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The Refining Fire

Herakles and Other Heroes in T.S. Eliot's Works

Series:

Laura Elizabeth Niesen de Abruna

This book is a study of the patterns of meaning by which T.S. Eliot attempted to create culturally significant characters (Greek heroes and modern «saints») who find some transcendent meaning that liberates the isolated self and refuses to accept chaos as the answer to the modernists' loss of faith. Eliot's poetry is deeply influenced by the Greek concept of arete - those human «excellences» of character and body (physical courage, endurance, and energy) related to the aristocratic agathoi of ancient Greece, especially in the Herakles myth - that continues to be a powerful influence on postmodern culture.
Contents: This book examines the religious and cultural meaning that modernist poet T.S. Eliot found in the Herakles myth and in other modern «saints» and martyrs.