As Eliot's first collection of essays, The Sacred Wood
themes itself in the realm of literary tradition. Surrounded by a host of poets, readers and artists, Eliot maintains it is the individual's work to clothe himself in this collective knowledge and create in accordance with it as part of a community much larger than himself. Literature is whole in its capacity to house both the temporal and the timeless, allowing the past to exist eternally in the present. We might call it a co-creation in which it is not preposterous ''that the past should be altered by the present as much as it is directed by the past.'' Strong words, but well worth the time it might take to digest and incorporate them. We highly recommend.
An Eighth Day View:
With the 1920 publication of his first collection of essays, "The Sacred Wood, " Eliot established himself as an authoritative and influential literary critic. These insightful meditations on poetry, drama, and literary criticism include observations on the works of Dante, Shakespeare, Blake, and other authors. Plus 4 essays from "The Times Literary Supplement."