T.S.Eliot's wasted wit

October 20, 1995

Roy Harris must try to be less flat-footed about T. S. Eliot (THES, October 13). The lines about St Mary Woolnoth keeping the hours "With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine" offer a wry comment on the rigours of office hours in the city of London.

Eliot's footnote "A phenomenon which I have often noticed" is thus far from being "portentously unexciting". The bleak irony of its glance at personal experience attempts, suddenly and savagely, to probe a particular dimension of the poem's sense of "waste".

We used to call this sort of thing "wit".

Terence Hawkes Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory University of Wales College of Cardiff

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns