|Sold by:|| HarperCollins Publishers |
Price set by seller.
Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Follow the Authors
The Waste Land And Other Poems First Edition, Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Kindle, March 10, 2014|| |
Audio CD, Audiobook
In addition to the full-length version of "The Waste Land," this recording includes Eliot's stirring narration of "The Hollow Men," "Sweeney Among the Nightingales," and "Macavity the Mystery Cat." Listen to Eliot read from "The Waste Land." Visit our audio help page for more information. (Running time: 47 minutes, 1 cassette) --Rob McDonald--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
Frank Kermode (1919–2010) was one of the twentieth century's greatest critics. He wrote and edited many works, among them The Sense of Ending and Shakespeare’s Language. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00Z9MJVPE
- Publisher : Ecco; First edition (March 10, 2014)
- Publication date : March 10, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 279 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 88 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,704,805 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The Second Norton Critical Edition of T. S. Eliot: “The Waste Land” and Other Poems: Authoritative Texts, Contexts, Criticism, edited by Michael North of UCLA was published in 2022 by W. W. Norton to commemorate the publication of Eliot’s most famous poem in 1922. The first edition was published in 2001.
North is the author of the 1991 book The Political Aesthetic of Yeats, Eliot, and Pound (Cambridge University Press) and the 1994 book The Dialect of Modernism: Race, Language, and Twentieth Century Literature (Oxford University Press).
Of course, anyone who is interested may buy a Norton Critical Edition. However, Norton Critical Editions are used primarily by college students, for whom they are the required texts in literature courses.
In the Second Norton Critical Edition, Eliot’s poem The Waste Land appears on pages 43 to 66 -- ably annotated by North in the footnotes (pp. 43-60) and in the “Notes” (pp. 61-66).
Basically, The Waste Land is a poem expressing what the Spanish Renaissance mystic St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), the founder of the Jesuit order, refers to as desolation in his famous Spiritual Exercises. The Victorian Jesuit poet and classicist Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) wrote some famous sonnets that literary critics refer to as sonnets of desolation. For a discussion of Hopkins’ sonnets of desolation, see the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian Walter J. Ong’s 1986 book Hopkins, the Self, and God (University of Toronto Press, pp. 62 and 145-159), the published version of Ong’s 1981 Alexander Lectures at the University of Toronto.
Ah, but if you are not feeling a strong sense of desolation at the present time, why in the world would you want to read a poem expressing a strong sense of desolation? That’s a good question.
However, in the case of Eliot’s 1922 poem The Waste Land, perhaps you do not need to have ever experienced a strong sense of desolation to find the experience of reading it rewarding for other reasons than to commiserate with its strong sense of desolation. Ah, but what other reasons might there be for reading it, eh?
In the 2015 book Cynic Satire (Cambridge Scholars Publishing), the late Eric McLuhan (1942-2018; Ph.D. in English, University of Dallas, 1982), the eldest son of Marshall and Corinne McLuhan, he uses the terms cynic satire and Menippean satire interchangeably. Dr. Eric McLuhan suggests that Eliot’s 1922 poem The Waste Land is a Menippean satire (pp. 196-197, 213 (including note 224), and 230).
Dr. Eric McLuhan also suggests that James Joyce’s 1939 experimental novel Finnegans Wake is a Menippean satire in his 1997 book The Role of Thunder in “Finnegans Wake” (University of Toronto Press).
In Dr. Eric McLuhan’s 2015 book Cynic Satire, he differentiates Menippean satire from both Juvenalian satire, on the one hand, and, on the other, Horatian satire. In his view, the distinguishing hallmark of Menippean satire is that it is designed to attack the reader. But he claims that this is not the case with either Juvenalian satire or Horatian satire.
According to him, “Horace’s great contribution [to satire] was to discover how to treat common things with dignity and poise, setting aside crude and barbarous forms of attack” (p. 182). But Eliot’s 1922 poem The Waste Land does not “sustain an urbane and civilized style and tone that is smooth and even” (p. 182).
By contrast, according to Dr. Eric McLuhan, Juvenalian satire “[b]roadcasts the high dudgeon and the righteous moral code [and] applies the verbal lash, to drive out wickedness and sin [and it] brings back idealism and rectitude” (p. 183). These descriptors of Juvenalian satire do not fit Eliot’s 1922 poem The Waste Land.
