I am taking a leave of absence from this blog for the next few weeks while I do some traveling. From June 27 to July 5, I’ll be taking part in the 1st T.S. Eliot International Summer School in London, organized by Professor Ronald Schuchard “to provide research training for the new generation of Eliot scholars.”
Schuchard is the author of Eliot’s Dark Angel (Oxford UP, 2001), one of my favorite studies of the poet. He concluded that book with an impassioned call for 21st century critical editions of Eliot's work, predicting that “we are at the threshold of a new textual age for organizing and presenting Eliot’s texts.” His words now seem prophetic. Four major publications, guaranteed to revolutionize the study of one of the 20th century’s most influential literary figures, are currently in progress:
1. A revised edition of The Letters of T.S. Eliot, Vol. 1 (1910 – 1922) is being prepared for release in the fall. Two additional volumes of letters, covering the years 1922 – 1928, are also expected within the next year.
2. A two-volume critical edition of Eliot’s Complete Poems is scheduled for release in 2012.
3. A two-volume critical edition of Eliot’s Complete Plays is scheduled for 2014.
4. A seven-volume edition of Eliot’s Complete Prose (including countless uncollected essays and articles) is in the works and the first two volumes are expected in 2012.
There has also been some new activity on the audio books front. Ralph Fiennes recently recorded a reading of Eliot's masterpiece Four Quartets, which should be available in July. In short, it is a very exciting time to be an Eliot enthusiast and I'm sure that there's more news on the horizon.
For now, let me point you toward a book review I just wrote for the latest issue of the e-journal The Modest Proposal (which I’m told will be published any day now) and leave you with the promise of some BIG upcoming news about my Nightmares in Red, White and Blue documentary.