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T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot: The Making of a Man

In 1925, Eliot finally left Lloyds and took a job as an editor at the publishing house Faber & Faber. He spent the rest of his career at Faber and liked the job very much, though he cautioned young writers to avoid such work early in their careers. "You have to look at so much inferior stuff all the time that, like a teataster, or a chocolate-maker, you may lose your appetite for literature altogether,"11 he said in an interview, noting that at his advanced age—39—his "poetic personality" was already formed. Eliot also wrote the poem "The Hollow Men" in 1925, another take on the spiritual vacancy of the post-war generation, which ended with the much-quoted lines: "This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang but a whimper."

In 1927, having lived in England for thirteen years, Eliot became a British subject and joined the Anglican Church. He spoke lightly of his decision, saying, "In the end I thought: 'Here I am, making a living, enjoying my friends here. I don't like being a squatter. I might as well take the full responsibility.'"12 Despite his recent commitment to England, Eliot accepted a yearlong teaching fellowship at Harvard in 1932, and quickly became a popular lecturer. This time gave Eliot a break from his failing marriage with Vivienne and, upon returning home the following year, he decided to separate from her legally. She was soon committed to a mental institution. Though the couple remained legally married, they saw each other only once between the separation and her death in 1947.

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