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"Ritualistic" is, it seems to me, the word that best describes [Eliot's] attitude to life. He had a vision of the relationship of the living with the dead through the patterns of rituals that extend into the modern world the pieties that remain unaltered from the past. He thought that when these rituals were disrupted -- and when, in deed, the observance of them was not the foremost aim of the living -- there would be no connection of the living with the dead, of the present with the past.


From T.S. Eliot (New York: Viking Press, 1975): 7