Poetic Soundings: Aesthetic Correlation in the Work of T.S. Eliot and Igor Stravinsky

T.S. Eliot and Igor Stravinsky are often mentioned in tandem, not only for their equivalent standing in the arts, but for perceived similarities in both their work and philosophy. Often cited as exemplars of Modernism in their respective media, they are celebrated for their respective engagements with aesthetic discourses such as cubism, neoclassicism and primitivism (Gordon 22; Waugh; Poplawski 407; Stayer 314). These connections have been noted from at least the early 1920s (Bell 94), and comparisons of each to cubism can be traced back even further (Gordon 22 and Waugh). Each artist in turn has also reflected and commented on the work of the other, drawing explicit attention to their perceived similarities (Stravinsky, Dialogues and a Diary 30; Eliot, The Waste Land· Norton Critical Edition 131-33). The two eventually met in New York in December 1956 and remained regular correspondents until Eliot's death in 1965 (see appendices to Vera Stravinsky and Craft). This mutual engagement adds weight to any parallels one may find in their respective work, creating a complex aesthetic and personal relationship which has inspired much discussion from both literary and musicological standpoints.

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Published 1 June 2014 in Volume 29 No. 1-2. Subjects: Eliot, T.S., Interdisciplinary studies, Music, Stravinski, Igor.

Cite as: McCormick, Cameron. ‘Poetic Soundings: Aesthetic Correlation in the Work of T.S. Eliot and Igor Stravinsky.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 29, no. 1-2, 2014. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.a848082a37.