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Trivia / The Waste Land

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  • Creator Breakdown: Eliot and his first wife Vivienne both suffered breakdowns during the extended composition of the poem, and he was always open about the extent to which she contributed to it, so this applies to both of them.note 
    • Some of Eliot's peers found this poem incomprehensible, ambiguous and incoherent. H. P. Lovecraft was among many to speculate that this was Eliot's My Immortal, that he was trolling the readers or pulling their leg. Lovecraft's quasi-Joycean parody, Waste Paper: A Poem of Profound Insignificance, is delightfully refreshing to anyone who's had this inflicted on them in school.
  • Referenced by...: Provides the title for two novels by Ian M Banks:
    Gentile or Jew
    O you who turn the wheel and look to windward
    Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
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  • Working Title: The working title was He Do The Police In Different Voices, a Shout-Out to Charles Dickens, specifically Our Mutual Friend:
    “[...]I ain't, you must know,” said Betty, “much of a hand at reading writing-hand, though I can read my Bible and most print. And I do love a newspaper. You mightn’t think it, but Sloppy is a beautiful reader of a newspaper. He do the Police in different voices.”


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