Other Events, deaths, births, of 04 Nov
On a 04 November:
1948 The Nobel Literature Prize announced for Eliot “for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry.”

Acceptance Speech.

T.S. Eliot wins Nobel Prize in literature, for his profound effect on the direction of modern poetry. T Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a long-established family. His grandfather had founded Washington University in St. Louis, his father was a businessman, and his mother was involved in local charities. Eliot took an undergraduate degree at Harvard, studied at the Sorbonne, returned to Harvard to learn Sanskrit, and then studied at Oxford. He became lifelong friends with fellow poet Ezra Pound and later moved permanently to England. In 1915, he married Vivian Haigh-Wood, but the marriage was unhappy, partly due to her mental instability. She died in an institution in 1947. Eliot began working at Lloyd's Bank in 1917, writing reviews and essays on the side. He founded a critical quarterly, Criterion, and quietly developed a new style of poetry. His first major work, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, was published in 1917 and hailed as the invention of a new kind of poetry. His long, fragmented images and use of blank verse influenced nearly all future poets, as did his masterpiece The Waste Land, published in Criterion and the American review Dial in 1922. While Eliot is best known for revolutionizing modern poetry, his literary criticism and plays were also successful. Eliot lectured in the United States frequently in the 1930s and 40s, a time when his own worldview was undergoing rapid change as he converted to Christianity. In 1957, he married his assistant, Valerie Fletcher. He died in 1965.

     In the impressive succession of Nobel Prize winners in Literature, T.S. Eliot marks a departure from the type of writer that has most frequently gained that distinction. The majority have been representatives of a literature which seeks its natural contacts in the public consciousness, and which, to attain this goal, avails itself of the media lying more or less ready at hand. This year's Prize winner has chosen to take another path. His career is remarkable in that, from an extremely exclusive and consciously isolated position, he has gradually come to exercise a very far-reaching influence. At the outset he appeared to address himself to but a small circle of initiates, but this circle slowly widened, without his appearing to will it himself Thus in Eliot's verse and prose there was quite a special accent, which compelled attention just in our own time, a capacity to cut into the consciousness of our generation with the sharpness of a diamond.
      In one of his essays Eliot himself has advanced, as a purely objective and quite uncategorical assumption, that poets in our present civilization have to be difficult to approach. «Our civilization», he says, «comprehends great variety and complexity, and this variety and complexity, playing upon a refined sensibility, must produce various and complex results. The poet must become more and more comprehensive, more allusive, more indirect, in order to force, to dislocate if necessary, language into his meaning.»
      Against the background of such a pronouncement, we may test his results and learn to understand the importance of his contribution. The effort is worth-while. Eliot first gained his reputation as the result of his magnificent experiment in poetry, The Waste Land, which appeared in 1922 and then seemed bewildering in several ways, due to its complicated symbolic language, its mosaic-like technique, and its apparatus of erudite allusion. It may be recalled that this work appeared in the same year as another pioneer work, which had a still more sensational effect on modern literature, the much discussed Ulysses, from the hand of an Irishman, James Joyce. The parallel is by no means fortuitous, for these products of the nineteen-twenties are closely akin to one another, in both spirit and mode of composition.
      The Waste Land - a title whose terrifying import no one can help feeling, when the difficult and masterly word-pattern has finally yielded up its secrets. The melancholy and sombre rhapsody aims at describing the aridity and impotence of modem civilization, in a series of sometimes realistic and sometimes mythological episodes, whose perspectives impinge on each other with an indescribable total effect. The cycle of poems consists of 436 lines, but actually it contains more than a packed novel of as many pages. The Waste Land now lies a quarter of a century back in time, but unfortunately it has proved that its catastrophic visions still have undiminished actuality in the shadow of the atomic age.
