I got to be on a panel discussion of The Waste
Land this year. It was a fantastic conference. Some highlights:
*Chris Buttram confirmed that next year's conference will be in June in the
UK. I'm sure most of you had already heard about this, just not the date. The
conference will be something like a week long, with trips to 3 of the 4Q sites,
as well as a closing soiree of sorts. Many interested in Eliot have been invited
(and Chris asked that if any of us know any, to invite them as well) to this
closing evening, including Mrs. Valerie Eliot, who may or may not be able to
attend. I can't recall the speaker for next year -- I'll look it up and get back
with you on that.
*Chris Joyce's paper on spiritual appeasement in Eliot's poetry was quite
interesting and demonstrated a mastery of Eliot's work while trying to draw some
*Prof. Ron Schuchard gave a fantastic paper on Ted Hughes and the way he
was influenced by Eliot.
*Carole Seymour-Jones came in from the UK to talk about her writing of
Painted Shadow. I had not read the book ahead of time, and had been biased
against her work, thinking it was thesis-pushing, but was impressed with her
candor and research.
*Randal Woods gave a paper trying to establish similarities of thought
between Kant and Eliot. It was pretty good.
*The keynote address was from Leon Surette, who spoke on Pale Ramon (from
Wallace Stevens' "The Idea of Order at Key West"), as well as connections
between a possible candidate for Ramon (the actual Ramon Fernandez), Stevens,
*In the afternoon there was a panel on The Waste Land which included 5
graduate students (myself among them). Papers were on:
--the ethics of presence in TWL
--the influence of Alexander Pope on the writing of TWL
--the motif of hair in the poem and its connection with repression
--Eliot's unwilling philosophy of authorship and TWL
--the mysterious "third" in TWL and its connection with the mysterious
aspect of the inner self that is recognized as foreign
*Man-Sik Lee (a fairly prominent member of the Korean TSE society, which is
significantly larger than its American counterpart) gave a
more-interesting-than-expected comparison of Eliot and Derrida, addressing
similarities of idea and practice.
*Anju Dhadda gave a rather long (it was the last one) but also rather
interesting paper suggesting that at the base of all of Eliot's thought was his
conception of time. There were some substantial contributions to thinking about
Eliot; I hope she is able to publish them.
If you have any other questions, I'm not sure if I was the only one from
the list there or not. I would be delighted to give more information, if you
would care for any.
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one has reported on this year's conference. Were any list members