25 Mar 2021

A lecture by Boris Aronstein: “Thomas Stearns Eliot: genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood”

On March 19, founder and president of TechInput Group of Companies, visiting professor at the Moscow State University, the National Research University Higher School of Economics and the New Economic School, as well as several US universities, publisher of a number of bilingual US magazines, and literary translator Boris Aronshtein met with the readership of the Margarita Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature where he gave a lecture titled: “Thomas Stearns Eliot: genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood”.

Thomas Eliot is regarded as one of the most important modernist poets of his time.  The content and style of his poetical works feature a combination of modernistic elements manifested in the poetry of the time. Indeed, modernism at the time of T.S. Eliot was viewed as “a rejection of traditional 19th-century norms, whereby artists, architects, poets and thinkers either altered or abandoned earlier conventions in an attempt to re-envision a society in flux.” Modernism was also mainly represented by orientation towards fragmentation, free verse (allowing for an even greater freedom than the vers libre in the Russian language), contradictory allusions and multiple points of view different from the Victorian or Romantic writing.

T.S. Eliot was an avant-gardist and a revolutionary in poetry. He changed the way poetry in English is written and re-set the paradigm for literary criticism; his critical essays set the stage for the modern English literature. He is the most important figure in twentieth-century English-language literary culture, a position he achieved with a relatively small amount of writing produced in a relatively brief amount of time and in relatively dire circumstances.

One of T.S. Eliot’s quotes is: Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. His own art is the best proof of those words of wisdom.

“Each T.S. Eliot’s piece progresses towards its goal “taking a different tack”, and each of his poetical works is yet another change of tack used to expose its sensuous form on the way to the hidden sense of being,” Boris Aronstein says about the poet.

Margarita Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature is a federal library specializing in literature in foreign languages. Back in 1921, it was started as a Neophilologica library. Presently, the library a unique collection of foreign literature, which includes books and periodical literature in over 140 languages of the world.

A lecture by Boris Aronstein: “Thomas Stearns Eliot: genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood”