Guardians of the Humanist Legacy: The Classicism of T.S. Eliot's Criterion Network and its Relevance to our Postmodern World
In recent scholarly work, T.S. Eliot has usually been associated with cultural elitism and political conservatism, or even with proto-fascism and anti-Semitism. This book proposes a different view. During the Interbellum, Eliot and his review The Criterion were part of an international network of intellectuals that shared an open-minded Europeanness. Authors like T. Mann, Benda, Ortega y Gasset, Curtius and Hofmannsthal emphasized their common European roots and shared cultural legacy. Their 'classicism' stands in the European tradition of humanism and has remained highly relevant. Classicist ideas about literature, education and human culture in general continue to inspire contemporary humanist thinkers, as the second part of this book demonstrates by discussing the work of Ferry, Todorov, Steiner, Scruton, Toulmin and others.