Thursday, April 28, 2016

Alias The Waste Land‏

T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land was published  in 1922, a banner year in literature considering that Joyce's Ulysses and Woolf's Jacob's Room were also published that year. The poem has always been a benchmark in the amalgamation of the sensory and cerebral elements of poetry so it is surprising to learn that the poem's original title was "He Do the Police in Different Voices."

The consensus among T. S. Eliot's contemporaries seems to be that he was very strange -- certainly Conrad Aiken was referring not to the poetry but the man when he said, "Eliot cries out for analysis." Siegfried Sassoon thought he had "cold-storaged humanity," and Ottoline Morrell called him "the undertaker." Virginia Woolf, one familiar with the type, saw a nervous neurotic; nor was she the only acquaintance to notice Eliot's use of pale green face powder, sometimes with lipstick.

V. S. Pritchett's description of Eliot was as "a company of actors inside one suit, each twitting the others." Eliot's manuscript title for the poem The Waste Land was "He Do the Police in Different Voices," taken from Dickens's Our Mutual Friend, where the orphan Sloppy is so praised for his dramatic abilities when reading out the crime news.
(from King)

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