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KCI등재 학술저널

Chinese Ideas in T. S. Eliot’s Poetics

In his creative activities, T. S. Eliot used a systematic mysticism as the basis for the aesthetic principles of modern poetry and criticism. Seemingly, Eliot’s aestheticism resembles much of Romanticist organic unity in mind, poetry, and criticism; but Eliot disliked the personal tastes of poetic romanticism, which were largely an extension of Western romantic idealism. Eliot’s impersonal theory of poetry was, in fact, involved in many aspects of his understanding of Chinese poetry and tradition, as well as F. H. Bradley’s philosophical ideas. Briefly, as we see from Ezra Pound, Eliot is at once Confucian in form and Taoist or Buddhist in spirit. Such enlightened mysticism in Chinese thought has much to do with Eliot’s poetics, especially Bradleyan philosophy, in which philosophy and religion are considered neither academic nor dogmatic, but practical and felt, such that we experience it daily. This is called religio-philosophical experience as found in Eliot’s poetry Four Quartets and also is commonly found in Chinese ideas, especially the middle point (chung-mean) of the temporal (ch’i-spirit) and the timeless (li-principle), and thinking and behaving.

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