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A MYTH OF CATASTROPHE

on Third Programme

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First of two talks by Frank Kermode
The seventeenth-century ' dissociation of sensibility ... from which we have never recovered' (in T. S. Eliot 's very successful formulation) should be seen, Mr. Kermode suggests, as a local variant of the doctrine of the Renaissance as a great spiritual disaster. * The myth of catastrophe,' he argues, 'was imposed upon English literature, not after a dispassionate survey of the facts, but in order to satisfy certain needs that became urgent in the nineteenth century.' In his first talk he considers the myth itself, in the second the needs it was invented to satisfy.

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Frank Kermode
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T. S. Eliot

Third Programme

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