The Design of The Waste Land
The Design of The Waste Land
Brand: University Press of America

The Design of The Waste Land

  • Publish Date: 2008-08-25
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Burton Blistein

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The Design of The Waste Land offers a detailed, comprehensive explanation of T.S. Eliot's enigmatic poem. It relates The Waste Land to earlier and later poems by Eliot, demonstrating that the major poems describe a continuous spiritual odyssey or quest undertaken by the same individual, initiated by the moment of ecstasy in the Hyacinth garden. Blistein's analysis of Eliot's sources reveals that the protagonist's glimpse of the heart of light is equivalent to drinking from the Grail, or communing with God. The incarnate deity momentarily transforms the Hyacinth garden into the likeness of the Edenic paradise. With the inevitable passing of the moment of communion, the protagonist in effect is expelled from the paradisiacal garden as mankind was from Eden. By contrast, the familiar world appears to him a wasteland. The protagonist seeks to drink again from the divine Source and return again to the garden as it was when transfigured by the divine presence. His is a quest for Grail and Homeland.

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