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Flashcards in T.S. Eliot Deck (24):
1

The Waste Land:

- Doomed to repetition, Da Capra
- Impotence: the Fisher King healed by Parsiphal in the legend (search for Holy Grail or the lance that wounded the king) but this never quite works out, and the fertility ritual is left incomplete.

2

The Waste Land: Centres

Interruptions, pastiche

3

The Waste Land: Incruciation, pain, inwardness, agon

- Prufrock epigraph: Guido da Montefeltro

4

The Waste Land: performance, personas, identity, masks, deception, diguise

- Personas to hide personality, but we know Prufrock and we know something of Prufrock’s feelings about masks, so we’re tempted to import that into WL

5

The Waste Land: genre (use lyric)

- Dispute Alastair Fowler’s point about Modernism turning away from the lyric: now we’re lyricizing the prosaic; WL always revealing its longing & despair, worries about mutability, and other Romantic concerns

6

The Waste Land: genre (dramatic monologue)

Dramatic monologue combined with personal lyric (Prufrock & identity theory)

7

The Waste Land: tone and style

Mdrnsts seize on Pater’s desire for freedom of subject matter; evident in WL

8

The Waste Land: formal features

- Spatial form: creating coherence through juxtaposition rather than syntax—parts to relate simultaneously as in visual art. Ideals and the real crash into one another, collapse, undermine. (Can be compared to dramatic juxtaposition; i.e. Henry V)

9

The Waste Land: intertexts, allusions, references

- Biblical imagery rampant, not always caught in the footnotes I’ve seen by Michael North: the décor described at the beginning of A Game of Chess—candelabras, Cupidon’s peeping out and one with eyes covered by wings—this is the Tabernacle of Leviticus.
- The “Fire Sermon” of Gotama Buddha referenced in the WL has a passage about man becoming divested of all passion until he becomes free, “and he knows that re-birth is exhausted, that he has lived the holy life, that he has done what it behooved him to do, and that he is no more for this world.”
o WL a dismal inversion of this—still moving toward death but the exhaustion of rebirth becomes an actual slow wasting, the ending with a whimper and not a bang.

10

The Waste Land: Bible

Biblical imagery rampant, not always caught in the footnotes I’ve seen by Michael North: the décor described at the beginning of A Game of Chess—candelabras, Cupidon’s peeping out and one with eyes covered by wings—this is the Tabernacle of Leviticus.

11

The Waste Land: "Fire Sermon" of Gotama Buddha

Name of section in WL. The original sermon has a passage about man becoming divested of all passion until he becomes free, “and he knows that re-birth is exhausted, that he has lived the holy life, that he has done what it behooved him to do, and that he is no more for this world.”
o WL a dismal inversion of this—still moving toward death but the exhaustion of rebirth becomes an actual slow wasting, the ending with a whimper and not a bang.

12

The Waste Land: compare another Eliot text quote

The Hollow Men: “This is the way the world ends/ This is the way the world ends / This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper.”

13

The Waste Land: death, paralysis, oblivion, intercourse, illustrious, shore up

Godwin believes that an archive of sepulchers can “paralyse the hand of Oblivion,” so that we can “live in intercourse with the Illustrious Dead of All Ages." (Similar things in WW's "Essays upon Epitaphs" and Bentham's idea of auto-icons). Here the archive is lost and the illustrious dead are a bit more zombie-like; horrific irruptions of the forgotten archive

14

The Waste Land: time, space, things, detritus, waste

mixing of allusions to Western canon and detritus, waste, things; Frederic Jameson: “spatialization of time”—instantaneous relationship with previous eras, forcing a “perpetual present”; commercialization only hastens this by commodifying nostalgia

15

The Waste Land: fucking, sexuality, waste, paring down, extra material, Pound

"Happy fucking, brother." Pound the "better craftsman" and edits Waste Land by "fucking" it--a kind of violence that eliminates waste--the scurf and excess constantly threatening to overwhelm the WL

16

Prufrock: intertextuality

- Business about squeezing universe into a ball; cf. Marvell “Let us roll all our strength and all / Our sweetness up into one ball”
- Dante

17

The Waste Land: myths

Fisher King: fertility, desert, impotence, healing

18

The Waste Land: impotence

Desert; fisher king, grail, Perciphal; healing or lack thereof; "happy fucking, brother"

19

The Waste Land: pain

Prufrock epigraph: Guido da Montefeltro

20

The Waste Land: performance

Prufrock

21

The Waste Land: mask, persona

Pastiche & dramatic monologue, but cf. Prufrock

22

The Waste Land: fraternity

Pound

23

The Waste Land: Pound

frat fucking; Perciphal

24

The Waste Land: queerness

Pound, fucking, waste