Jewel Spears Brooker

Quick Links

Selected Works

T. S. Eliot's Dialectical Imagination
What accounts for the striking differences in T. S. Eliot's early, middle, and late masterpieces - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," The Waste Land, and Four Quartets? Both in the development of his oeuvre and in the structure of individual poems, the common thread is a dialectical pattern of return - that is, of moving beyond opposites by looping back, a pattern articulated in his student work in philosophy in 1914 and in his last major poem. "We shall not cease from exploration/And the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time" (Little Gidding V). The differences in content are evident in his movement from the existential to the cultural to the philosophical, and in style, from internal debate to juxtaposed fragments to meditation. A similar triadic dialectical pattern is evident in the exilic imagination that informs individual poems

Approaches to Teaching Eliot's Poetry and Plays
Essays by university professors on their approaches to teaching various works by Eliot. Review of Scholarly Resources. List of musical adaptations and of Eliot's work in popular culture.

T. S. Eliot: Apprentice Years 1905-1918. Co-editor Ronald Schuchard.
The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition, vol. 1.


Mastery and Escape: T. S. Eliot and the Dialectic of Modernism
Brooker argues that modernism is characterized by a pattern of "mastery and escape," a play of opposites that moves forward by looping back, securing the future by redeeming the past. She explores the dialectical imagination in history, philosophy, psychology, and in Eliotís major poems, including "The Waste Land" and "Four Quartets."

Reading The Waste Land: Modernism and the Limits of Interpretation. Co-author, Joseph Bentley.
This subtle book is an incisive part-by-part analysis of a literary landmark, Eliotís "The Waste Land" (1922), and a meditation on the nature of reading. Bringing cultural contexts and Eliotís philosophical studies to bear, Brooker and Bentley clarify the way in which modernist texts both insist upon and defeat interpretation.

T. S. Eliot: The Contemporary Reviews
Most comprehensive gathering of contemporary reviews (American and British) of T. S. Eliotís volumes of poetry, criticism, and plays. A historical overview by the editor, Jewel Spears Brooker, on major themes of the reviews and their broader influence. Checklists of reviews located but not included in volume.

SELECTED WORKS

Literary Criticism
A new reading of Eliot's poetry and prose based on previously unavailable archival material. Focus: the dialectical shape of T. S. Eliot's imagination, in which awareness of opposites results in a move to a third term that contains and transcends both.
This book examines modernism as cultural and literary phenomenon, with focus on T. S. Eliot.
A highly readable and richly detailed reading of T. S. Eliotís "The Waste Land"
Eliot Editions
Contains all surviving prose composed between the ages of 16 and 30. Scrupulously edited and critically annotated.
American Critical Archives . Comprehensive gathering of American and British responses to Eliot's work as it appeared.