T. S. Eliot edited The Criterion from October 1922 to January 1939, when he closed it down, telling his readers that “a feeling of staleness has crept over me.” The fifth volume of the Letters is almost entirely a record of his day-to-day efforts to keep volumes IX and X of The Criterion going as a vehicle of European thought, not merely of English thought. But it never became European, despite his persistent efforts: he was not sufficiently in touch with European writers. As late as March 28, 1931, he wrote to Stephen Spender:

There is a philosopher named Martin Heidegger—a disciple of the great Husserl, who really is good, I think, though far from lucid—whom I have been agonizing over.

He admired Jacques Maritain, Ramón Fernández, Rémy de Gourmont, and E. R. Curtius, but those four...


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