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Eliot’s ‘wretched old’ typewriter looms large in an analysis of The Waste Land

But does Matthew Hollis understand the poem as well he understands the manual action of a Corona?

10 December 2022

9:00 AM

10 December 2022

9:00 AM

The Waste Land: A Biography of a Poem Matthew Hollis

Faber, pp.304, 20

In 2018, the ferocious American poet-critic William Logan took time off from routinely, invigoratingly eviscerating contemporary poets to write Dickinson’s Nerves, Frost’s Woods: Poetry in the Shadow of the Past – a study of classic poems in their historical contexts. It was an informative, interesting exercise, prefaced by this significant reservation: ‘Knowledge of the circumstance is not ipso facto knowledge of the poem.

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