T. S. Eliot, Thomas Stearns Eliot, tantalus jar, Leyden jar
Literature in English, British Isles
T. S. Eliot wrote the introduction to the volume of Ezra Pound’s Selected Poems that was published in 1928. In an important and oft-cited passage, he used the term “tantalus jar”. In the present paper, we show that this term was a coinage. It likely refers to the Leyden jar, which was an early device invented in the 1700s for storing electrical charge. Eliot may have become acquainted with it through The Golden Bough (1912), which he refers to in later work. We speculate as to whether Eliot’s coinage was intentional or not.
Schiff, Eric A., "Was T. S. Eliot's "tantalus Jar" actually a Leyden Jar?" (2017). Physics. 518.
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