Those are funny Rick.
Rowson's comic is an incredible visual riff on the poem;
it expresses well the sentiment of "screw this dark shit"
which a lot of "the power of positive think"ers felt about
the poem, Peter Akroyd among them, obviously.
Did P.A. actually think that Eliot was trying to be funny in TWL?
I know there are a million different ways to read the poem, but as
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2007 2:18 AM
Subject: Re: Query: Eliot in Pop Culture
> Tabitha Arnesen wrote:
> > I do know that Eliot is quoted or referenced far more
> > often than one might imagine in comics (and i read a
> > lot of them), and i am always pleased to see him
> > there!
> I've sent TSE the stuff below previously. This time it is
> a mishmash of various posts.
> Rick Parker
> Martin Rowson created a comic book version of "The Waste Land" in
> 1990. This is a melting together of Eliot's poem, Raymond Chandler's
> "The Big Sleep" and Dashiell Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon."
> The detective hero is Chris Marlowe, an allusion to the poet and
> playwright, Christopher Marlowe, and to Chandler's fictional P.I.,
> Philip Marlowe. Also intended is an allusion to Joseph Conrad's
> recurring character, Marlow, as Conrad makes a cameo appearance
> in the comic. There are other appearances by Tom and Viv Eliot,
> Pound, Yeats, Dante, Elizabeth and Leicester and more.
> Rowson, like Eliot, has included notes to "The Waste Land." This gem
> is in there, quoting William Empson's inaugural lecture as Professor
> of English at Sheffield:
> I was rather pleased one year in China when I had a course on modern
> poetry, The Waste Land and all that, and at the end a student wrote
> in a most friendly way to explain why he wasn't taking the exam.
> It wasn't that he couldn't understand The Waste Land , he said,
> in fact after my lectures the poem was perfectly clear; but it had
> turned out to be disgusting nonsense, and he had decided to join the
> engineering department. Now there a teacher is bound to feel solid
> satifisfaction; he is getting definite results.
> I have gathered a few frames from Part V together and they can be
> viewed for awhile at
> The image isn't the clearest as I wanted to keep the file size down.
> Only a portion of the last frame is shown but I've managed to squeeze
> in Rowson's take on "Murmur of maternal lamentation."
> Some quotes:
> "The book I most appreciated this year was The Waste Land by Martin
> Rowson, a comic strip version of the poem which is far funnier and
> perhaps more genuinely learned than the orginal."
> Peter Ackroyd, The Times
> "`I grow old... I grow old... I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers
> rolled.` What does that mean, Mr. Marlowe?"
> "Not a bloody thing. It just sounds good."
> He smiled. "That is from the `Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.` Here's
> another one. `In the room women come and go/Talking of Michael Angelo.'
> Does that suggest anything to you, sir?"
> Yeah -- it suggests to me that the guy didn't know very much about women."
> "My sentiments exactly, sir. Nonetheless I admire T.S. Eliot very much."
> "Did you say, 'nonetheless'?"
> - The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
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