Ancients and Moderns
Week 12, weds
T.S Eliot- The Wasteland
Hurry up please it’s time: shows up lots in poem.
Eliot’s idea that our culture is fragmented we jump from thing to thing and no solid core where we can
integrate and organize our lives.
Opening ipograph: translate it.
Memory and desire: trying to do to you as a reader- trying to stir in you, echoes of things and a desire to
figure out what they are.
Poem opens with speaking about mixing memory and desire. Address to us, we have dull roots and
“isms” : 1880- 1920’s poem is published in 1922
Turn of 20 century- notion of isms. –culturally: artistic, political, social movements- impressionism (a
movement in painting) cubism, surrealism,
b) incredibly fragmeneted kind of period- culture fragmenting into smaller subcultures- big culture into
smaller littler culture, and people tend to identify with one
c) emergence of ism’s because people are wrestling with a new situation, responses to problems etc
ERA OF MODERNITY (when modernity arrives historically- end of 20 century) industrial revolution,
technology, urbanization, workers movement, emancipation of jews as citizens of countries, emcipation
All kinds of amazing things happening- but couple other thigns happening like WWI
WWI- when it hits, it’s devastating, signal that something is not going quite right with European
civilization. Shakes people to their core- European culture, beourgoise,