Friday, February 03, 2006

Waste Land facsimile

Hi folks,

I put some scans from the original Waste Land manuscript up here. You can see on these pages Eliot's original typescript as well as edits made by Ezra Pound, Vivian Eliot, and T.S. himself. I'll bring the book in on Tuesday so you can all see them up close. Pound does a fairly marvelous job whittling this work down to something taut and compact. The entire first page falls to the hatchet as well as much else along the way.

As you can see, the original title was "He Do the Police in Different Voices," a quotation taken from Dickens' Our Mutual Friend, referring to one character's propensity to read the newspaper aloud in, well, different voices. What is Eliot trying to do with all the fragments of texts and all the various voices speaking from within the poem? Do we hear the poet's own voice as well or is his voice obscured by all the others he's conjuring? Or is this melange in fact his own "voice"?

w

1 comment:

jenn said...

I also have the book and will bring it so more people can get time with it.