"David B. Martin 00" wrote:
> I read in a New Yorker article (by Louis Menand) last fall that a
> group of scholars -- on somewhat thin evidence -- believe that Eliot
> was gay and had a lover while in Paris: Jean Verdenal.
Also read the book discussed here:
> But it seems to me that the publish date, 1922, of The Waste Land
> would have been far too late to nurse a wounded heart in public,
> published form -- am I naive in thinkin this?
He had been planning TWL for a long time. See a letter to Conrad Aiken
of January 1916. He mentions Verdenal. This was less than a year after
Verdenal's death. It also took most of 1922 just to get the poem published.
The draft was essentially completed in December 1921.
> Did he spend the five year balance completing the remaining poems,
> refining the eponymous poem, or just involved with other pursuits?
Working, working, working.
> Besides, do we have hard evidence that he did not completely rewrite
> the poem in 1917 anyways?
As Nancy replied, the poem had few changes. It was essentially
completed in Munich in 1911 and was, I believe, started before leaving
for Paris. I see a lot of Verdenal in TWL but little in Prufrock.