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RaphaŽl Ingelbien wrote:

> Is my memory failing me, or weren't there two versions of the
> Satyricon? One would have been available in scholarly editions like
> the one you mention, the other one was a more explicit, licentious
> version, which was also a kind of underground classic circulated among
> decadents.  I remember a thread about the Satyricon some years ago -
> the late Pat Sloane seemed quite knowledgeable about it. If the
> archives are still up...


Some webpages of Pat's are still up.  Here's something from URL
    http://www.missouri.edu/~tselist/sloane12.html

Petronius' Satyricon, the Roman novel from which Eliot took the Sibyl
epigraph, leads a double life. The setting is Nero's Rome (which
burned). If Henry Miller had been alive at the time, this might have
been the book he would have written. Petronius' low-life characters
speak the rarely-documented gutter Latin from which the Romance
languages developed. The definitive Latin-English edition of the
Satyricon is said to be an invaluable scholarly resource for this
reason. Leading its more bawdy alternative life, the Satyricon is a
famous pornographic book, still widely available as such. In The
Sacred Wood, as well as in the epigraph to The Waste Land, Eliot
worked mightily to persuade his own readers to have a look at the
Satyricon. The borrowing he uses as an epigraph to The Sacred Wood,
like the epigraph to The Waste Land, is not pornographic in itself. It
complains (in Latin) about the hard lives of poets.

Those with an academic interest in the Satyricon can consult the
standard edition by Konrad Muller (Basel, 1961), with English
translations by W. Burnaby (1694) and W. Arrowsmith (1963). The
alternative version is The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter (Translation
ascribed to Oscar Wilde. New York: Book Collectors Association,
1934). One Satyricon is easily distinguished from the other, and both
may be needed in reading The Waste Land.

The porno Satyricon has no Latin text (only the English), no notes, no
scholarly apparatus. The English translation is attributed to Oscar
Wilde. An admirably sober introduction (unsigned) seems addressed to
yesterday's defenders of public decency. It piously offers the
once-obligatory reassurance that the book has redeeming literary
value. For Eliot's reader, the bawdy aspect of the Satyricon may point
to an insight that might as easily come from reading Frazer, or Joseph
Conrad's Heart of Darkness. At what Eliot coyly calls "vegetation
ceremonies," nobody was planting vegetables