Thanks so much Jennifer. You've pretty well covered the bases there.
When I put "invented" I was careless. I meant he came up with the idea.
The references themselves are accurate, for what that's worth. They've
perhaps cause more trouble than they're worth, because people have
gone in for a lot of silly treasure hunting in search of a cue as to what
the poem is all about, and so missed the experience of the poem itself.
Eliot was not trying to play hide and seek with the reader.
There is also a reference somewhere as to the need to fill out some pages
to get the poem up to length for book size. That may indeed be in Pound's
letters. I've scanned Val's intro to TWL ms . but couldn't find it.
Jennifer Formichelli wrote:
> Dear Peter,
> Might the passage you are looking for be Eliot's remarks in 'The
> Frontiers of Criticism' (1956), on the notes to TWL:
> 'The Notes to The Waste Land! I had at first intended only to put
> down all the references for my quotations, with a view toward
> spiking the guns of critics of my earlier poems who accused me of
> plagiarism.' (OPP, pp. 109-10)
> I believe the poem in question of plagiarism was actually 'Cousin
> Nancy' (the last line 'The army of unalterable law' from Meredith's
> 'Lucifer in Starlight'); Eliot , I think , remarks on this in 'To
> Criticise the Critic' (1961) and also in interviews he gave in the
> late 1950s in the Yorkshire Post and perhaps elsewhere. Eliot does not
> say that he 'invented the notes'; however, Southam and some others
> discuss some quite strange remarks he makes in them. There is also I
> think quite a bit on this in the Casebook for The Waste Land (a
> collection of mainly contemporaneous reviews and criticism of the poem).
> As for poems and the question of annotation, there are other
> annotated poems. Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner might even be
> considered annotated in a sense. Eliot remarks on Marianne Moore's
> notes to her poems in OPP as cited above, and Empson also annotated
> some of his poems, as well as writing a wonderful essay about
> annotation and poems, 'Obscurity and Annotation' (1930), collected in
> Argufying. I'm sure others on the list can think of others. As for
> novels, I'm uncertain: perhaps others on the list can think of some
> that are annotated by their authors. I know John Barthes in The Friday
> Book has some fun with annotations of annotations, but that doesn't
> quite count. Were there any annotations in The Name of the Rose? I
> can't recall.
> Anyone else?
> Yours, Jennifer
> On Tuesday, July 26, 2005, at 03:50 PM, Peter Montgomery wrote:
>> If I wrack my brain hard enough I may remember just were Eliot talked
>> about that.
>> He was criticised, when Pruffy came out for having so many borrowings
>> in his poem.
>> Check Cleanth Brooks on that. The thought occurs that the critics
>> were just
>> too overwhelmed by the poem, didn't know what to make of it, and so
>> they had to pick on something. It was very UNFAIR criticism, given
>> that English poets
>> have always used allusions galore with out citing the sources.
>> As to the notes on The Waste Land, the story goes that he and the
>> wanted to produce it in book form but it was just too small, so Eliot
>> invented the notes, partly as a finger up at the critics of Prufrock.
>> There is a lot of doubleness in the notes if one sees them as a send
>> up, eg the one at the end of The Fire Sermon about the collocation
>> of Eastern and Western culture at this point in the poem note being
>> an accident. Of course it's not an accident, so why say so.
>> Besides which, how many poems (or short stories or novels for that
>> provide citational work? I can't think of any other than TWL at
>> the moment.
>> As to where you can find all this, well I strongly remember Eliot
>> referring to it in an
>> essay or prose piece. I don't remember where. If I had the time I
>> would look in
>> To Criticise The Critic first, and if not there, then On Poetry and
>> Look for places where he is talking about his own work.
>> It would take a lot of skimming, but that's the best I offer for now.
>> Perhaps someone else can help. It isn't referred to a lot in Eliot
>> studies, but, on the other hand, it is referred to from time to time.
>> (If that makes any sense.)
>> Marcia Karp wrote:
>>> Peter Montgomery wrote:
>>>> must remember that Eliot was deliberately having on those critics who
>>>> slammed him for not having citations for Prufrock.
>>> Dear Peter,
>>> I don't remember this being so. Where might I learn (and then
>>> remember) that TWL notes have anything to do with Prufrock? What
>>> citations were readers missing for that poem? How did the notes for
>>> TWL come about?
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