Thursday, December 15, 2022

A wonderful appreciation …

… The Waste Land at 100 | The Russell Kirk Center. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The Waste Land is full of tattered costumes and hints of consolation, too, but it also attempts to represent the world as it is and why one might wish to escape it. Moreover, it attempts to depict the present moment, the modern world, without sublimation but nonetheless in relation to that which transcends it: the archetypes of myth, the cyclical movements of history. If the fragmentation of poetic language found in Eliot’s poem would lead poetry in a direction from which all clear speech and substantial insights were to be excluded, the poem itself remains one of the most ambitious and strangely successful efforts in our literature to comprehend the vast horizons of history and spirit. In brief, it is a poem of great substance.

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