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Bergsonian Memory and Simultaneity in the Poetry of T. S. Eliot and César Vallejo

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Publication details

JournalForum for Modern Language Studies
DateE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jan 2016
DatePublished (current) - Jan 2016
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)43-55
Early online date27/01/16
Original languageEnglish


This paper brings together the poetry of authors T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) and César Vallejo (1892–1938), comparing and contrasting their perceptions of time as simultaneity, following the philosophy of Henri Bergson (1859–1941). Simultaneity is for both poets a way of reconnecting with the past, and making the present a more endurable experience. This paper looks specifically at Vallejo's ‘A mi hermano Miguel’, Trilce VI, LXI, LXIV, LXV and ‘Fue domingo en las claras orejas de mi burro …’, and at Eliot's ‘Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar’, The Waste Land and Four Quartets (‘Burnt Norton’, ‘The Dry Salvages’), arguing how it is possible to discern in both authors a use of time which is a union of past, present and future, allowing both Vallejo and Eliot to reconnect with a past irremediably lost and perpetually sought.

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