T. S. Eliot’s Voice: A Cultural History
MIcaković, Elizabeth Joan
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
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This thesis is a diachronic account of T. S. Eliot’s speaking voice, which, over fifty years, developed into the meticulously crafted tool of the twentieth-century author and critic and the politically and socially powerful instrument of the public intellectual. Eliot’s voice, although certainly the offspring of the nineteenth-century marriage of authorship as a bona fide profession and oral performance, was, however, unique in its responsiveness to twentieth-century legal and political debates on national identity and stability, copyright, and the powerful potential of recording technologies to both disseminate an author’s words almost exponentially whilst simultaneously encroaching on the traditional material of authorship: print. Indeed, what underpins this thesis is the argument that he was both fascinated by and actively involved in shaping those very discourses on the authority of the spoken voice in the belief that the power of the spoken word, and ultimately of his own voice, held an unrivalled ability to impact on social behaviour and national stability.
Arts and Humanities Research Council
Salisbury, Dr. Laura
Gill, Dr. Jo