The Waste Land: Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism
The editor provides detailed explanatory annotations as well as Eliot's own notes, some of which require annotations themselves. The text included is that of the first American edition (Boni & Liveright), with Eliot's notes appearing at the end of the poem. "Contexts" collects invaluable materials on The Waste Land's many sources, its composition, and its publication history. Included are excerpts from works by Sir James G. Frazer, J.L. Weston, Aldous Huxley, Charles Baudelaire, Ovid, Gotama Buddha, and Herman Hesse, among others, which figure prominently in the poem. Selections from Eliot's essays and works by Lyndall Gordon, Helen Gardner, and Lawrence Rainey address the poem's composition and publication. "Criticism" examines The Waste Land's reception, with twenty-five reviews and essays, from first reactions through the end of the twentieth century, among them the early assessments of Virginia Woolf, Edmund Wilson, Elinor Wylie, Malcolm Cowley, and Ralph Ellison; the New Criticism of John Crowe Ransom, F.R. Leavis, and Delmore Schwartz; and the recent readings of Denis Donoghue, Ronald Bush, and Maud Ellmann. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included.
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