While recovering from a mental collapse in a Swiss sanitarium in 1921, T. S. Eliot finished what became the definitive poem of the modern condition, one that still casts a large and ominous shadow over twentieth-century poetry. Built upon the imagery of the Grail legend, the Fisher King, and ancient fertility cults, “The Wastle Land” is both a poetic diagnosis of an ailing civilization and a desperate quest for spiritual renewal. Through pastiche and collage Eliot unfolds a nightmarish landscape of sexual disorder and spiritual desolation, inhabited by the voice (literary, historical, mythic, contemporary) of an unconscious that is at turns deeply personal and culturally collective. This edition includes “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “Portrait of a Lady,” “Gerontion,” and more.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.