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
I've sent TSE the stuff below previously. This time it is
a mishmash of various posts.
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."
"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