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THOOMAS STEARNS ELIOT

LIFE

Was born in 1888 in St Missouri from a English family


In 1906 he went to Harvard where he take his degree
He went to Sorbonne in Paris to study philosophy of Bergson
In France he begun to read French Symbolists
He travelled to Germany where he continue the study of literature and philosophy
When outbreak the World War I in 1914 he vas forced to leave Germany and he went Merton College, Oxford to study
philosophy
His life and those events influenced his major works

THE MEETING WITH POUND AND THE DIFFICULT YEARS

In England He teach in London, but in 1915 he went to work in Lloyds bank until 1925
The first major poem of Eliot was the love song of J. Alfred Prufrock on the magazine Poetry with the influence of
American poet Ezna Pound in 1917
The years 1915-1925 were very difficult for Eliot.
1) For money problems, he have to work fill-time in the bank
2) Poor relation with his wife
3) His own nervous instability
4) General dissatisfaction for modern life common to most of the artist of this period
5) He have a nervous breakdown in 1921, and so he went in a sanatorium at first in England and then in Swiss during
this period he finish the first draft of the waste land
On the way back he went to Paris and present his work to Ezna Pound who helped him with this opera

FROM NIHILISM TO FAITH

The waste land was published in 1922 and Eliot became the major modernist poet writing in England
He left the work in the bank and he became the director of a publishing house while he continued to write poetry
The late 1920s and 1930s were very important for Eliot because he found in the religion one way out of nihilism
He gradually accepted the Christian faith and he acquire British citizenship and he converted to Anglicanism
With those themes he wrote the journey of the Magi, and Ash Wednesday and the best known play, murder in the
cathedral, that talk about the martyrdom of Thomas Becket and the collection of poems Four Quartet.

LAST PALYS

After World War he wrote DRAMA, CRITICISM and REVIWING.

He create a new type of drama mixing the themes of philosophy with the themes of religion and using the language of
drawing-room conversation, for example the cocktail party , in which he treat religious and moral themes through
sophisticated social comedies
In 1948 he received both the Nobel for literature and a British Order of Merit from King George VI
In his last hears he was very active, writing, lecturing and giving pupplic reading of his poems.
He died in London in 1965

THE CRITIC

He prestige in literary critic was as his prestige as a writer. His criticism is not more known, maybe because it is disturbing in his
terrible attack on modern society.
THE WAST LAND

TITLE:
The most important work in the modernist tradition and surely the richest in poetry in 20th century, leaving the Victorian
models.
Its influence have an immense importance also in the authors who have not followed Eliot method.

TYPE: Its an autobiographical work during a difficult period of the author

NARRATOR: The speaking voice composed is related to various personalities: Tiresias, an horseman of the Grail legend, the
Fisher King.

THEMES:
2) disillusionment and disgusting of World War I
3) contrasting between the present sterility and past fertility
4) the mythical past linked to a new concept of History (REPETITION OF THE SAME EVENTS)
5) spring symbols (=absent of rebirth)

STYLE:
1) association of ideas: past and present are simulated
2) mythical method: to give significance to present futility
3) subjective experience made universal
4) use of juxtaposition
5) quotations: from different language and literary works
6) fragmentation
7) implication: to active participation in the reader
8) objective correlative: is a model of objects, events, actions or a situation that can be useful to awaken in the reader and
emotional response without a clear declaration of that subjective emotion
9) repetition of worlds, images and phrases

FIVE PARTS:
1) The burial of the Dead
2) A game of Chess
3) The fire Sermon
4) Death by water
5) What the Thunder said

CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL STERILITY

It consider by many the best and most important poem of 20th century.

It successfully expresses the modern artists disillusion with the modern world and the disperate need and search for new
tradition
It also represent the end of first phase of his career which we could called nihilistic. THE POET SEES ONLY DESOLATION AND
RUINS AROUND HIM and it is connected with the decay of western civilization that followed the World War I.
This poem cannot be reconstructed in a logical and coherent ordered narrative or message
The fragmentation of the poem is the reflection of the fragmentation of the contemporary culture, in which every
artist try to found a personal interpretation and ordering.
The central metaphor of the poems is the dryness and sterility of the modern life and society, the death of the western
civilization though a lack of any credence, religious or other, that can give meaning to everyday existence.
THE MYTICAL STRUCTURE OF THE POEM

