Students attend literary conference named after Old Persean
Members of the F.R. Leavis Society were honoured to be invited to a conference at Downing College, Cambridge, entitled ‘Leavis and Eliot as Literary and Cultural Critics’, organised by the official F.R. Leavis Society in conjunction with the T.S. Eliot Society (UK).
The group enjoyed a day of stimulating and thought provoking lectures including Professor Davis Ellis on ‘Eliot’s Modernism’, Professor Paul Standish on ‘Absolute pitch and exquisite rightness of tone’, Jim McCue on the process of editing Eliot’s complete poems with Professor Christopher Ricks, and Professor Michael Aeschliman on ‘Leavis, Lewis and Eliot’.
The students were also fortunate enough to hear the only surviving recording of Leavis reading excerpts from Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’, and see the highly anticipated first ever complete works of Eliot’s poetry. Our students took every opportunity to engage in the cut and thrust of literary debate. Dominic in the U6 even posed a question to the editor of Eliot’s poems in front of the assembly which provoked further discussion of Eliot’s ironical aims and intentions.
We look forward to developing our collaboration with the F.R. Leavis Society in future, especially given the fact that F.R. Leavis is one of the most celebrated Old Perseans in the School’s 400 year history.