Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Comparative Literature


Elias Polizoes


In this thesis I consider what T.S. Eliot has called a “peculiar affinity” between the twentieth century and the seventeenth. I do so first by establishing what may be called a baroque sensibility and then analyzing the ways in which this sensibility is present in modernist texts by Luigi Pirandello, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, T.S. Eliot, and Carlo Emilio Gadda. Using theoretical writing by Walter Benjamin and Georg Lukács, I develop the idea of a baroque sensibility, which is characterized by the separation of immanence and transcendence, by way of a consideration of allegory and melancholia. After a comparative discussion of the ways in which the above writers adopt and adapt a baroque sensibility in their work, I turn to a similar tradition in Canadian literature and argue that Canadian modernists, like A.J.M. Smith and Leonard Cohen, can be seen as participating in this tradition of reconsidering the baroque.



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