Thursday, January 28, 2016

A fresh look …

… A Different T.S. Eliot by Edward Mendelson | The New York Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In 1934, Eliot separated from Vivien; she had become increasingly unbalanced, and in 1938 was confined by her brother to an asylum where she died in 1947. (Despite rumors to the contrary, Eliot took no part in the commitment procedure.) After the separation, Eliot continued his normal working life as a director at the publishing firm of Faber & Faber while privately withdrawing into penitent asceticism. At 6:30 every morning he knelt on the stone floor of a local church. In the flat he shared with his bibliophile friend John Hayward, the brightly painted rooms at the front were Hayward’s, while Eliot took the dark rooms at the back. His bedroom was lit with one bare bulb, and an ebony crucifix hung on the wall above his bed.

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