      Since then Eliot has passed on to a series of poetic creations of the same brilliant concentration, in pursuance of the agonized, salvation-seeking main theme. The horror vacui of modern man in a secularized world, without order, meaning, or beauty, here stands out with poignant sincerity. In his latest work, Four Quartets (1943), Eliot has arrived at a meditative music of words, with almost liturgical refrains and fine, exact expressions of his spiritual experiences. The transcendental superstructure rises ever clearer in his world picture. At the same time a manifest striving after a positive, guiding message emerges in his dramatic art, especially in the mighty historical play about Thomas of Canterbury, Murder in the Cathedral (1935), but also in The Family Reunion (1939), which is a bold attempt to combine such different conceptions as the Christian dogma of original sin and the classical Greek myths of fate, in an entirely modern environment, with the scene laid in a country house in northern England.
      The purely poetical part of Eliot's work is not quantitatively great, but as it now stands out against the horizon, it rises from the ocean like a rocky peak and indisputably forms a landmark, sometimes assuming the mystic contours of a cathedral. It is poetry impressed with the stamp of strict responsibility and extraordinary self-discipline, remote from all emotional clichés, concentrated entirely on essential things, stark, granitic, and unadorned, but from time to time illuminated by a sudden ray from the timeless space of miracles and revelations.
      Insight into Eliot must always present certain problems to be overcome, obstacles which are at the same time stimulating. It may appear to be contradictory to say that this radical pioneer of form, the initiator of a whole revolution in style within present-day poetry, is at the same time a coldly reasoning, logically subtle theorist, who never wearies of defending historical perspectives and the necessity of fixed norms for our existence. As early as the 1940's, he had become a convinced supporter of the Anglican Church in religion and of classicism in literature. In view of this philosophy of life, which implies a consistent return to ideals standardized by age, it might seem that his modernistic practice would dash with his traditional theory. But this is hardly the case. Rather, in his capacity as an author, he has uninterruptedly and with varying success worked to bridge this chasm, the existence of which he must be fully and perhaps painfully conscious.
      Eliot's earliest poetry, so convulsively disintegrated, so studiously aggressive in its whole technical form, can finally also be apprehended as a negative expression of a mentality which aims at higher and purer realities and must first free itsef of abhorrence and cynicism. In other words, his revolt is that of the Christian poet. It should also be observed in this connection that, on the whole, Eliot is careful not to magnify the power of poetry in relation to that of religion. In one place, where he wishes to point out what poetry can really accomplish for our inner life, he does so with great caution and reserve: «It may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.»
      Thus, if it can be said with some justification that Eliot's philosophical position is based on nothing but tradition, it ought nevertheless to be borne in mind that he constantly points out how generally that word has been misused in today's debates. The word «tradition» itself implies movement, something which cannot be static, something which is constantly handed on and assimilated. In the poetic tradition, too, this living principle prevails. The existing monuments of literature form an idealistic order, but this is slightly modified every time a new work is added to the series. Proportions and values are unceasingly changing. Just as the old directs the new, this in its turn directs the old, and the poet who realizes this must also realize the scope of his dilficulties and his responsibility.
      Externally, too, the now sixty-year-old Eliot has also returned to Europe, the ancient and storm-tossed, but still venerable, home of cultural traditions. Born an American, he comes from one of the Puritan families who emigrated from England at the end of the seventeenth century. His years of study as a young man at the Sorbonne, at Marburg, and at Oxford, clearly revealed to him that at bottom he felt akin to the historical milieu of the Old World, and since 1927 Mr. Eliot has been a British subject.
      It is not possible here to indicate more than the most immediate fascinating features in the complicated multiplicity of Eliot's characteristics as a writer. The predominating one is the high, philosophically schooled intelligence, which has succeeded in enlisting in its service both imagination and learning, both sensitivity and the analysis of ideas. His capacity for stimulating a reconsideration of pressing questions within intellectual and aesthetic opinion is also extraordinary, and however much the appraisement may vary, it can never be denied that in his period he has been an eminent poser of questions, with a masterly gift for finding the apt wording, both in the language of poetry and in the defence of ideas in essay form.
