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Ascending the Prufrockian Stair

Studies in a Dissociated Sensibility


Robert F. Fleissner

If «nearly every important innovation in the English verse of the last thirty years is implicit» in Prufrock, as has recently been said, an in-depth study of this monologue is now warranted. The present collection comprises various key approaches: onomastic, typological, genetic, and aesthetic. The common theme tying them together is the speaker's split self, his «dissociated sensibility.» Special attention is paid to possible biographical connections and the poem's light-hearted humor. The richness of the sources (among them Shakespeare, Dickens, Pater, Conrad, and Conan Doyle) is stressed.
Contents: The first full-scale scholarly volume devoted to T.S. Eliot's most anthologized poem, it stresses onomastic, genetic, typological, and aesthetic approaches (including humor).