Limited is as limited does. Diana
So it helps with the embryology, but in fact it can get in the way of the
reading of the poem
by limiting the creative experience just to the orinial prompting
> Diana's point is very important, and it takes on added significance that
> according to Valerie Eliot, "in fact he had met the author (when and
> where is not known), and his description of the sledding, for example,
> was taken verbatim from a conversation he had with this neice and
> confidante of the Austrian Empress Elizabeth."
> When verbatim conversations of actual people and events are placed in a
> poem, clearly biography is significant. Moreover, Eliot was in Germany
> when WWI started, listened to tales of trench warfare from his
> brother-in-law Maurice, and wrote many many letters about the deeply
> disturbing impact of that War and the difficulties of the Home Front.
> All of that plays into the world he sees in TWL. It also connects his
> use of Hesse and his admiration for Hesse to his own experience.
> >>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 08/31/06 11:48 AM >>>
> Peter wrote:
> "It is interesting to know that Marie of TWL perhaps reflects an actual
> person, but what relevance is that to the poem as a whole, other than,
> perhaps, that other parts of the poem reflect related actual elements of
> life. Interesting, but so what?"
> Peter, it is more than interesting that Marie is certainly Marie,
> Countess Larisch, and that her story illustrates not only the state of
> the aristocracy in Europe during the war years but the migrations of
> refugees it caused, both themes in TWL In addition, Eliot quotes her
> speaking in her native language, not in translation. The sampling of
> untranslated languages in the poem is a somewhat separate issue, but in
> this instance it brings home the Countess's refugee status in a concrete
> More about her can be found at
> http://world.std.com/~raparker/exploring/thewasteland/exmarie.html if
> this excerpt does not suffice.
> "Marie's life took a turn for the worst in January 1889 when Archduke
> Rudolph, who was married to Princess Stephanie (the daughter of Leopold
> II of Belgium) was found dead at Mayerling, a hunting lodge not far from
> Vienna. The body of the archduke, the heir to the Austrian Empire, was
> found with the body of Marie (Mary) Vetsera, a baroness who was his
> mistress (see Mayerling below.) Even by her own accounts the Countess
> had been serving as a go-between for Rudolph and Mary, although, in her
> books, she wrote that she was at times duped and at other times her
> good-nature was taken advantage of. Despite this, when the affair came
> to its bloody end she suffered the wrath of the imperial family and
> became the disgrace of Europe.
> During World War I the Countess underwent six months training and served
> as a Red Cross supervisor in charge of hospital trains. Her son Otto was
> called to service in the last year of the war until he was gassed and
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