By Patrick Deane
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Additional info for At Home in Time: Forms of Neo-Augustanism in Modern English Poetry
Pure literature is a chimera of sensation; admit the vestige of an idea and it is already transformed. ("The Idea of a Literary Review" 4) 34 At Home in Time It is interesting to note that in the same essay from which these comments are drawn, Eliot declares for the first time that the "tendency" of the Criterion will be towards classicism. To illuminate his understanding of the term, he cites a number of books which for him exemplify the classic approach: these include Irving Babbitt's Democracy and Leadership, Georges Sorel's Reflexions sur la violence, and L'Avenir de I'intelligence by Charles Maurras.
As Michael Hamburger has pointed out, it is "irreconcilable 25 Forms of Neoclassicism with the exigencies of the public world" (97), within which the neoAugustan artist is concerned to work. D. 6 Jay reminds us that the retreat from "totalizing" thought has, during the past three or four decades, coincided with "a decisive linguistic turn," a "quickening of interest in virtually all disciplines in the question of language" (Fin-de-Siecle Socialism 17). L. Austin, Gilbert Ryle, and Wittgenstein) has focused on "language as speech and intersubjective communication" (19).
But Dry den was not the only figure from this period to hold his attention. Eliot also owed a debt to Samuel Johnson, as David Perkins has reminded us; and like his essay on Dryden, the much later "Johnson as Critic and Poet" (1944) seems to arise out of an awareness of the Augustan poet's suitability as a model for present or future poetic practice. "It remains to be seen," writes Eliot as he starts out, "whether the literary influence of Johnson ... does not merely await a generation which has not been born to receive it" (163).