Tag: T.S.Eliot

Gatsby Was First Published in 1925. So What Else Was Going on?

On April 10th, 1925, Scribner published a short novel by popular author F. Scott Fitzgerald which didn’t sell many copies or receive positive reviews. Today, The Great Gatsby is one of the most widely taught works of fiction in the United States.  Safe to say, the publishing climate in the 1920s was about as unpredictable as international conflict at the time — so what other bookish things were happening in 1925?

 

1. the Argosy Book store opened

 

 

New York City’s oldest independent bookstore, Argosy Book Store, opened for the first time in 1925, although it later moved from 114 East 59th Street to 116 East 59th Street. This famous bookstore still sells rare, used, and new books to customers in its elegant townhouse setting — until 6 p.m. most evenings, anyway.

 

2. American ya author robert cormier was born

 

 

Although he didn’t write his first novel until he was thirty-five , I Am the Cheese and The Chocolate War author Robert Cormier was born on January 17th, 1925, in Massachusetts. His books, later adapted into award-winning films, continues to receive flack today for its violent depictions of mental illness and abuse.

 

3. the new yorker published its first issue

 

The New Yorker magazine, a cultural vanguard for New York City and modern culture, published its first issue on February 21st, 1925 — and has hardly stopped releasing world-famous covers, cartoons, and commentary since then.

 

4. Flannery O’connor died

 

 

On March 25th, approximately a month before the publication of a book that would change the world, literature lost a legend when short-story writer and proponent of the Southern Gothic literary style Flannery O’Connor died from lupus at the age of thirty-nine.

5. T.s. eliot published the hollow men

 

 

20th Century poet T.S. Eliot officially published his haunting tribute to post-war Europe, “The Hollow Men,” on November 23rd, 1925, though there are many borrowed lines from some of Eliot’s previous works.

 

Featured Image Via Argosy Book Store.

 

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New Edition of T.S. Eliot Poetry Explores Poet’s Sexuality

To many, sexuality is a matter of privacy. To T.S. Eliot, his sexuality was a source of inspiration and a common theme in his poetry. A new edition of T.S. Eliot poetry reveals that his sex life, contrary to common popular opinion,  wasn’t completely bleak. Eliot’s previously published work portrays his sex life as broken and depressing, in part due to his troubled first marriage to Vivienne Haigh-Wood, as well as a few failed trysts. His negative feelings on sexuality, as expressed through his writing, also served as a symbol of his distaste for modern society. Louis Menand of The New Yorker once said that, “the sex in Eliot’s poetry is almost always bad sex, either libidinally limp or morally vicious.”

However, newly published T.S. Eliot poems show a different side of his sexuality.  An expanded edition of Eliot’s poetry, featuring poems written to his beloved second, rather tall wife, Valerie, “reveals the more assured side of the modernist master,” says The Guardian. Valerie was nearly thirty years younger than Eliot, who, knowing he would die long before his young wife, gave her a notebook with poems written specially for her to hold onto after his passing. These erotic poems, with titles including “How the Tall Girl’s Breasts Are,” and “How the Tall Girl and I Play Together,” show a happier, more satisfied man.

Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/1VqFLL1

Although Eliot was open and often sexually explicit in his work, these poems were apparently meant to be private. After Valerie’s death, editors Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue decided to publish them.  If you are looking to read these previously unseen poems, look for the newest edition of T.S. Eliot’s collected poems coming this November.  

Featured image courtesy of http://bit.ly/1hf0KO6.