Jana Millar Usiskin is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Victoria. Her dissertation examines the intersections between modernist aesthetics and information theory.
Jana Millar Usiskin
In T. S. Eliot’s famous model for artists and their creations delineated in “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” all the works of art throughout history exist as monuments that “form an ideal order among themselves.” Although this arrangement can be “altered” slightly, Eliot stresses the “conformity between the old and the new” (“Tradition,” 15). Eliot’s conservative canon preserves an existing binary order—authors are major or minor; works are canonical or noncanonical—and leaves little room for major upheaval or disruption. However, most modernist authors saw their projects as less static and more expansive than Eliot’s metaphor would indicate.