Between Positivism and T.S. Eliot
Several critics have been intrigued by the gap between late Victorian poetry and the more 'modern' poetry of the 1920s. This book fills in the gap and analyzes one school of poetry and criticism, written in the first decade of the 20th century until the end of the First World War. To many readers and critics, T.E. Hulme and the Imagists represent little more than a footnote. But they were more than mere stepping-stones in the transition. Besides being experimenting poets, most of them were acute critics of art and literature, and they made the poetic picture the focus of their attention. They were opposed not only to the monopoly of science - which claimed to be able to decide what truth and reality really were - but also opposed to the predictability and insipidity of much of the poetry of the late Tennyson and his successors. Behind the discussions and experiments lay the great questions "What is reality?" "What are its characteristics?" "How can we describe it?" "Can we ever get to an understanding of it?" Hulme and the Imagists deserve to be taken seriously because of their untiring efforts, and because they contributed to bringing about the reorientation that took place within the poetical and critical traditions.
Publication Date: 4/1/2008