Eliot to explain the theme of the poem brings with the modern images of decadence, images and echoes from acient myths and
legends. The order of the myths are projected on the chaos of modern life

ELIOTS METHODE

Its lack of traditional structure, its structure its modernist with five unequal sections show no realistic or logical continuity.
The lack of narrative continuity shows his stream of consciousness technique based on free associations of thoughts in the
human mind
Eliot use the quotation or allusion to thirty five writer in six different languages and also to philosophical and religious
traditions.
its typical the use of Dante to express the modern sensibility is typical, for example the mass of damned soul in the end of
Burial Dead recalled the Dantes Inferno
the metrical scheme is various: lines vary in the duration and the rhythm and would seem to be a form of free verse, even if
there are some regularities and rhymes.

THE FIRE SERMON


TITLE: The title came from a sermon given by Buddha in which he encourages his followers to abandon earthly passion (fire)
and seek freedom from earthly things
SETTING: the place is London during a winter noon; the city seems unreal since it is in a brown fog and only commercial and
mercantile town.
MR EUGENESIS: the impossibility of regeneration is symbolized by the currants in his pocket, the dry version of one past fertile
fruit.
TIRESIA: possesses the knowledge of the two sexes and have the qualified to summarise the human experience. Hes forced to
sit and watch the sordid life of human. He can see the nature of the dead. Present, past and future co-exist in him, in fact hes
coming from past, has already lived the events in the present, and also is able to foretell the future, but he cannot do anything
to guide it.
Eliot removed all the romantic notes from the setting and characters for a sense of sterility
1) The woman: is apathetic morally and emotionally as a machine in a empty world. Shes liberal independent and free but
she isnt happy . she live alone in a bedsitter full of uninteresting objects (with the present)
2) The mans action goes in an indifferent direction, jes flushed and decided and not worried about the womans
indifference: he goes away satisfied , and hes not able to take in his hand the squalor of his life

MESSAGE: Eliot want to communicate the impossibility to communicate in the waste land while the love will be luxury. The role
of Tiresias is appropriate to the protagonist because hes walking among the death. The modern significance of making love is in
the imagine of gramophone: it only a mechanical object, as the automatic hand that give us the impression of sterility and
squalor, monotony and indifference of this relationship
THE BURIAL OF DEATH

Opens the poems with the coming of spring as a cruel thing. The main contrast aridity/fertility is expressed with a series of
images and scenes which describe a fragmented and sterile world. Ends with the image of dead solus on the London Bridge, a
quotation from the Dantes inferno.

dramatic monologue
main theme: death and rebirth
opening: coming of spring
TITLE: is referring to the funeral service in the Anglican rite, to introduce the metaphor of the condition of contemporary
man, whose life is empty and meaningless, similar to death
Style: rejection of the sentimentalism of the late Romanticism; search of dry using the hard style which he want to
expresses the cultural sterility and the desperation of the modernity.
There no rhyme, fixed scheme but he use the free verse.
Its FRAGMENTARY IN THE FORM, apparently unconnected, open to various interpretation