So by Dr. Eric McLuhan’s standard for Menippean satire, both Eliot’s 1922 poem The Waste Land and Joyce’s 1939 experimental novel Finnegans Wake are deliberately designed by their respective authors to attack their readers, because each work “Enhances play and wit in all forms and by all available means” and “Shuns good taste as a refuge of the witless, sets aside moralizing as an approach” and “Carrie[s] to its logical conclusion, low-and-motley satire turn[ed] into serious art” – serious art that “Plays with and attunes the reader response; loosens up the reflexes to promote balance and play among the faculties, cure up-tight robotism and self-importance, restore [the] sense of human scale, [and] proportion” – all by attacking the reader! (p. 184).
Now, in North’s “Introduction” to the Second Norton Critical Edition (pp. xvii-xxvi), he says that “Eliot was something of a puzzle to himself [in 1915]” (p. xvii). North also says, “There were many reasons for this situation, but one of the more obvious, especially in the crisis year of 1915, was the tension between the conservative narrowness of his American upbringing and the cosmopolitan world he discovered as a student in Europe. Eliot grew up in St. Louis. . . . Eliot later described the atmosphere of his childhood as one of ‘Unitarian piety and strict Puritanism’” (pp. xvii-xviii; my ellipsis).
I looked up the quote that North here carefully attributes to Eliot. North is here quoting from The Poems of T. S. Eliot: Volume I: Collected and Uncollected Poems, edited by Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015, p. 535). In Eliot’s unpublished address to the All Souls Club in 1960 (years after his famous conversion to Anglicanism in 1927), he says, “‘I was brought up in the orthodoxy of Boston Unitarianism: I use the word “orthodoxy,” because the tendency of American Unitarianism in our day has been to wander further and further from the attachment to the memory of Jesus Christ which gave it its tenuous claim to being Christian. . . . My father was brought up in the atmosphere of Unitarian piety and strict Puritanism’” (p. 535; the ellipsis is in Ricks and McCue’s text).
In any event, Eliot had a strong abiding sense of the importance of the doctrine of Original Sin. The American Eliot specialist Jewel Spears Brooker has discussed the problem of evil in Eliot’s writings and related works in her 2018 book T. S. Eliot’s Dialectical Imagination (Johns Hopkins University Press; for specific pages references to her discussion of the problem of evil, see the “Index” [pp. 205-215] for the entries on Augustine; Baudelaire; the Bible; Eliot’s Burnt Norton; Dante; evil, problem of; idea/reality; the Incarnation; irony; Jesus Christ; Julian of Norwich; Eliot’s Little Gidding; music; mysticism; philosophy; poetry; and Eliot’s The Waste Land).
Now, Also in North’s “Introduction,” he says, “What seems a wildly impulsive commitment to a young Englishwoman, Vivien Hugh-Wood, he had known only for a few months, happened to coincide, that same June , with the first publication of [Eliot’s poem] ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.’ On the slender promise of this single poem, which is, of course, about the terror of commitment, Eliot took the step that utterly changed his life [by marrying Vivien Hugh-Wood]. Later [when he wrote The Waste Land], when the marriage, at least, seemed a mistake, he looked back at his leap into the unknown with fatalistic regret: ‘The awful daring of a moment of surrender / Which an age of prudence can never retract’ (The Waste Land, ll. 403-404). And yet this [“awful daring”] remained for Eliot, through The Waste Land at least, the only possible formula for change, the only escape from an ossified past to a daunting future” (p. xix).
Subsequently, North says of The Waste Land, “The past, as presented in the poem, does not add up, and tradition fails to accomplish its defining task of handing on when it comes to the present with nothing more than ‘a handful of dust’ (l. 30). The agonizing gap between the past and the future, which was the defining problem of Eliot’s private life in these years, is dramatized in The Waste Land as the ‘shadow at morning striding behind you’ and ‘the shadow of evening rising to meet you’ (ll. 28-29), and it is generalized in the crowds for whom memory and desire conspire to empty out the present. In The Waste Land as in Eliot’s private life, the only way across this gap is to leap” (pp. xxiv-xxv).
Nowhere in North’s “Introduction” does he explicitly advert to Eliot’s famous 1919 essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” which is reprinted in volume 2 of The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot, covering the years 1919 to 1926, edited by Anthony Cuda and Ronald Schuchard (Johns Hopkins University Press; Faber and Faber, 2021, pp. 105-114).
