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Katherine Sas- Response to TS Eliot Video

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 11 months ago

I really enjoyed the video, and found it very informative. In terms of learning to further appreciate Eliot's style, I thought the dramatic readings with the actors were particularly helpful. This was most evident in the reading of A Game of Chess, where the man and woman played the various roles. This proves what we've been discussing about Eliot's dramatic style. It was also interesting to hear it read in the London dialects. The way the women in the bar scene was read was particularly wonderful. It really proved the point to me that Eliot was concerned with contemporary, urban, modern life, especially in London. While his poetry was mainly written for the elite, it was not solely about the elite. The common people were his concern, too. Hearing Eliot's poetry read out loud really does make all the difference!


I was also struck by the comments of one critic, who reminded us that while we are "getting closer" to understand the meaning of "The Waste Land," we will never truly get there. In a way, there is nowhere to get. This is not a math problem that has a simple solution, a right-or-wrong answer. In art, the journey of understanding and enjoying is itself the end-point. We shouldn't expect to, one day, have the light bulb flick on--and suddenly we understand! It does not work that way, especially with such a complex poet as T.S. Eliot. We should learn to enjoy the ride of the poem itself, and let it move us or aid us where it can, and worry less about putting the puzzle pieces together. I think this is good advice for literary studies in general.


Anne-Marie Robinson's comment:

    The reminder that "The Waste Land" isn't a solvable equation with a tidy solution relieved me too.  I especially appreciated the critic's explanation that readers of the poem can only "attend to it" - they can only be present in it, accompany it, and heed it.  That relieved me, as I had found myself frustrated that "attending to it" was about all I could do.  I feel better knowing that Eliot's poem can't - and shouldn't - be simplified. 


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