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"No artist tolerates reality" – Nietzsche. To what extend is this true in the work of Yeats and Eliot?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Modernism as a movement which aimed to reject the nineteenth century traditions.
  3. The work of Yeats and Eliot.
  4. The reasons why they had to accept reality.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

"No artist tolerates reality", as far as this quotation of Nietzsche is concerned, it is true that artists ? and therefore writers ? cannot tolerate reality, and that is the reason why they often aim at changing this reality through their art, and in the case of writers, through their written work. That is also why every literary movement has been created in reaction to a previous movement or as a rejection of the context of this time. Nevertheless, even though they have been doing this since art exists, artists cannot get along without reality neither, for they are inevitably living in it. Artists are using art and artistic creation to express a rejection of reality, but in order to do so they necessarily have to consider what reality is and what it lacks which makes them unable to tolerate it.

[...] Moreover, it is important to notice that when Eliot wrote Wasteland, he was in a period of personal difficulties and the apparent disillusionment present all along the poem which can also be seen as a reaction of the post-war generation conveys this state. This is the evidence that the two Modernist poets could not tolerate the world in which they were living, that they needed a new and better place to live and art and poetry were the only possible ways to create this world. [...]


[...] What is to bear in mind is that, consequently, the role of artists is to improve this reality and thus to improve the future, thanks to their talent and their art. And that is exactly what Yeats did when he decided to establish the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1904 in order to spread culture and art in people's everyday life. Bibliography Smith, Stan. The origins of modernism: Eliot, Pound, Yeats and the rhetorics of renewal. New York; London: Harvester Wheatsheaf Stead, Christian Karlson. [...]

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