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The Design of The Waste Land
By Burton Blistein
University Press of America, 2008.
"The Design of "The Waste Land" offers a detailed, comprehensive explanation of
T. S. Eliot's enigmatic poem. It relates The Waste Land to earlier and later poems
by Eliot, demonstrating that the major poems describe a continuous spiritual odyssey
or quest undertaken by the same individual, initiated by the moment of ecstasy in
the Hyacinth garden." "Blistein's analysis of Eliot's sources reveals that the
protagonist's glimpse of "the heart of light" is equivalent to drinking from the Grail, or communing with God. The incarnate deity momentarily transforms the Hyacinth garden into the likeness of the Edenic paradise. With the inevitable passing of the moment of communion, the protagonist in effect is expelled from the paradisiacal garden as mankind was from Eden. By contrast, the familiar world appears to him a wasteland. The protagonist seeks to drink again from the divine Source and return again to the garden as it was when transfigured by the divine presence. His is a quest for grail and homeland."--BOOK JACKET.