Thanks very much for linking to this fascinating article. I see in the notes that Hesse's findings on Marie Larisch were published in the TLS in 1974. I intend to read that and search for other of her writings in English (I'm assuming the TLS wouldn't publish an article in German.)
However Hesse seems to assume that Eliot's "secret" was homosexuality or bisexuality, when it may have just been his reticence regarding expressing strong feelings. He said as much himself when he described using a powerful emotion as a "pressure" that informs the poem but is not directly expressed in it. I can't see any evidence for Hesse's assumption either in the poem or in the literature by and on Eliot. I don't think it could be said to be either true or not true.
Tiresias being androgynous proves nothing. I see him as an epicene who is not limited to the perspective of any sex; he is the witness who sees all points of view. Changeable identity is a leitmotif in the poem; why should it be limited to sexual identity?
> Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 17:33:32 -0400 > From: [log in to unmask] > Subject: Re: In the mountains (was: Gerontion) > To: [log in to unmask] > > Diana Manister wrote: > > > > Dear Rick, > > > > How lovely, delicious and stealable those lines are! ... > > You found me out Diana. I'm a thief. I found out about the song in an > essay about Eva Hesse's 1973 translation of "The Waste Land" into > German. I didn't want to cite the article without having the time to > write about it a bit first. > > See: > Elizabeth Däumer: (Re)modernizing Eliot: Eva Hesse and Das Wüste Land > In: The International Reception of T.S. Eliot, Hsg. Elizabeth Däumer > and Shyamal Bagchee, London Continuum Press 2007 > > Däumer's essay is also online at Eva Hesses's website at URL > http://home.arcor.de/eva.hesse/essay.htm > > Two end notes in the essay of interest: > > 15) In her chapter on the striking parallels between Countess Larisch’s > My Past and The Waste Land, Hesse points to Marie Larisch as a ‘double’ > of the poem’s narrator who shared his homoerotic leanings (apparent in > Marie’s erotic fixation on Kaiserin Sissy) and profound sense of guilt > (Das Wüste Land: Eine Analyse 111-112). . Hesse’s findings on the > centrality of Marie Larisch to The Waste Land were also published in > the Times Literary Supplement (21 June 1974, 671). > > 21) Hesse foregrounded the presence of Marie Larisch by translating > ‘In the mountains, there you feel free’ (‘Burial of the Dead’ CPP 37) > as ‘Auf den Bergen wohnt die Freiheit’, the opening line from a Bavarian > folk song prompted by the sudden death of König Ludwig in 1886, whose > homosexuality and death by drowning make him a ghostly double of Jean > Verdenal (Das Wüste Land: Eine Analyse, 109). Hesse speculates that > Eliot knew about the song from his conversation with Marie Larisch--who > was intimately connected with Ludwig’s cousin, Kaiserin Sissy--and > integrated it into the opening lines of The Waste Land. ... > > Däumer cites: > > Eva Hesse: T.S. Eliot und 'Das wüste Land'. Eine Analyse > Frankfurt: Suhrkamp 1973 > > Däumer's essay will be of interest to many on the TSE list because: > > It deals with poetry translation. Example: Hesse translated "April is > the cruelest month" as "April benimmt das Herz" and Däumer explains why > she retranslates this as "April stuns the heart." > > The translation is an attempt to get Hesse's own personal take on the > poem across. > > Hesse deal with Larisch and Verdenal as central characters in TWL. > > An academic war is described. > > There is a bit on feminism too. > > The essay is well worth a skim at least. > > Regards, > Rick Parker
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