Here's a JSTOR review of a 2005 bilingual edition of The Waste Land with Introduction and Notes by Viorica Patea. It deals with the question of how a work of art has its beginnings in the poet's personal experience and how it transcends that, i.e. how an insignificant personal complaint gets converted into an astounding religious, philosophical and literary accomplishment.


As I have always held that the origins of a work of art may be in the artist's personal experience BUT in the act of creation the work of art far exceeds its personal bounds and emerges as something that is timeless and impersonal. IMHO, no amount of biographical approach can pin a work down to the merely personal. Our beginnings may be humble but there is no knowing our ends.


From: P <[log in to unmask]>;
To: <[log in to unmask]>;
Subject: Re: The Waste Land - a Tarot reading
Sent: Sun, Aug 25, 2013 5:02:54 AM

Agreed, so much! It seems to me a cynical attempt to take Eliot's standing down a notch or three. I have seen no validation of any effectiveness in that direction, although I could believe he said it at the time of writing given his state of mind.

Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

On 8/24/2013 8:51 PM, Chokh Raj wrote:
Well,  since Eliot...admitted to the poem being "the relief of a personal and wholly inSsignificant grouse against life ... just a piece of rhythmical grumbling",

    Has it ever been established whether Eliot ever actually uttered those words? Two and a half years ago Tom Colket posed the question, noting that Valerie Eliot attributed them to a "recording" of a deceased professor supposedly quoting Eliot. Apparently Henry Eliot was in some manner a party to it, but is anyone aware of any additional  specific information about the provenance of this frequently repeated "quote"? It is often used as a corner post for discussion of TWL, but it seems a corner post standing on a very weak foundation. 

 Ken A