“Writing Women in Eliot’s The Waste Land: Hysteria, Masculinity, and Silence.”

Journal Article
Al-Mubaddel, Arwa . 2016
Publication Work Type: 
Academic Research
Facsimile, Eliot, Pound, Femininity, Hysteria, Misogyny
Issue Number: 
Volume Number: 
Publication Abstract: 

Considered to be a twentieth-century masterpiece, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land has been the subject of much scrutiny, especially concerning Ezra Pound’s role in the composition of the poem. Eliot himself affirms the function of Pound as a “co-creator” of the poem, dedicating it to him, while completely dismissing the influence his first wife as his personal editor. Therefore, this research examines Ezra Pound’s drafting and editing of Eliot’s The Waste Land facsimile, revealing their misogynistic attitudes towards what they deemed to be feminine in the text, including the notes and comments of Eliot’s first wife, as well a character named Fresca, who was omitted from the final version of the poem. Further study of the poem’s drafts show the hysterical and disorderly nature of the text, which leads to Pounds masculinization of the poem, which reveals his and Eliot’s anxieties and tensions surrounding women in general, and women writers in particular.