This is a response because I am hoping others will engage in a real
discussion. Otherwise it would not be worth writing.

That is one fairly common opinion, and Pound did say that unless Eliot
could not write it better than Pope, he shouldn't write it, and he
couldn't. But the result of Pound's edits go far beyond style. This is
just one opinion among many. Moreover, Pound not only did not object to
Eliot's forays into the "revolting": they exchanged what they imagined
was amusement of that sort. And Pound's letters to Marianne Moore
include an equally misogynist attitude if not as overtly disgusting
images for the context of a letter to her. 

This sending of articles one agrees with as if they were somehow proof
of an opinion is pointless because the history of Eliot studies is far
too extensive and controversial. There are many readings, and unless you
have an argument for specifically why this is somehow "true," it is not
really relevant to discussion. I rather doubt you would appreciate it if
I sent citations and quotations and statements from my own books and
articles and those of others I find compelling. 

P. S. I had hoped that the issue of the War would elicit some genuine
discussion. I still do. But so far it had just begun when the blogging
started again and that was the usual block to any views from the list.

>>> Chokh Raj 08/10/13 10:34 AM >>>

Incidentally, the Fresca passage was removed not because it was
revolting (for what is hell if it's not revolting) but for reasons of
style. Here's a study:

Recognizing Venus (II): Dido, Aeneas, and Mr. Eliot

Kenneth Reckford

Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics

Third Series, Vol. 3, No. 2/3 (Fall, 1995 - Winter, 1996), pp. 43-80

Published by: Trustees of Boston University

Article Stable URL:


The wasteland that was T.S Eliot's first marriage

Josephine Hart

London Evening Standard

05 November 2009

"To her the marriage brought no happiness to me it brought the state of
mind out of which came The Waste Land." - TS Eliot

"Between the motion and the action falls the shadow," he wrote in The
Hollow Men

The man for whom Dante was a perpetual inspiration was now trapped in
his own inferno.

Fresca (subsequently removed at Pound's behest) was part of that hell, a
disguised version of V, maybe.

All this does connect with Eliot's later description of the poem as “the
relief of a personal and wholly insignificant grouse against life … just
a piece of rhythmical grumbling."

WW1, no doubt, was there. But The Waste Land, as Eliot wrote to Forster,
"might have been just the same without the war." 


We must also keep in mind Eliot's later description of the poem as “the
relief of a personal and wholly insignificant grouse against life … just
a piece of rhythmical grumbling." It only confirms that the poem was
essentially a lament on the loss of love. 


PS - fructify life and redeem it in terms of divine love


Forgive my rushing in but I just wished to say that I'd concur with Tom.

Just a word, vis-a-vis Tom's observations, about Dante's Inferno that
keeps coming to my mind vis-a-vis TWL. Hell to Dante was, in effect, the
absence of 'love' with all its attributes including those Eliot lists in
What the Thunder Said: Datta (Surrender in love), Dayadhvam (the
opposite of pride/ego), and Damyata (Control). Eliot's wasteland is a
waste essentially because it is devoid of love, and it is this alone
(i.e. love) by which we //fructify life//.