1. Cacian
    Offline

    Cacian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    5

    T.S Eliot The Waste Land

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Cacian, Dec 24, 2011.

    I have been looking into reading and discussing The Waste Land in this thread.
    Would like some input from those who have read it or considering reading it.

    It is titled as ''Modernist'' Peom and the one of the most importan poem of the 20thcentury.
    Are there any other Modernist peom you can think of we could perhaps cross study it with.

    Can a modernist be classed as a Classic?
     
  2. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemmingway, and James Joyce - these are the four main Modernists. What is known as Modernism, at least in literature, was influenced by the horror of the first world war, and the disillusionment after that terrible conflict. It's been said that Modern English poetry starts with Eliot's Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock, and his 'Patient etherised upon a table'. Ezra Pound and Eliot are, if you like, the main Modernist Poets - and Joyce and Hemmingway can be thought of as the main Modernist authors; though both Joyce and Hemmingway both wrote poetry, they are remembered (and rightly too!) for their prose.

    One word: Ulysses.

    As for The Wasteland itself. It's a masterpiece, and I hardly ever say that. It somehow brings Wagner, and Chaucer into a poem about the mass depression of the years following the first world war. It's shows every corner of society at the time, from dirty pubs to fine rooms. It's references are astounding, from Dante and Chaucer to Wagner to little songs and pieces of life that are seldom seriously recorded.

    The Wasteland is nothing short of brilliant, but it's also extremely complex.
     
  3. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    Have you actually read it or is this the Dante thread all over again? What input are you looking for? Again, it's a hugely complicated text and interpretation and study of it is something that is equally diverse. So you're going to have to ask a more specific question if you want to generate any kind of meaningful discussion.
     
  4. Cacian
    Offline

    Cacian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    5
    How interesting.
    I have always quoted modern with advanced so this really opened my eyes.

    '
    Is that saying looking into someone's feelings and charisma under a microscope?
    Is Ulysses Modern and Classic because of Tragedy war and mythology?
    Sorry if am making mistakes as I am still kind new to all of this work you are so knowledgable about Lemex.
     
  5. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    Modern = present. Modernist = an artistic movement started around the end of WW1.

    Though they at first seem similar, what is Modern, and what is Modernist are two very different things.

    '
    Eliot's Prufrock is a great poem. I recommend reading it before trying to interpret lines from it.

    Ulysses is a massive novel by James Joyce set in Dublin, Ireland at the turn of the last century. It follows a single day in the life of two men: Stephen Dedalus (and if you know your Greek Mythology you'll know where Stephen's second name comes from) and Leopold Bloom.
    And I should be knowledgeable about Lemex; he's me. :p
     
  6. Cacian
    Offline

    Cacian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    5
    well this is how I learn.
    I read/ask questions/debate/go back to reading..they are so long that one can only draw from others and vice versa.
    The WasteLand has attracted my attention because of the way it is again layed out in Parts.
    It is kind of the same 'format' as Dante's in parts.

    I would like to start with the first part
    The Burial of the Dead
    This is one part taken from it
    I am not clear who Marie is here...I thought T.S Eliot was man?!!
    Again about the title
    I am aware that in the first world war as in the second, there was hardly anytime for anyone to bury anyone hence the significane of the UNKNOWN SOLDIER , and there is one in Belgium, The Colonnade of the Congress in Brussels.
     
  7. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    Look at the entire stanza and take it as a whole.

    I'm going to break it down as best I can, please remember that I am little more than a fan of Eliot, and I've only really started reading modern poetry - my main focus and interest is Epic Poetry:

    The Burial of the Dead

    This is the exact opposite of the first line of Chaucer's Prelude to The Canterbury Tales, which is thus:
    'Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote'.
    This signifies the break with the past that Eliot was clearly going for.

    Dead land = death of nature. No man's land? Also, this line gives a sense of new life from death.
    These last three lines are slow, and are to be read as such. The effect is to make it meloncholic, and to make one feel the sadness.
    Contradiction here, because Eliot is not talking about temperature, but of feeling nature's death. Notice also this line and the next one, in which Covering and Feeding are left after comma's, like they are dangling.
    This is a great line. A tuber is a modified plant structure.
    This suggests a warming up, and Starnbegersee cements WW1 into the poem.
    Peace and leasure time, a post-war era
    'I am not Russian, I am Lithuanian, a real German'
    My friends like to say this is referring to Archduke Franz Ferdinand. I don't know, it seems a bit too convenient.
    Here the war and post-war worlds begin to morph together. 'I was frightened' & 'Marie, Marie, hold on tight' are almost like dying words, whereas 'In the Mountains, were you feel free, I read' It's pleasure, it sounds like a holiday. 'Much of the night, and go south for the winter' Need I say more.
     
  8. Cacian
    Offline

    Cacian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    5
    This is great Lemex.
    I am still at loss to who Marie is?
    are we talking about the same as Mary Magdelene?

    2) Because it is titled the Burial of the Dead I cannot pick up any reference to burying anyone in this part of the poem
     
  9. Cacian
    Offline

    Cacian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    5
    About Dedalus
    In Greek mythology, Daedalus meaning "cunning worker"
    There is the idea that he construct wings and can fly and that he is well known across the West. Is that because he could fly?
    Also there is the idea of Metamorphosis.
     
  10. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    I could easily be wrong about this, but I don't think this 'Marie' person is particularly important. I think the name is just used to symbolize and emphasize peace.

    What do you do after a war, or battle? You bury the dead.

    Dedalus was an inventor/engineer who made Icarus's wings. You might want to also keep in mind that Stephen Dedalus is also the protagonist of Joyce's novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which chronicles S. Dedalus's childhood and development.
     
  11. Cacian
    Offline

    Cacian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    5
    It was a well known fact that during the first or the second world war people did not have time to bury hence the UNKNOWN SOLDIER as you know.

    About Marie
    Eliot derived most of the ideas in this passage from My Past by the Countess Marie Larisch
    I am still not clear how she fits in.

    This is clearly an Epigraph

    Do you know what it means?
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Cacian
    Offline

    Cacian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    5
    The poem's parts are entitled as follow:

    The Burial of the Dead
    A Game of Chess

    The Fire Sermon
    Death By Water
    What Thunder Said


    Isn't there a like a theme going through the subtitles like the Four Elements?
    and maybe the concept of Time?
    One is Earth to Earth
    Air
    Fire and
    Water

    A Game of Chess could summ up the idea of Time...
     
  13. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    If the war is over you can then bury the dead. ;)

    About Marie, that's very interesting. Thanks for sharing that.

    I'll be honest, I've never seriously gone through The Wasteland and agonized over every line.
    I've read it a few times, and I really enjoy the poem, but my main interests are elsewhere.
     

Share This Page