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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 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.


From the Hardcover edition.
Published: Random House Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Aug 16, 2009
ISBN: 9780307425041
List price: $2.99
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a good edition of Eliot for the casual reader: I found this edition by Penguin to be very useful for a casual reading. The notes on the poems, in particular "the Waste Land," are detailed enough to give the reader a perception of Eliot's vast literary knowledge and its effect on his poems. However, the notes are inadequate if your purpose is to deeply understand the background of Eliot's complex and difficult poetry. So if you are looking for deep insights, I would recommend the Norton Critical Edition. For the normal reader, this is satisfying and straightforward.read more
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Eliot is one of the most casually devastating poets in history. "This is the way the world ends."His work gets more profound with each reading.read more
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Also includes Prufrock and "La Figlia Che Piange," one of my favorite poems.read more
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a good edition of Eliot for the casual reader: I found this edition by Penguin to be very useful for a casual reading. The notes on the poems, in particular "the Waste Land," are detailed enough to give the reader a perception of Eliot's vast literary knowledge and its effect on his poems. However, the notes are inadequate if your purpose is to deeply understand the background of Eliot's complex and difficult poetry. So if you are looking for deep insights, I would recommend the Norton Critical Edition. For the normal reader, this is satisfying and straightforward.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Eliot is one of the most casually devastating poets in history. "This is the way the world ends."His work gets more profound with each reading.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Also includes Prufrock and "La Figlia Che Piange," one of my favorite poems.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
T. S. Eliot, in his poetry, makes reference to many other sources such as Homer, Virgil, Shakespeare, Dante, the Bible, Wagner, etc. The man was very well read and truly a genius in putting together his poems. His poetry is a veritable citation of 'Who's Who,' however you also need to be well read to understand most of his references. Without his notes and a study guide to assist you, it is very difficult to understand the meaning behind his poetry.
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The Waste Land refers to _____.Published in 1921, just 2 years after the unreconciled death of his deeply Unitarian father, an emotional breakdown of both TS and his wife Vivian, and ending a writer's block that had silenced him for years, this poem is an assemblage of vignettes from Eliot's life in London. The poem is intense in the sense of psychologial nuance and ironic elegance. He fuses fairly diverse images into a skilfully rhythmic whole. While similar to such academic set pieces as Milton’s "Lycidas," The Waste Land is also like jazz -- syncopated, sometimes running parallel arpeggios of ideas, and in its post-War context, essentially iconoclastic. Eliot seems to indulge a horror of life, while immersing in it, so you come away with a sharp clearly cut sense of disillusionment. The "symbolist" influence of Arthur Symons, and even the daring of the Italian futurist Tamaso Marinetti, are projected. It intrudes.My own response is that this is a kind of reaction to his bad marriage; making "art" out of those mad and mad-making conversations. I recall that Virginia Wolf, not unkindly, described TS as a poet who lived to scratch, and Vivian was his itch.
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This is my first serious volume of poetry I read that is not required by a class. And... I'm not sure what to think. I know the poetry is well written, but I didn't get it. I think I need to read this again.
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