The reader does have the option of reading the poem in any order he wants.
If the tarot layout is any indicator, all parts need to be read in
relationship to all other parts.
Following this philosophy I taught my freshmen lit courses in
a-chronological order. IE: the works were selected randomly as to order from
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tabitha Arnesen" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 4:22 PM
Subject: Re: Rewrite The Waste Land - Part IV
> Hey Rickard,
> 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
> > reflects
> > > 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
> > Sermon".
> > 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.
> > Regards,
> > Rick Parker
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