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T.S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism and Literary Form Paperback – Bargain Price, September 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Rev Sub edition (September 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500282803
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #916,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


An important—and long overdue—book. -- The New York Times

Sharp, elegant, morally insistent. -- The New Yorker

Book Description

Julius's critically acclaimed study (looking both at the detail of Eliot's deployment of anti-Semitic discourse and at the role it played in his greater literary undertaking) has provoked a reassessment of Eliot's work among poets, scholars, critics and readers, which will invigorate debate for some time to come. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Anthony Julius is Chairman of the London Consortium, a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, and Vice-President of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. The author of several books, including T. S. Eliot: Anti-Semitism and Literary Form, he was the defense attorney in the renowned Irving vs. Lipstadt Holocaust denial case, and continues to be active in the fight against anti-Semitic activities.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Orenthia Davell Dillard on August 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
Anthony Julius has written the most objective and informative work to date on the anti-semitic aesthetics of Eliot's early poetry. Though the author is an admirer of Eliot, he is not the least bit apologetic about his attempts to come to the grips with the literary consequences of an anti-semitic aesthetic. Julius takes a cue from deconstruction when he notes that any attempts to remove or downplay anti-semitic elements in Eliot's poetry will only serve to destroy the thematic body of Eliot's vast literary corpus. Julius also takes aim at the prose works of Eliot, thereby showing that Eliot's anti-semitism was not a phase (as most critics and scholars have argued since the post WWII period); rather, it was an integral poetic topoi. Finally, the author documents T.S. Eliot's association with fellow Anti-semite Ezra Pound and the latter's role in suppressing and expunging the anti-semitic "Dirge" from the finished portion of "The Wasteland." In closing, please believe me when I tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and re-reading this book. I have yet to find anything questionable about the author's research or his methodology. To scholars and students who are interested in the life and writings of T.S. Eliot, I say to all of you: BUY AND READ THIS BOOK!
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19 of 33 people found the following review helpful By James C. Easton on March 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
The dishonest approach used by Julius throughout this book is characterized by the quotation on page xiii that refers to a personal confrontation in South Africa between Eliot and a Mrs. Millen. The confrontation simply never happened. Julius refers to this item several times in the body of the text. He explains the fabrication in a footnote as "at best, a melodramatic and telescoped version of the truth." No, it is a lie. It refers to a meeting that never happened and the quote has not been removed or changed in the revised edition.

When one carefully checks each and every source note (and they are profuse) in analyzing the anti-semitic "quotes" attributed to Eliot by Julius it emerges that the actual sources are not Eliot but snippets from other anti-semitic tracts carefully juxtaposed by Julius to give the impression they are Eliot's. This casts a pall of mendacity of the entire enterprise. These sorts of tactics are unncessary and raise questions of integrity.

The book consists of the intricately wrought polemics of a clever barrister who seeks to give the appearance of a scholarly investigation accompanied by much hand-wringing about being "fair" to Eliot. It would take another dissertation the length of Julius's original to completely debunk many of his specious claims. Don't let the copious notes fool you. Each and every one needs to be checked.

This book, more than any other, has damaged Eliot's stature and reputation. Some young scholar should spend the time necessary to refute it.
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13 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
I studied the work of Elliot in graduate school. I knew the Anti- Semitic passages, and thus held myself distant from the cult of Elliot worship. Nonetheless reading Julius' deeper probing into Eliot's Anti-Semitism I am angry at myself for not being more outraged. It turns out that Eliot did not want Jewish readers. He scorned us.

The lines of 'Burbank with a Baedaker, Bleisten with a cigar' and other lines from 'Gerontion' would fit in well with Nazi propaganda.

Apparently Eliot was as Julius points out a 'literary anti- Semite' whose hate and scorn were for the 'free -thinking sceptical Jews' he believed the enemies of Christian civilization. On a personal level he apparently was able to bear Jewish company, here and there.

Julius shows how the Anti- Semitism is not a passing theme of youth but also pervades his later prose work.

I believe that after reading this work it is impossible to read Eliot again without feeling moral repulsion.
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