Learning to be Modern: Pound, Eliot, and the American University

McDonald, Gail. 1993. Learning to be Modern: Pound, Eliot, and the American University. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0198119807 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

It is axiomatic that the poetry of high modernist was composed by the educated for the educated. This book explores American educational history as a context of this commonplace: what Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot learnt in universities, how they needed universities, and how universities needed them. Gail McDonald examines unpublished essays as well as Pound's and Eliot's more familiar works on educational topics. She also reveals the vast amount of time they devoted to pedagogical concerns, emulating and assisting the American academy's evolution from 19th-century religious college to 20th-century research university. This process demanded a continuous calibration of the relationship between tradition and innovation which resulted in a curious doubleness within high-modernist aesthetics and American educational philosophy, a doubleness which is echoed in the contradictions of Pound's and Eliot's poetry. In addition to the readings of Pound and Eliot, this book looks at high-modernist literature at large and, in its examination of turn-of-the-century debates on educational progressivism provides an historical context for current debates about the function of universities and the shape of the literary canon. This book should be of use to intellectual historians and to scholars, graduates, and advanced undergraduates studying modernist literature, particularly Eliot and Pound.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature



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Date Deposited:

08 Sep 2015 09:27

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2015 09:27



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