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 <[log in to unmask]>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//.