April is the cruelest month, breeding Aprile il mese pi crudele, alimenta


Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing lill dalla terra morta, mescolando
Memory and desire, stirring memoria e desiderio, svegliando
Dull roots with spring rain. radici assopite con pioggia di primavera.
(=ARIDITY) Linverno ci tenne al caldo, coprendo
Winter kept us warm, covering la terra con neve immemore, nutrendo
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding una piccola vita con tuberi secchi.
A little life with dried tubers. ()
(=FERTILITY) Quali radici attecchiscano, quali rami crescano
Image of sterility and fertility are contrasted in the first fuori da queste macerie pietrose, o figlio duomo,
line tu non sai dire, o indovinare, poich solo conosci
April is the cruelest month because produce hopes that un cumulo dimmagini infrante dove batte il sole
are destined to fail and brings back to the memory of a e gli alberi scheletriti non offrono riparo. Solo
past time of happiness c ombra sotto questa roccia rossastra
Opposite to Chauchers the Canterbury tales (entrate nellombra della roccia rossastra)
() ()
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow Citt irreale,
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, sotto la caligine di unalba invernale
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only una folla fluiva lungo London Bridge, s lunga tratta di gente
A heap of broken images, ch'i' non avrei creduto tanta morte ne avesse disfatta.
Man cannot see any hopes in the spiritual dryness of Sospiri, brevi ed infrequenti, ne esalavano.
modern life which appear fragmentated Ciascun con lo sguardo fisso a terra.
where the sun beats, Fluiva su per la collina e gi lungo King William street ,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, l dove Saint Mary Woolnoth batteva le ore
And the dry stone no sound of water. con un suono sordo sul rintocco finale delle nove.
Its a tower of rubbish: what kond of nature can births? L vidi un tale che conoscevo e lo fermai, gridando: Stetson!
() Tu che eri con me sulle navi a Mylae,
Unreal City, quel cadavere che sotterrasti nel giardino
An allusion to Baudlaire ha iniziato a germogliare? Fiorir questanno?
Typical city of the Waste land O piuttosto limprovvisa gelata tha rovinato laiuola?
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, Tienici lontano il cane, senn con le unghie
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, lo riporter allo scoperto!
I had not thought death had undone so many. You! hypocrite lecteur!mon semblable,mon frre!
A quotation from Dante
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying: 'Stetson!
Rappresent present and past wars, the weterans THE BURIAL OF
'You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
'That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
'Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
'Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
THE DEAD
'O keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,
'Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!
'You! Hypocrite lecteur! - mon semblable, - mon frre!
We pretend to be live, but we are dead (baudlaire)
Unreal City Citt irreale
Under the brown fog of a winter noon Sotto la nebbia bruna di un meriggio invernale
Mr Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant Mr. Eugenides, il mercante di Smirne,
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants 210 Mal rasato, con una tasca piena d'uva passa
C. i. f. London: documents at sight, C.i.f. London: documenti a vista,
Asked me in demotic French M'invit in un francese demotico
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel Ad una colazione al Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a week-end at the Metropole. Seguita da un weekend al Metropole.

At the violet hour, when the eyes and back 215 Nell'ora violetta, quando gli occhi e la schiena
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine Si levano dallo scrittoio, quando il motore umano attende
waits Come un tass che pulsa nell'attesa,
Like a taxi throbbing waiting, Io Tiresia, bench cieco, pulsando fra due vite,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives, Vecchio con avvizzite mammelle di donna, posso vedere
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see Nell'ora violetta, nell'ora della sera che contende
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives 220 Il ritorno, e il navigante dal mare riconduce al porto,
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea, La dattilografa a casa all'ora dei t, mentre sparecchia la colazione, accende
The typist home at tea-time, clears her breakfast, lights La stufa, mette a posto barattoli di cibo conservato.
Her stove, and lays out food in tins. Pericolosamente stese fuori dalla nestra
Out of the window perilously spread Le sue combinazioni che s'asciugano toccate dagli ultimi raggi del sole,
Her drying combinations touched by the suns last rays, 225 Sopra il divano (che di notte il suo letto)
On the divan are piled (at night her bed) Sono ammucchiate calze, pantofole, fascette e camiciole.
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays. Io Tiresia, vecchio con le mammelle raggrnzite,
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs Osservai la scena, e ne predissi il resto -
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest
I too awaited the expected guest. 230 Anch'io ero in attesa dell'ospite atteso.
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives, Ed ecco apriva il giovanotto foruncoloso,
A small house-agents clerk, with one bold stare, Impiegato d'una piccola agenzia di locazione, sguardo ardito,
One of the low on whom assurance sits Uno di bassa estrazione a cui la sicurezza
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire. S'addice come un cilindro a un cafone rifatto.
The time is now propitious, as he guesses, 235 Ora il momento favorevole, come bene indovina,
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired, Il pasto ormai finito, e lei annoiata e stanca,
Endeavours to engage her in caresses Lui cerca d'impegnarla alle carezze
Which still are unreproved, if undesired. Che non sono respinte, anche se non desiderate.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once; Eccitato e deciso, ecco immediatamente l'assale;
Exploring hands encounter no defence; 240 Le sue mani esploranti non incontrano difesa;
His vanity requires no response, La sua vanit non pretende che vi sia un'intesa, ritiene
And makes a welcome of indifference. L'indifferenza gradita accettazione.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all (E io Tiresia ho presofferto tutto
Enacted on this same divan or bed; Ci che si compie su questo stesso divano o questo letto;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall 245 lo che sedei presso Tebe sotto le mura
And walked among the lowest of the dead.) E camminai fra i morti che pi stanno in basso.)
Bestows one final patronizing kiss, Accorda un bacio finale di protezione,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit E brancola verso l'uscita, trovando le scale non illuminate...

