A fatalism I share with the western tradition at times.
See note on “Tradition and the Individual Talent” above. In that essay Eliot argues that a poet must embody “the whole of the literature of Europe from Homer”; Obama here seems to be staking out a similar role for himself. Though his poetry career never took off, he did become the first African-American President of the United States, earning himself a place in history as a seminal cultural figure. It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.
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