Eliot and Prejudice. University of California Press, 1988.

Deane Patrick. “Eliot’s Classicism, Pound’s Symbolism, and the Drafts of The Waste Land.” At Home in Time: Forms of Neo-Augustanism in Modern English Poetry. Montreal, Canada: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1994. 31-55.

Eliot. University of Minnesota Press, 1970.

Eliot: A Collection of Critical Essays (1963)

Eliot: A Collection of Critical Essays (1962).

The poem changes its figuration of gender with the introduction of Tiresias. Eliotstates in a note to the passage that "the two sexes meet in Tiresias. What Tiresias in fact, is the substance of the poem" -- a declaration that critics have tendedto view rather skeptically. But what Tiresias sees is the sight that the poem hasheretofore evaded: the meeting of the sexes, a meeting that Tiresias experiences byidentifying with the female. As the typist awaits her visitor, Tiresias asserts, "Itoo awaited the expected guest," and at the moment when the house agent's clerk"assaults" her, he states, "And I Tiresias, have foresuffered all," aposition assumed again in the lines spoken by La Pia. Paradoxically, when the poem assumesthe position of the female, male character becomes far more prominent: in the satiricportrait of the house agent's clerk, which is the first extended satiric male portrait inthe poem, in the image of the fishermen, and in the extended fisherman's narrative thatoriginally began Part IV and concludes with the death of Phlebas. As if repeating thedoubleness of identification that Tiresias represents, that death affords at once thedefinitive separation of male identity and a fantasy of its separation of male identityand a fantasy of its dissolution as "He passed the stages of his age and youth /Entering the whirlpool."

Eliot - A collection of Critical Essays.

The one place where Eliot attaches a specific historical experience to the speakingvoice of the poem -- the episode of the hyacinth girl -- supports such a reading. Theepisode begins with the speaker's quoting a woman who addressed him, recalling a gift hegave her: "You gave me hyacinths first a year ago." The speaker then describeshis own consciousness of that moment in their relationship. When they came back from theHyacinth garden, her arms full and her hair wet, he could not speak and his eyes failed,he was neither living nor dead, and he knew nothing, "looking into the heart oflight, the silence." Perhaps in recognition of the special status that this episodehas by virtue of its attachment to the poet's "I," many critics have found in itthe emotional center of the poem. The moment offers some revelation of spiritual anderotic fullness ("the heart of light"), but the speaker portrays himself asunequal to it. Speech and vision fail him, and he ends the passage by borrowing thearticulation of another poem (),a ventriloquizedvoice that is not his own, that reveals him at a loss for words. We have here a Tiresiaswho, at the moment of sexual illumination, loses not only his sight but his voice as well,a seer who does not gain prophetic power from sexual knowledge. As in his early poetry,Eliot represents the moment of looking at a woman as one that decomposes his voice.

Eliot - A collection of Critical Essays - The World Edited by Hugh Kenner.
ELIOT'S LATER A collection of critical essays on "The waste land." (Book, 1968 T.S.

Twentieth Henry James: A Collection of Critical Essays.

does not merely reflect the breakdown of an historical, social, andcultural order battered by violent forces operating under the name of modernity. For Eliotthe disaster that characterized modernity was not an overturning, but the unavoidable, andironic, culmination of that very order so lovingly celebrated in Victoria's last decade onthe throne. Unlike the older generation, who saw in events like the Great War the passingof a golden age, Eliot saw only that the golden age was itself a heap of absurdsociopolitical axioms and perverse misreadings of the cultural past that had proved in thelast instance to be made of the meanest alloy. The poem's enactment of the contemporarysocial scene in "The Burial of the Dead," "A Game of Chess," and"The Fire Sermon" exhibits the "negative liberal society" in whichsuch events and people are typical. Eliot's choice of these events and people--MadameSosostris, the cast of characters in "A Game of Chess," and the typist--as of a particular society is susceptible, of course, to a political analysis, which isto say, their representativeness is not self-evident, though they are presented as if itis. The "one bold stare" of the house-agent's clerk, put back in the bourgeoiscontext where staring is one of the major lapses in manners, does not hold up the mirrorto a simple gesture, but illuminates the underlying conditions that make a mere clerk'sswagger possible. What is exposed is the "fact" that clerks in general no longerknow their place. What we are to make of this fact is pointedly signaled by the disgustthat the specifics of the rendering provoke and the social distance generated by theTiresian foresufferance. . . .

A Collection of Critical Essays on “The Waste Land.

Eliot: A Collection of Critical Essays.

Twentieth contemporary critical opinion on major authors, this collection includes essays by Walter Sutton, William Butler Yeats, William Carlos Williams, T.

A useful collection of essays, part of the Twentieth Century Views series.


Lines from Augustine alternate with lines from the Buddha, and, as Eliot tells us inthe footnote: "the collocation of these two representatives of eastern and westernasceticism, as the culmination of this part of the poem, is not an accident." Ofcourse it is not. It is the way the poem works: it collocates in order to culminate. Itoffers us fragments of consciousness, "various presentations to variousviewpoints," which overlap, interlock, "melting into" one another to formemergent wholes. The poems is not, as it is common to say, built upon the of fragments: it is built out of their Fragments of theBuddha and Augustine combine to make a new literary reality which is neither the Buddhanor Augustine but which includes them both.