She turns and looks a moment in the glass, Lei si volta e si guarda allo specchio un momento,
Hardly aware of her departed lover; 250 Si rende conto appena che l'amante uscito;
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass: il suo cervello permette che un pensiero solo a met formato
Well now thats done: and Im glad its over. Trascorra: Bene, ora anche questo fatto: lieta che sia finito.
When lovely woman stoops to folly and Quando una donna leggiadra si piega a far follie
Paces about her room again, alone, E percorre di nuovo la sua stanza, sola,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand, 255 Con una mano meccanica i suoi capelli ravvia,
And puts a record on the gramophone. E mette un disco a suonare sul grammofono.

THE FIRE SERMON

Here is no water but only rock Qui non c' acqua ma solo roccia
Rock and no water and the sandy road roccia e non acqua, e la strada di sabbia
The road winding above among the mountains la strada che si snoda lass tra le montagne
Which are mountains of rock without water montagne di roccia e niente acqua
If there were water we should stop and drink se qui ci fosse acqua ci fermeremmo a bere
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think tra la roccia non ci si pu fermare o pensare
Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand il sudore asciutto, i piedi nella sabbia
If there were only water amongst the rock ci fosse almeno acqua tra la roccia
Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit morta bocca di montagna con i denti cariati che non pu
Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit sputare
There is not even silence in the mountains qui non si pu stare in piedi n sedere n giacere
But dry sterile thunder without rain non c' neanche silenzio tra i monti
There is not even solitude in the mountains ma tuono secco sterile senza pioggia
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl non c' neppure solitudine tra i monti
From doors of mudcracked houses ma volti rossi arcigni che ringhiano e sogghignano
If there were water da soglie di case di fango screpolato
And no rock
If there were rock se ci fosse acqua
And also water e niente roccia
And water se ci fosse roccia
A spring e anche acqua
A pool among the rock e acqua
If there were the sound of water only una sorgente
Not the cicada una pozza fra la roccia
And dry grass singing Se ci fosse il suono dell'acqua solo
But sound of water over a rock Non la cicala
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees E canto erba secca
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop Ma il suono di acqua su una roccia
But there is no water Se il tordo eremita canta tra gli alberi di pino
Drip drop goccia goccia goccia goccia
What is that sound high in the air Ma non c' acqua
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming Che cosa che il suono in aria
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth Mormorio di lamento materno
Ringed by the flat horizon only Chi sono quelle orde incappucciate che sciamano
What is the city over the mountains Oltre pianure infinite, inciampando nella terra screpolata
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air Circondato dal piatto orizzonte solo
Falling towers Qual la citt sulle montagne
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Crepe e riforme e scoppia nell'aria violetta
Vienna London torri di caduta
Unreal Gerusalemme Atene Alessandria
Vienna Londra
irreale
TITLE: came from the holy Hindu book where the Lord of Creation speaks through the thunder

THE SCENARY AS A NIGHTMARE:

its wild, mountainous desert and there is only rock.


There are a big desire to found water and freshness but also the thunder is dry and sterile without rain.
The absence of the water became an obsession, as an hallucinatory presence ( is mentioned 14 times)
The land is compared to a DEAD MOUTH full of carious teeth, death and ruin
The only creature living are the cicadas that symbolize the desperate human who try to escape from the destruction.
The city over the mountain is bursting, and this is the final destruction of all the cities. All the world becames a waste land in
idea of total destruction of all form of civilization
Maybe the end is near, nothing will survive. The poems end with a series of disparate fragments from children song, Dante,
Elisabehan drama and a final chant Shantih
The voice of the thunder is the voice of the salvation, but dont give water
With the image of King Fish Eliot give us the possibility to see far away one possibility of salvation into a new culture and
value system, an alternative for our death.
The thunder speak in Sanskrit:
1) DATTA: GIVE. If people learn to give sex is a new meaning! It would be true emotion and love
2) DAYADHVAM: SYMPATISE. With other we can communicate our true feeling. In the waste land the men thing only for their
3) DAMYATA:CONTROL. Learn to control, we can have self control
DA DA DA Sanskrit worlds may represent the meaning that maybe there is a solution, but only in a difficult ways to do