I think that part IV is better where it is, rather
than between II and III.
Ok, some of the connections between II and IV(hyacinth
girl/pearls, death by water) and III and V
(burning/torches) are less obvious - but that is
probably a good thing!
I think part IV provides a welcome tranquil interlude
after the end of part III.
This way, there is also more of a jolt between each
section, suiting the fragmented feel of the whole
I think having IV as part III would make the poem seem
smoother, and possibly less moving! i cheerfully admit
i could be wrong.
This is a very interesting question, it has made me
think constructive thoughts about the structure of
TWL, that i wouldnt have considered before! it would
be great in a classroom discussion!
--- "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> In the thread "The Context of Marie ( Was Re: a
> Jeremiah sighting?)"
> Nancy Gish wrote (Fri, 13 Jul 2007 13:43:25 -0400):
> > The poem was, as Aiken said, composed of many
> parts from many
> > periods--some at least as early as 1913. So even
> if he fit them into a
> > mosaic with all the conscious intention you see,
> they do not fit into a
> > single unified intention in their creation. I
> don't think they ever do,
> > but that is a different way of reading.
> Peter Montgomery then replied (Sat, 14 Jul 2007
> 20:41:28 -0800):
> > Something on which we agree,
> > although the order is not necessarily arbitrary.
> > They work in this order. Their interpenetration
> > perhaps an intuitive or subconcious sense of a
> state of mind.
> Calvin Bedient in his "He Do the Police in Different
> Voices: The Waste
> Land and Its Protagonist" (p. 159) brings up the
> point that if Part IV
> were deleted totally then TWL would have the imagery
> of the Buddha's
> fire sermon "burning" leading into Part V's "After
> the torchlight red
> on sweaty faces". (Bedient has some other pros and
> cons on the
> deletion but I'll leave them be for now.)
> In correspondence between Eliot and Pound about the
> editing Pound
> suggested that most of "Death by Water" be left out.
> Eliot then
> wondered if he should also remove the remaining
> portion about Phlebas.
> Pound replied:
> I DO advise keeping Phlebas. In fact I more'n
> advise. Phlebas is an
> integral part of the poem; the card pack
> introduces him, the drowned
> phoen. sailor. And he is needed ABSOlootly where
> he is. Must stay in.
> While Eliot may have had a reason for placing "Death
> by Water" after
> "The Fire Sermon" when he wrote his draft (perhaps
> to make an
> exception to lust for sailors ;-) with the deletions
> suggested by
> Pound maybe there should have more thought given to
> the placement of
> now much shorter section. I'm suggesting that
> possibly "The Waste
> Land" would be stronger if the redacted "Death by
> Water" had been
> placed between "A Game of Chess" and "The Fire
> As Bedient wrote, with "Death by Water" out of the
> way, the image
> transition between "The Fire Sermon" and "What the
> Thunder Said" would
> be going from burning to torchlight. But,
> additionally, the imagery
> in "A Game of Chess" would go from the "Good night"
> allusion to
> Ophelia and her later death by water (with her arms
> full of flowers, a
> la the hyacinth girl) to Phlebas entering the
> whirlpool. This would
> have made connections to Part I and II's hyacinth
> girl and the phrase
> "Those are pearls that were his eyes" more explicit
> through closer
> proximity. Also, the transition from "Death by
> Water" to "The Fire
> Sermon" would then have been from the current
> picking Phlebas' bones
> in whispers to the Thames River litter, an excellent
> contrast I think.
> Besides the imagery, the broader ideas would be
> rearranged and I don't
> think that this would harm the poem much and may
> help. I've assigned
> a keyword or two to each of TWL's parts to show how
> the progression of
> meaning would change:
> ORDER ORIGINAL MODIFIED
> I Memory Memory
> II Reality/trapped Reality/trapped
> III Desire Death
> IV Death Desire
> V Purgation/redemption Purgation/redemption
> The new ordering would place Desire and Purgation
> closer together and
> I think that the sequence Memory -> Reality -> Death
> isn't too bad.
> Think past, present, future.
> I'm seeking comments and opinions about this. At
> any rate, this might
> make an interesting classroom discussion topic.
> Rick Parker
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