The Waste Land and Other Writings

The Waste Land and Other Writings

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by T.S. Eliot
     
 

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First published in 1922, "The Waste Land" is T.S. Eliot's masterpiece, and is not only one of the key works of modernism but also one of the greatest poetic achievements of the twentieth century. A richly allusive pilgrimage of spiritual and psychological torment and redemption, Eliot's poem exerted a revolutionary influence on his contemporaries, summoning

Overview

First published in 1922, "The Waste Land" is T.S. Eliot's masterpiece, and is not only one of the key works of modernism but also one of the greatest poetic achievements of the twentieth century. A richly allusive pilgrimage of spiritual and psychological torment and redemption, Eliot's poem exerted a revolutionary influence on his contemporaries, summoning forth a rich new poetic language, breaking decisively with Romantic and Victorian poetic traditions. Kenneth Rexroth was not alone in calling Eliot "the representative poet of the time, for the same reason that Shakespeare and Pope were of theirs. He articulated the mind of an epoch in words that seemed its most natural expression."

As influential as his verse, T.S. Eliot's criticism also exerted a transformative effect on twentieth-century letter, and this new edition of The Waste Land and Other Writings includes a selection of Eliot's most important essays.

In her new Introduction, Mary Karr dispels some of the myths of the great poem's inaccessibility and sheds fresh light on the ways in which "The Waste Land" illuminates contemporary experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375759345
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/28/2002
Series:
Modern Library Classics Series
Edition description:
MODERN LIB
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
503,170
Product dimensions:
5.16(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.56(d)

Read an Excerpt

Portrait of a Lady

Thou hast committed
Fornication: but that was in another country,
And besides, the wench is dead.
The Jew of Malta.

I
Among the smoke and fog of a December afternoon
You have the scene arrange itself as it will seem to do
With I have saved this afternoon for you;
And four wax candles in the darkened room,
Four rings of light upon the ceiling overhead,
An atmosphere of Juliet’s tomb
Prepared for all the things to be said, or left unsaid.
We have been, let us say, to hear the latest Pole
Transmit the Preludes, through his hair and fingertips.

So intimate, this Chopin, that I think his soul
Should be resurrected only among friends
Some two or three, who will not touch the bloom
That is rubbed and questioned in the concert room.

And so the conversation slips
Among velleities and carefully caught regrets
Through attenuated tones of violins
Mingled with remote cornets
And begins.

You do not know how much they mean to me, my friends,
And how, how rare and strange it is, to find
In a life composed so much, so much of odds and ends,
[For indeed I do not love it . . . you knew? you are not blind!
How keen you are!]
To find a friend who has these qualities,
Who has, and gives
Those qualities upon which friendship lives.
How much it means that I say this to you

Without these friendships life, what cauchemar!
Among the windings of the violins
And the ariettes
Of cracked cornets
Inside my brain a dull tom-tom begins
Absurdly hammering a prelude of its own,
Capricious monotone
That is at least one definite false note.

Let ustake the air, in a tobacco trance,
Admire the monuments,
Discuss the late events,
Correct our watches by the public clocks.
Then sit for half an hour and drink our bocks.

Meet the Author

T.S. Eliot won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Widely honored for his poetry, criticism, essays and plays, he was a leader of the modernist movement and is today read throughout the world.

Mary Karr is the author of the bestselling The Liar's Club and Cherry. She lives in Syracuse, New York.

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The Waste Land and Other Writings 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Carr's introduction addresses how to read The Waste Land, which is insightful and helpful for the reader who has not experienced the poem before. However, if one is interested in Eliot's landmark poem, an edition with more gloss would probably be worthwhile -- this one has none, other than the poet's own notes, which are nearly as enigmatic as the poem itself. There are other Eliot poems and essays in this edition, but those, too, can be found elsewhere.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This excellent compilation combines T. S. Eliot's poetry and his essays. The Waste Land, one of the greatest poems of all time is included, with an introduction that helps the reader understand this poem or see its meaning from a different perspective. Without a doubt, Eliot is one of the greatest Modernist poets, enriched by his both American and British influences. This book shows Eliot's genius as a poet and an essayist.