High Modernism Revisited: Temur Kobakhidze’s T. S. Eliot and The Aesthetics of High Modernism



Prof. T. Kobakhidze’s recently published book T. S. Eliot and the Aesthetics of High
Modernism is written with enviable literary taste and scholarly brilliance. In his comprehensive
work, Prof. Kobakhidze places the discussion of T. S. Eliot’s individual works
in a broader context of high modernism. Within the extremely interesting time period,
described as “a highly variegated literary background, consisting of a lot of significant
and/or meager mini-movements united under the notion of ‘modernism’“ by Prof. Kobakhidzede,
he singles out T. Eliot as a major figure of Anglo-American literary modernism
and the author giving a lot of headache to literary scholars and critics. Above all
the author of the monograph fascinates us by his profound erudition and original vision
of the diverse aspects of T. S. Eliot’s writings in relation to high modernism. Discussing
various issues from multidisciplinary perspective, he emphasizes neo-mythologism, ‘reversion
to myth’/modernistic renaissance of myth or mythic experiment as one of the
dominant distinctive features of modernist literature; he also touches upon other important
aspects of high modernism, accentuating its aspirations to reevaluate European
cultural traditions. The book scrutinizes not only Eliot’s famous masterpieces but his
shorter and less known poems as well. It combines a broad research scope with deep
insights—a rare combination, indeed. It is a great piece of Eliot criticism, a must-read
for any serious Eliot scholar.