In my judgment, North’s remarks here that “tradition fails to accomplish its defining task of handing on . . . to the present” clearly show that he has picked up on the strong expression of desolation in Eliot’s 1922 poem -- but that he has not picked up on why Dr. Eric McLuhan suggests that Eliot’s 1922 poem is a Menippean satire.
However that may be, we should also note that North describes Eliot as suffering from “[t]he ‘lifelong affliction’ of indecisive, obsessional thought” that at times could produce in him “a state of tense mental paralysis” (p. xxiii; North’s quote of the words “Lifelong affliction” is from a letter of Eliot’s). But what if we understand Eliot’s self-disclosure in the quoted letter as also somehow applying to the poet who wrote The Waste Land? Could we then understand the variously fragments in his 1922 poem as expressing his “Lifelong affliction” of ruminating that North characterizes as “indecisive, obsessional thought”? This application of North’s characterization of Eliot would help us understand why Eliot the poet had produced the unwieldy manuscript that his friend and fellow poet Pound helped him edit. In effect, Pound in his editorial assistance to Eliot played a role of guidance analogous to the roles of Virgil and Beatrice play in providing guidance to the character named Dante in the poet Dante’s Divine Comedy.
If Eliot himself had a certain critical distance about himself and his propensity toward his “Lifelong affliction,” how would he handle his affliction in his 1922 poem The Waste Land? Dante-the-poet created Dante-the-character in the Divine Comedy. But Eliot-the-poet does not create a fictional character referred to as Eliot-the-character in The Waste Land. As to guidance, in Eliot’s 1922 poem, he turns to St. Augustine and the Buddha – each of whom is almost ethereal in the poem compared to the portrayal of Virgil and Beatrice in Dante’s Divine Comedy. But we could say that fragments of Eliot-the-character and of the counterparts of Virgil and Beatrice as guides do turn up, albeit cryptically, amid the various voices in Eliot’s 1922 poem. Yes, in Dante’s Divine Comedy, we do indeed hear the various voices of certain souls portrayed in the afterlife. But Eliot’s 1922 poem is not exactly focused on the afterlife, but rather on this life and on the voices that we hear in what North refers to as “tradition [that] fails to accomplish its defining task of handing on” (p. xxv).
Figuratively speaking, all of us may imagine our consciousness as involving various voices, some of which may be more prominent and more dominant than others. In this way, each of us as readers of Eliot’s 1922 poem encounter various voices in it that are different from the voices we carry in our own consciousness. Perhaps the voices in his poem may make us feel challenged by them – or even attacked by them. Yes, in many instances of the fragments that are literary, we may feel challenged because we do not grasp the literary reference. But if we imagine that Eliot was writing his 1922 poem primarily for those readers who would immediately grasp each literary reference, then we are imagining him writing his poem for a relatively small audience. Ah, but what if Eliot was seeding his poem with literary references that he himself did not expect very many readers to grasp immediately? If this were the case, why then would he seed his poem with so many literary references? Yes, he wanted to challenge his readers. But Dr. Eric McLuhan’s claim that Eliot’s 1922 poem is a Menippean satire suggests that Eliot was seeding it with literary references not just to challenge his readers, but also to make them feel that they were under attack by his poem.
Now, in the “Contexts” section of the Second Norton Critical Edition (pp. 67-170), North has included selections by Sir James G. Frazer (1854-1941) on “The Killing of the Divine King” (pp. 72-73?) and “[Adonis and Christ]” (pp. 73-75?) – and a selection “[The Road to Emmaus]” from the King James Bible (Luke 24:13-35).
However, more broadly, I would remind college students who use the Second Norton Critical Edition that the imagery of the waste land also refers to the desert in which Moses and the ancient Israelites wandering for forty years in the book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible – and the desert in which Jesus is tempted by the devil for forty days and nights in the three synoptic gospels: Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; and Luke 4:2.
Also in the “Contexts” section of the Second Norton Critical Edition, we learn that Eliot himself once apparently described his most famous poem in the following words: “To me it was only the relief of a personal and wholly insignificant grouse against life; it is just a piece of rhythmical grumbling” (p. 135). The attribution printed on page 135 says, “Quoted by the late Professor Theodore Spencer during a lecture at Harvard University, and recorded by the late Henry Ware Eliot, Jr., the poet’s brother.”
