Fascinating. Curious that there isn't a specific paper.
Will Gray wrote:
> Sorry for the dramatic pause. I had to go looking
>for my paper & notes so I didn't state anything
>spurious. I will not presume that anyone on the list
>cares about an exhaustive catalog, so I'll list some
>categories, with a couple specifics in each. If you'd
>like more info on any of them, please ask and I'll be
>happy to provide it (to the best of my ability).
>Similarities between Pope's THE RAPE OF THE LOCK and
>Eliot's THE WASTE LAND:
>1. Surface similarities (5 sections, notes became
>famous commentary linked to its poem, mock-epic
>moments, games of cards, motif of hair, nymphs,
>initial warning that goes unheeded, interruption by a
>dog, description of a lady's toilet - deleted in TWL,
>a half rape, actions of mealtime, knights, the
>one-eyed man, narratorial words to the reader, music
>along the waters, epigraph as reversal, references to
>time, parody of earlier works, each poem has 2 extant
>2. Similarities in theme (violated women, lust without
>love, abandoned tradition, irreversible change, lack
>of communication, the "Vision at the Beginning" and
>"the Transformation at the End," the quest)
>3. Similarities in composition (previous well-known
>sources form the basis for understanding, Pope's
>zeugma vs. Eliot's juxtaposition, works from an actual
>incident - Fermor family for Pope and Eliot's marriage
>- and speaks to larger issues, Pope's idea of "mutual
>commerce" is a famous predecessor of Eliot's idea of
>Of course, Eliot had a lot to say about Pope, even
>though he had much more to say about Dryden. Here are
>1. C. Ricks finds debts to Pope is several poems from
>INVENTIONS OF THE MARCH HARE
>2. "Reflections on Vers Libre": he compliments Pope's
>facility with heroic couplets
>3. "Andrew Marvell": he labels Pope "the great master
>4. Letter to JM Murray (22 April 1921): in the list of
>"all the critical prose I shall ever want to do" is "A
>seventeenth Century volume to Pope with a Nachblick at
>Colins and Johnson." I believe, and briefly attempt to
>prove that Eliot saw Pope as an exception to the 17th
>century's "dissociation of sensibility," which is why
>he would end this volume here.
>5. Letter to R Aldington (16 Sept 1921) Part of the
>above argument included a phrase from this letter: "if
>English verse had not gone to pieces in the Eighteenth
>Century after Pope (with reservations) and never
>recovered the Seventeenth Century poets might be taken
>quite naturally and without quaintness." Of course,
>comparing these letters, and thoughts from "The
>Metaphysical Poets," we can tell that the 18th
>century's "reservations" could be Collins and Johnson.
>6. Intro to SELECTED POEMS BY EZRA POUND: "The man who
>cannot enjoy Pope as poetry probably understands no
>A couple of the more interesting critical links I
>1. Kristiaan Versluys suggests that both poems are
>mock-epics (Dutch Quarterly Review of Anglo-American
>Letters, 1990: 3-18).
>2. Biographer TS Matthews directly compares Eliot to
>Pope twice: once claiming that "Nothing quite like
>Eliot's tone of voice had been known (in English, at
>any rate) since Alexander Pope: a tone of smooth and
>balanced paradox, dryness and intensity, gravity and
>wit, compact of phrases lucid and memorable as a
>slogan, dark as an unfamiliar proverb, enigmatic,
>intricate, unaccountably stirring (GREAT TOM 189).
>Elsewhere in his biography Matthews claims that Eliot
>is "the finest poet of his kind since Alexander Pope'
>3. Geoffrey Tillotson, in his introduction to THE RAPE
>OF THE LOCK in EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ENGLISH LITERATURE:
>"Pope...made his poem more than a course of mockery.
>He enriched it with at least as many kinds of poetry
>as Eliot used in THE WASTE LAND, which resembles
>Pope's poem in length, comprehensiveness,
>concentration, learning, brilliance, and, especially,
>sensuous beauty" (567).
>As overwhelming as all of this is, these are merely
>the surface connections that I found in a couple
>hundred hours between the two. There's certainly
>enough for a book here, in my opinion, or for several
>more papers. Mine was only meant to be an
>introduction, and much of the above content I was only
>able to allude to.
>--- Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>Will Gray wrote:
>>>instance, I think he may have gotten the idea for
>>>"notes" from Pope's five-part mock-epic "The Rape
>>>the Lock," which is similar to TWL in more than 1
>> Would you say more about the similarities
>>between "The Rape of the
>>the Lock" and "The Waste Land"?
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