Though he was born in St. Louis, Missouri and attended Harvard University, at the age of 26, Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888–1965) emigrated to England, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. Influenced equally by his formative years in the New World and his experiences in London during and after World War I, Eliot strove to reconcile a variety of conflicting ideas while trapped in an unhappy marriage—a struggle that gave rise to some of the greatest poems of the 20th century.
In Simply Eliot, Joseph Maddrey plumbs the emotional and intellectual life of the man whom critic Edmund Wilson called "one of our only authentic poets.” Taking The Waste Land (written in the aftermath of World War I) and Four Quartets (published 1936–1942) as reference points, Maddrey chronicles Eliot's attempts to create a coherent worldview, and explores how his religious conversion in 1927 led to a spiritual rebirth that allowed him to produce his ultimate poetic statement.
Making use of previously unavailable materials, including over 5,000 personal letters, Maddrey offers an intimate and incisive portrait of Eliot, and illustrates his continued relevance as both a Romantic and Classical poet, as well as a religious and spiritual thinker.
Born and raised in a small town in Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) began his career in philology (the study of language), and served as a professor at the University of Basel. In 1879, he was forced to leave due to health issues, which afflicted him throughout his life. Supported by his university pension and aided by friends, he spent the next decade as an independent author, writing the books for which he would become famous, including Thus Spake Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, and On the Genealogy of Morals. In 1889, at the age of 44, Nietzsche had a mental breakdown from which he never recovered, dying in 1900. Yet in just ten years, he produced a body of work that would mark him as one of the most influential philosophers of all time.
In Simply Nietzsche, Professor Peter Kail traces the development of Nietzsche’s thought through the various phases of his life. Emphasizing the philosopher’s critique of modern morality and his revolutionary conception of the self, he also discusses key motifs of Nietzsche’s thought, such as the death of God, the will to power and the eternal recurrence.
Even those who have never read Nietzsche or are unsure of why he’s important have heard his name. With Prof. Kail as a guide, Simply Nietzsche provides an unparalleled and accessible introduction to the life and ideas of this most remarkable thinker.