Erwin Welsch wrote:
> I wonder how one concludes from Eliot's letter of 26 February 1922 to
> Maurice Firuski with the phrase "some notes that I intend to add,
> etc. ..." refers only to v. and cf. notes?
Well, I didn't use this to come to my conclusion. I used Eliot's
comment in "The Frontiers of Criticism" made about 34 years later.
"I had at first intended only to put down all the references for my
Anyone using only the letter to Firuski would be rash in making the same
Eliot's letter to Firuski was printed the Lawrence Rainey essay you
mentioned "The Price of Modernism: Publishing The Waste Land." It's in
his book 'Institutions of Modernism: Literary Elites and Public Culture'
(Yale, 1998). But the essay appeared earlier (first???) in 'T.S. Eliot:
The Modernist in History,' edited by Ronald Bush (1991). See URL:
The essay also appears in:
The Waste Land
A Norton Critical Edition
Edited by Michael North (of University of California, Los Angeles)
W.W. Norton & Company, New Nork, 2001
I have North's book and the essay appears there on pages 89-111 and
Eliot's letter to Firuski on pp. 107-8. Earlier though (p. 96) Rainey
mentioned that Liveright met with Pound, Eliot and Joyce on January 3,
1922 and offered the authors various publishing deals (Eliot had just
gotten to Paris on the way back to London from Lausanne.) Liveright
offered to publish Eliot's TWL.
Liveright was nervous only about it's length; in a brief note dated
January, a week before Eliot had left Paris, he expressed his
that the poem might not be long enough. "I'm disappointed that
material is as short. Can't he add anything?" he pleaded with Pound.
Rainey added a lengthy footnote for this with the citation and other
information and speculation.
I think we can agree that Pound must have mentioned Liveright's
concern to Eliot as they edited TWL.
So, while Eliot may have been intending to put in notes to TWL from
the start I say that it is probably from the time of learning that TWL
might be too short that Eliot started writing notes with quotes from
his alluded works instead of just citations (and then there are his
comments.) Eliot's letter to Firuski asking him if he would consider
publishing TWL (and mentioning the notes he intended to add) came
after he likely knew that the poem was too short for a book.
Now we should consider whether Eliot was trying to mislead us with his
1956 comment. His comment does cause me to think that the wordy notes
in TWL were added after the magazine publications and that the
shortness was discovered just in time (instead of nearly a year
earlier.) But, for the most part, I don't think Eliot intended to
mislead us. His comment was an aside to an essay, and not to an essay
on the history of TWL's publication and he made his main point quite