Friday, 20 April 2012

The Waste Land

Of course, the second app I bought -- damn the expense!  -- was the Faber / Touch Press version of Eliot's The Waste Land The whole package -- poem, manuscripts, readings, interviews with the likes of Seamus Heaney -- is outstanding, but listen:  I don't know how many times I have read this poem, but I confess I don't think I ever really understood it until I watched Fiona Shaw perform it.  I had always thought of it as deliberately made of broken bits -- you know, "These fragments I have shored against my ruins" -- but she brings a remarkable unifying sensibility to the whole thing.

In an earlier post I discussed her fine performance of John Donne's poems on a TV programme by Simon Schama, but this is something else.  Eliot's original title was apparently going to be "He Do the Police in Different Voices", and the price of the app is worth it for her amazing act of interpretive ventriloquism (impressionism?) alone.

Your shadow at evening rising to meet you...

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