      Nor is it due only to chance that Eliot has written one of the finest studies of Dante's work and personality. In his bitter moral pathos, in his metaphysical line of thought, and in his burning longing for a world order inspired by religion, a civitas dei, Eliot has indeed certain points of contact with the great Florentine poet. It redounds to his honour that, amidst the varied conditions of his milieu, he can be justly characterized as one of Dante's latest-born successors. In his message we hear solemn echoes from other times, but that message does not by any means therefore become less real when it is given to our own time and to us who are now living.
      According to the diploma, the award is made chiefly in appreciation of Eliot's remarkable achievements as a pioneer within modern poetry. 25 years earlier, the award was made to another famous poet who wrote in the English tongue, William Butler Yeats. The honor now passes to Eliot as being a leader and a champion of a new period in the long history of the world's poetry.
Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in 1888 in St. Louis, Missouri, of an old New England family. He was educated at Harvard and did graduate work in philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and Merton College, Oxford. He settled in England, where he was for a time a schoolmaster and a bank clerk, and eventually literary editor for the publishing house Faber & Faber, of which he later became a director. He founded and, during the seventeen years of its publication (1922-1939), edited the exclusive and influential literary journal Criterion. In 1927, Eliot became a British citizen and about the same time entered the Anglican Church.
      Eliot has been one of the most daring innovators of twentieth-century poetry. Never compromising either with the public or indeed with language itself, he has followed his belief that poetry should aim at a representation of the complexities of modern civilization in language and that such representation necessarily leads to difficult poetry. Despite this difficulty his influence on modern poetic diction has been immense. Eliot's poetry from Prufrock (1917) to the Four Quartets (1943) reflects the development of a Christian writer: the early work, especially The Waste Land (1922), is essentially negative, the expression of that horror from which the search for a higher world arises. In Ash Wednesday (1930) and the Four Quartets this higher world becomes more visible; nonetheless Eliot has always taken care not to become a «religious poet». and often belittled the power of poetry as a religious force. However, his dramas Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Family Reunion (1939) are more openly Christian apologies. In his essays, especially the later ones, Eliot advocates a traditionalism in religion, society, and literature that seems at odds with his pioneer activity as a poet. But although the Eliot of Notes towards the Definition of Culture (1948) is an older man than the poet of The Waste Land, it should not be forgotten that for Eliot tradition is a living organism comprising past and present in constant mutual interaction. Eliot's plays Murder in the Cathedral (1935), The Family Reunion (1939), The Cocktail Party (1949), The Confidential Clerk (1954), and TheElderStatesman(1959) were published in one volume in 1962; Collected Poems 1909-62 appeared in 1963.
     T. S. Eliot died in 1965.
Nobel Death of a 04 November:      ^top^
1995 Assassination of a 1994 Nobel Peace laureate,
     In 1994 The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Yasir Arafat, for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East.
      For several decades, the conflict between Israel and its neighbour states, and between Israelis and Palestinians, had been among the most irreconcilable and menacing in international politics. The parties had caused each other great suffering. By concluding the Oslo Accords, and subsequently following them up, Arafat, Peres and Rabin have made substantial contributions to a historic process through which peace and cooperation can replace war and hate.
      In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel wrote that the Peace Prize could be awarded to the person who, in the preceding year, "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations". The award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 1994 to Arafat, Peres and Rabin was intended by the Norwegian Nobel Committee to honour a political act which called for great courage on both sides, and which opened up opportunities for a new development towards fraternity in the Middle East. It was the Committee's hope that the award will serve as an encouragement to all the Israelis and Palestinians who are endeavouring to establish lasting peace in the region.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be Blest.
The soul, uneasy, and confin'd from home,
Rest and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk or milky way;
Yet simple Nature to his hope has giv'n,
Behind the cloud-topp'd hill, an humbler heav'n.
