I think the divisions are there in the elements and maybe seasons, but
what Eliot showed Pound was not just those four bits. Pound also made
comments on other fragments, and he saw the fifth part later after it was
written at Lausanne and wrote "OK from here on I think" at the start. I also
do not see how the word "pastoral" fits at all, nor do I see anything
sacralized to desacralize in the originals. I think McLuhan was clearly not
working on a basis of what has since been pretty well dated. I don't think
the analysis holds up now at all.
Date sent: Sun, 10 Nov 2002 15:05:57 -0800
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Love at first? sight
To: [log in to unmask]
From: Nancy Gish I don't know the date of this McLuhan text, but it must
be prior to current knowledge of the composition of the poem.
PM>The speech was given at the University of Idaho on April 25, 1978 at
7:30 pm before an audience of some 500 persons.
NG>And I am at a loss to understand what you mean by "pastoral" parts.
What was cut was largely narratives of a drunken night out in Boston, a
ship's journey toward being wrecked, long pieces about London and
versions of drowning poems.
PM>Pardon please, my sloppy attempts to summarise a large statement,
based on memory. Here is the relevant paragraph from the original:
The Waste Land that Eliot first showed to Pound was a four-part poem,
both seasonal elegy and city pastoral. Embedded in this text was a
dramatic ode to London written in the terza rima of Dante. Eliot's original
four-part structure of The Waste Land is an anticipation of the four
divisions of the Four Quartets in respect to the four seasons, the four
elements, and the four analogical levels of exegesis. All of these are
musical and simultaneous rather than sequential. Pound modified this
liturgical pattern by desacralizing it. He was alienated by the religious
aspect of Eliot's four levels, which as a medievalist he, too, understood
So there you go. Keep in mind that whatever else McLuhan was, he
was a NASH specialist (under Leavis at Cambridge), focussed on
the medieval processes of education as he found them transforming