Departmental Bulletin Paper James Thomson (B. V.) とT. S. Eliot─都市のイメージ─(高成廈教授・寺木伸明教授 退任記念号)
James Thomson (B.V.) and T.S. Eliot: The Image of the City(Special Issue Dedicated to Professor KO Sung-Ha,Professor TERAKI Nobuaki)

日下, 隆平

The Victorian-era Scottish poet James Thomson (1834-1882), who wrote under the pseudonym "B.V.", is best known for his long poem The City of Dreadful Night. Although the poem had the power to attract readers, it was full of pessimistic and uncanny elements. When the first half of the poem was published in the National Reformer in 1874, such dominant literary figures as William Michael Rossetti and George Eliot expressed their admiration, but the remainder of the poem failed to appear because of its being "so alien from common thought and feeling" (Thomson). The evaluation of a poet might be said to depend on how much space is devoted to his/ her poems by The Oxford Book of English Verse. While Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch selected only four of Thomson's short poems for the 1900 edition, in 1972 Helen Gardner chose to include every line of "Proem", along with parts of "Section 1" of The City of Dreadful Night. Such editorial decisions indicate that the poem had come to be esteemed much more highly than before. T. S. Eliot played an important role in this change of evaluation. This paper deals primarily with the echoes of Thomson's work in The Waste Land and "Rhapsody on a Windy Night." Eliot read Thomson's poems during his formative years between the ages of 16 and 20, along with the works of another Scottish poet, John Davidson. Thomson drew parallels between Dante's Inferno and The City of Dreadful Night by quoting the inscription over the gate of Dante's Hell as the poem's Epigraph. In addition, the city as image which Thomson used in the poem inspired Eliot to write both The Waste Land and "Rhapsody on a Windy Night." In part 1, the changing evaluation of The City of Dreadful Night is discussed, followed by the Epigraph and "Proem" (part 2), the image of the City in "Section 1" (part 3), and the synopsis of The City of Dreadful Night (part 4), and Surreal City and Unreal City (part 5).

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