— Alexander Pope (An Essay on Man)
1995 Yitzhak Rabin, 73, assassinated by a Jewish extremist.
     He was an Israeli statesman and soldier who, as prime minister of Israel (1974-77, 1992-95), led his country toward peace with its Palestinian and Arab neighbors. He was chief of staff of Israel's armed forces during the Six-Day War (June 1967). Along with Shimon Peres, his foreign minister, and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman Yasir 'Arafat, Rabin received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1994 for the Israel-PLO accords of September 1993.
     Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is fatally shot minutes after attending a peace rally held in Tel Aviv's Kings Square in Israel. Rabin later dies in surgery at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. The seventy-three-year-old prime minister was walking to his car when he was shot in the arm and the back by Yigal Amir, a twenty-seven-year-old Jewish law student who had connections to the far-right group Jewish group Eyal. Israeli police arrested Amir at the scene of the shooting, and he later confessed to the assassination, explaining at his arraignment that he killed Rabin because Rabin wanted "to give our country to the Arabs." Born in Jerusalem, Rabin fought in the Israeli War for Independence and served as chief-of-staff of the armed forces during the Six-Day War. After serving as Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Rabin entered the Labor Party and became prime minister in 1974. As prime minister, with American mediation, he conducted the negotiations that resulted in the 1975 interim agreement between Israel and Egypt. In 1977, Rabin resigned as prime minister over a scandal involving accounts held in the U.S., but from 1984 to 1990 served as Israeli Defense Minister. In 1992, Yitzhak Rabin led the Labor Party to election victory and became Israel's prime minister again. In 1993, he signed the Israel-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, and in 1994 an historic peace agreement with the Palestinians. Rabin shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize along with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres.     

     Yitzhak Rabin, was born in Jerusalem in 1922; he studied at the Kadoorie Agricultural College where he graduated with distinction.
     His military career began in 1940 when he joined the "Palmach", the elite unit of the Haganah. During the War of Independence (1948-1949), he commanded the Harel Brigade, deployed on the Jerusalem front. For the next 20 years, he served with the IDF as O.C. Northern Command (1956-1959); as Chief of Operations and Deputy Chief of Staff (1959-1964) and as Chief of Staff (1964-1968), commanding the IDF during the Six-Day War.
     On 01 January 1968, he retired from military service and shortly afterwards was appointed ambassador to the United States. During his years as ambassador in Washington, he promoted and consolidated the ties between the two countries.
     In the spring of 1973, Rabin returned to Israel and became active in the Labour Party. He was elected Member of the Knesset in December 1973 and when Golda Meir formed her government in April 1974, was appointed Minister of Labour.
     On 02 June 1974, the Knesset expressed confidence in a new government headed by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
     During Rabin's premiership, the government placed special emphasis on strengthening the economy, solving social problems and reinforcing the IDF.
     With American mediation, disengagement agreements were signed with Egypt and Syria (1974), followed by an interim agreement with Egypt in 1975. Later in 1975, the first Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the governments of Israel and the United States.
     In June 1976, Rabin's government issued the order for "Operation Entebbe", liberating the hijacked Air France passengers.
     Following the May 1977 elections, and until the formation of the National Unity Government in September 1984, Rabin served as a Knesset Member of the Labour Party in opposition and was a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
     In the National Unity Governments (1984-1990), Rabin served as Minister of Defense. In January 1985, he presented the proposal for the withdrawal of IDF forces from Lebanon and the establishment of a security zone to guarantee peace to the settlements along Israel's northern border.
     Yitzhak Rabin was elected chairman of the Israel Labour Party in its first nationwide primaries conducted in February 1992 and led the party to victory in the June 1992 Knesset elections.
     In July 1992, Rabin formed Israel's 25th government and became its 11th Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, and acting Minister of Religious Affairs and Labour and Social Affairs.
     Rabin's biographical book, Service Notebook, was published in 1979 and was translated into English and French.
     His book on Lebanon, written after Operation "Peace for Galilee", was published in 1983.

annex to
updated 011104 16:09 UT
safe site
site safe for children safe site