Were Thomas Stearns Eliot to return to us today, it would be a delight to inform him of the flourishing existence of an honorable successor to his 1922–1939 arts journal The Criterion. Other likely topics of conversation would have to be handled more diplomatically.

“So,” one imagines the poet asking, “Which of my works has proved the most durable with the public?”

Shifty glances all around. “Well . . . ”

“Is it The Waste Land? Surely it’s The Waste Land?”

“Er, not that one . . . ”

Prufrock then? Not surprising, really.”

“Actually, it was upon the stage that...