Yes, The Waste Land is “personal” in the sense of being and a “personal” “grumbling” “grouse against life,” and it is “a piece of rhythmical grumbling.” But we may resist Eliot’s supposed characterizations here about it being “wholly insignificant” and “just” “a piece of rhythmical grumbling.”
Concerning the “personal” aspect of the “grouse against life,” see Robert Crawford’s 2015 book Young Eliot: From St. Louis to “The Waste Land” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). North is familiar with Crawford’s 2015 book (p. ix), but he does not reprint anything from it in the Second Norton Critical Edition. Instead, he reprints a selection from Lyndall Gordon’s 2012 book The Imperfect Life of T. S. Eliot (pp. 109-116).
I should also say here that North includes a nicely annotated “T. S. Eliot: A Chronology” (pp. 337-339).
In addition, in the “Contexts” section of the Second Norton Critical Edition, North reprints Eliot’s 1923 somewhat polemical review essay titled ”Ulysses, Order, and Myth” (pp. 165-168). In it, Eliot says, “Among all the criticism I have seen of the book, I have seen nothing – unless we except, in its way, M. Valery Larbaud’s valuable paper which is rather an Introduction than a criticism – which seemed to me to appreciate the significance of the method employed – the parallel to the Odyssey, and the use of appropriate styles and symbols to each division” (p. 166). Subsequently, Eliot says, “In using myth, in manipulating a continuous parallel between contemporaneity and antiquity, Mr. Joyce is pursuing a method which others must pursue after him” (p. 168).
Eliot himself had read parts of Joyce 1922 novel as they were published in literary periodicals, and Eliot himself pursues a method in The Waste Land that Joyce pursues in Ulysses -- a method involving a continuous parallel between contemporaneity and antiquity (and medieval and Renaissance and later sources as well). If you catch all, or most, of the learned but cryptic allusions to past sources that Eliot works into The Waste Land, good for you – provided that they enrich your experience of reading the poem. However, if any, or many, of the learned allusions ring no bells of recognition for you, just let your mind and memory free associate, as it were, on the imagery Eliot uses in the poem.
Eliot’s 1923 essay “Ulysses, Order, and Myth” is also reprinted in volume 2 of The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot, covering the years 1919 to 1926, edited by Anthony Cuda and Ronald Schuchard (Johns Hopkins University Press; Faber and Faber, 2021, pp. 476-481). The editors also reprint a note that Eliot wrote in 1964 on the occasion of his 1923 essay being reprinted in a volume of literary criticism. In Eliot’s 1964 note, he says the following:
“In rereading, for the first time after many years, this expression of my critical opinion, I am unfavorably impressed by the overconfidence in my own views and the intemperance with which I expressed them. The sentence beginning ‘the next generation is responsible for its own soul’ strikes me as both pompous and silly. And Wyndham Lewis, before he died, wrote two books, The Revenge for Love and Self-Condemned, which are not only far superior to Tarr but which are definitely ‘novels.’ To say that the novel ended with Flaubert and James was possibly an echo of Ezra Pound and is certainly absurd. To say that other writers must follow the procedure of Ulysses is equally absurd. But I disagree as much now as I did then with the words quoted from Mr. Aldington writing in the English Review in 1921” (p. 479).
In the “Criticism” section of the Second Norton Critical Edition (pp. 171-336), North includes selections from contemporary “Reviews and First Reactions” (pp. 173-206) and notable “Twentieth Century Criticism” (pp. 207-289) and recent “Reconsiderations and New Readings (pp. 291-336).
North rounds out the Second Norton Critical Edition with “T. S. Eliot: A Chronology” (pp. 337-339), mentioned above, and a categorized “Selected Bibliography” (pp. 341-345), in which he lists “Bibliographies” (p. 341), “Biographies” (p. 341). “Works and Editions” (pp. 341-342), and “Criticism” (pp. 342-345).
I'm reading The Waste Land for a class and am happy to report that the stanza formatting has been retained, the Table of Contents is linked to the individual poems, and the superscripts link to the actual notes.
I loaded my T.S. Eliot Reads The Waste Land onto my Kindle, and it's really neat following along with his reading.
The Introduction, Suggestions for Further Reading, and Brief Chronology are also greatly appreciated.
VERY well spent $2.50!!
Top reviews from other countries
As a book, it's slim and well bound on nice paper