The quote is directly from Brooker and Bentley.  It is not necessarily the
way I read the first four lines of TWL.  I initially ( three years ago) read
the first four lines as you describe, threw up my hands, and continued to
plough on until I ran into a bunch of German (which is as Latin to me).   I
skipped rapidly over the German and then ran smack into Marie.  Not even
being done with page one I bought Brooker and Bentley's book and got very
serious about the poem.  I wish I could say that I was able to read the poem
without alot of outside help.  Such is not the fact.  It is kinda curious to
need a 230 page book in order to read a 19 page poem.   With
Brooker/Bentley's assistance I was able to read the poem completely at one
sitting.  I considered that to be a singular accomplishment.  I have
subsequently read several guides to the poem including Nancy Gish's and
Grover Smith's.  Each has been very helpful.  None is absolutely satisfying
in itself as each takes a different line to the poem.

I wanted explicit connection during my first readings.  I was not initially
able to trust because I had no sense of needing to.  Modernist poetry
requires a lot of trust or experience with reading poetry.

Rick Seddon
McIntosh, NM, USA
-----Original Message-----
From: Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Monday, July 16, 2001 12:39 PM
Subject: Re: Carbuncular

>On Mon, 16 Jul 2001, Richard Seddon wrotein part:
>>     "When we read 'April is the cruelest month,'  we immediately move
>> from the text in an attempt to figure out what it means.  In this process
>> interpretation we automatically push the text aside.  But we discover
>> multiple and inconclusive results which are insufficient or aesthetically
>> less desirable than the initial textual fact. This leads us to abandon
>> interpretations and refocus on 'April is the cruelest month.'  We have
>> outside, found and weighed various meanings, considered them, and
>> to the text.  But it is a return with a difference, a difference made by
>> process of trying to interpret.  We call this journey which begins and
>> with the text a "hermeneutical loop," a journey which finally takes us
>> beyond hermeneutics leaving us in a posthermeneutical state".  (page 12,
>> "Reading the Waste Land";   Jewel Spears Brooker and Joseph Bentley).
>Dear Rick,
>  I'll respond to one small bit of your post.  I don't read the way you've
>described.  After I read "April ..." I then read the next line and the
>next.  When I encounter "Mixing memory ..." I trust there is a connection
>to the first line.