Here's another in my continuing series of posts on Eliot in
I've run into a web page entitled "Eliot as a Grumbling Puppet." On
the page is a review by Peter Boyle of a play by Ljiljana Ortolja
entitled "Ask for the Captain." The review starts off:
With a brave mix of puppetry, mime and acting, Handspan Theatre has
tried to give some meaning to T.S. Eliot's epic poem "The Wasteland."
The poem is dense with literary allusions and its meaning has been the
subject of much debate. It used to be a prized instrument of torture
used by English literature teachers.
While Eliot denied that "The Wasteland" was his bitter comment on
modern society, many readers have taken it just that way. Ljiljana
Ortolja seems to have faithfully interpreted it as Eliot urged: as a
very personal expression of Eliot's specific subjective experiences.
Eliot insisted that "The Wasteland" was "just a piece of rhythmical
"Ask for the Captain" is not a dramatisation of the poem (which is
forbidden by the Eliot estate) but a play about the writing of "The
Wasteland", with some of the images from the poem woven into eight
scenes which seek to capture that slice of Eliot's life.
There is a bit more at the web page:
* Some, I suppose, would love to substitute "God-awful, never-ending spam."