The Tradition Of The New By T. S. Eliot: Literary Analysis

765 Words 4 Pages
“The famous ‘modern break with tradition’ has lasted long enough to have produced its own tradition” (Rosenberg 9). Harold Rosenberg, in his famous essay, “The Tradition of the New” (1960), brings up a fundamental aspect about artistic innovations—they eventually become part of the system they disrupted. A variation on this theme is found in one of T.S. Eliot’s most influential texts—“Tradition and Individual Talent” (1917). For Eliot, tradition is not inherited; it is produced within a network of world literature regulated by and circulated through national, and even regional, traditions. In this section, I contend that Eliot’s critical work on tradition, dealing as it does with individuals and their relations to larger literary systems, can be productively recast as an early conjecture on world literature. Scattered throughout his essays, Eliot leaves traces of a rather complete argument concerning the overall shape and form of global literature; he divides world literary space into separate systems and the process opens up current trends in world literature by asking us to consider alternative overlapping mappings. By allowing for different traditions to be the basis for multiple world literary systems, Eliot’s conjecture challenges the dominant view of a single literary system. For example, Moretti constructs a literary system that is “One, and unequal: one literature (Weltliterature, singular, as in Goethe and Marx), or perhaps, better, one world literary system (of inter-related literatures); but a system…[that is] profoundly unequal” (“Conjectures” 46). Correspondingly, Casanova posits the existence of an international literary space dominated by Paris. Another …show more content…
Before turning to this mechanism, it is useful to begin with a rough outline of his model. Eliot’s most concise statement occurs in “The Function of Criticism”

Related Documents