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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Inventions of the Text Seminar Series

Inventions of the Text complements our Research Seminar series. Inventions is organised by a team of postgraduate researchers, and combines papers by academics from Durham and beyond with presentations by PhD students. Seminars run roughly every couple of weeks during term time, with around eight or nine events a year. After each seminar, attendees are welcome to socialise with the speaker(s) over dinner. They are generally for University staff and students, although sometimes open to the public.

Forthcoming Inventions of the Text Seminars

William Blake's London and Eliot's Waste Land

18th May 2016, 17:30 to 18:45, Seminar Room, Hallgarth House, Professor Seamus Perry

An Inventions of the Text seminar.

There are many presences in The Waste Land, whose diverse importance has been drawn out by commentators: Shakespeare, Dante, Virgil, Baudelaire. Another voice behind the poem is that of the English Romantic poet William Blake, who, with Baudelaire, is Eliot's great precursor as the poet of the infernal city; but Blake's poetic identity as a Londoner makes him an especially significant figure. As well as that, Blake possessed for Eliot what he called, in a memorable essay written while The Waste Land was brewing, "the unpleasantness of great poetry". What did Eliot learn about the uses of unpleasantness from Blake?

Contact for more information about this event.

Past Inventions of the Text Seminars