Corpsey

call me big papa
Almost 100 years old. A time to ask questions like - is it still modern? Is it still relevant? What on earth is it all about? Is it elitist and misanthropic? Is it any good?

I've got the Norton edition with footnotes and critical commentary. You can read it online, and in annotated form here:

http://eliotswasteland.tripod.com/

You can also listen to it being read by Eliot (some people don't like him as a reader of his own poetry, but I do)

https://youtu.be/CqvhMeZ2PlY

Or you could listen to Alec Guinness reading it:

https://youtu.be/Hcj4G45F9pw

This is a bit of a placeholder thread. I'm hideously sleep deprived today so can't muster much enthusiasm, but nevertheless I think this is a good one to discuss. Short enough to be quickly read and reread, but complex and has been analysed by numerous critics and poets.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I think it would be very difficult to argue that we have left the Wasteland. We are clearly still lost within it.
 

catalog

Well-known member
Never read it or listened. I'm vaguely interested, but it's too much tricksy wordplay which I can't be arsed with
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
It's the biggest influence on Burroughs. They also come from the same dump of a town and both have the same dress sense. If you can read Burroughs you can read Eliot. No difference at all. Well, less vile and furious sodomy in Eliot. But otherwise, same deal.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I know people are put off by the high culture associations but it's better to think of literature occupying one single consistent plane and all of it interacting with every other bit.
 

catalog

Well-known member
hmm - might give the recording a go first. i don't really like burroughs all that much to be honest, apart from the early novels, which i've only read once each. i did quite like naked lunch, but it was a bit of a chore. i probably should read the waste land at some point.
 

Simon silverdollarcircle

Well-known member
I got really obsessed with the wasteland a few years ago. I read it over and over for months and didn't really read anything else. It got under my skin like nothing before or since.

I don't get the often alleged "difficulty" with it. It has a primeval power that is very immediate. It sounds (horrifically) recognisable.

At the end when the thunder comes it's a physical experience. It shakes you. Blinking into the light.

Fucking hell I love it
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
To take one obvious example the cut ups are a way to replicate the kind of abrupt switches in register, in location, in speaker, in time period, etc that happens throughout the wasteland
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
yeah the high culture thing is also a bit off putting for me.
I think it's important to claim this stuff for yourself and not be daunted or put off by it seeming the sole property of people posher and better educated than you are.
 

catalog

Well-known member
It's not really that exactly. It's more that I like to discover things for myself, without that weight. Despite what you say, the weight is there. It means you can't go in cold and discover something. Also wasn't he a bit dodge? But yeah might give it a read when finished my current pile. I have tried with these sorts of things in the past, I find them boring.
 

catalog

Well-known member
This feels like a boring discussion anyway, don't reply, I'll just read it at some point and post my thoughts. Not even bee able to read 2 pages of fucking 'urizen' yet
 
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