Sudden in a shaft of sunlight Even while the dust moves There rises the hidden laughter Of children in the foliage Quick now, here, now, alwaysEcstatic or visionary experience of this nature is often thought of as being a kind of liberation from rational modes of thinking, and even as the direct antithesis of logical and philosophical thought.
The God of Aristotle, although He is depicted as the Ultimate Cause on which the Universe depends, is also understood to be indifferent to, and even perhaps unaware of, the temporal concerns of this world. Is it possible then that Eliot, at the end of 'Burnt Norton', has wholly identified his vision with such an apparently cold and inhuman doctrine? In fact, Eliot's identification with Aristotelian philosophy is not as absolute as it may at first appear. Note to begin with the opening phrase of the final section of the poem: The detail of the pattern is movement, As in the figure of the ten stairs.
5 This task was to be achieved in practice by the assimilation of poetry to music: How the French poets came originally to be so fascinated by the art of music, and then, as a result, by the unique musical and 'mystical' possibilities of language is explained by Paul Valery. 'What was baptized Symbolism can be very simply described as the common intention of several groups (otherwise mutually inimical) to "reclaim their own from Music" . . '' Valery recalls vividly how the Symbolist poets came away from concerts overwhelmed: 'Overwhelmed - dazzled; as though, transported to the seventh heaven by a cruel favour, they had been caught up to that height only that they might experience a luminous contemplation of forbidden possibilities and inimitable marvels.
T. S. Eliot and Mysticism: The Secret History of Four Quartets by Dr. Paul Murray