What do listmembers think of giving Pound credit or blame for shaping
The Waste Land? For example, Lyndall Gordon regrets that Pound's cuts
eliminated many of Eliot's references to positive religious
experiences. Recently, in "Avant-Garde Eliot" (21st-Century
Modernism, in the Blackwell Manifestos series, 2002), Marjorie
Perloff argues that Eliot was actually more avant-garde in Prufrock
than in The Waste Land because the latter's "fragmentation,
parataxis, and collage structure . . . is largely the product of
Pound's severe cuts."
This opinion makes Eliot seem rather passive. Most poets, I imagine,
show their poems to friends, and the decisions about the final form
are still their own. Would the poem have seemed any less fragmented
and collage-like if passages such as Song, Dirge, Exequy, Death of
the Duchess and even the sea voyage passage had stayed in the poem?