"The publication in 1922 of a long, fragmented, complex poem called The Waste Land in the British 'little' magazine Criterion... was a cultural and literary event... A generation of poets imitated it; others, seeking to escape its influence, could only proceed by inventing deliberate alternatives." -Norton
RARE FIRST PRINTING of one of the cornerstones of twentieth-century literature; one of only 600 copies printed.
"Assembled out of dramatic vignettes based on Eliot's London life, The Waste Land's extraordinary intensity stems from a sudden fusing of diverse materials into a rhythmic whole of great skill and daring. Though it would be forced into the mold of an academic set piece on the order of Milton's Lycidas, The Waste Land was at first correctly perceived as a work of jazzlike syncopation--and, like 1920s jazz, essentially iconoclastic. A poem suffused with Eliot's horror of life, it was taken over by the postwar generation as a rallying cry for its sense of disillusionment" (American National Biography).
This appearance in the inaugural issue of The Criterion, a journal created and edited by Eliot himself, preceded both the book edition and the printing in the American magazine The Dial.
In: The Criterion Volume 1, No. 1. London: R. Cobden-Sanderson, October, 1922. Octavo, original printed wrappers; custom box. With rare subscription form for The Criterion laid in. Chipping to wrapper edges (as almost always since the wrappers extend beyond the text block) with archival adhesive holding some of the wrapper edges in place; repaired closed tear to bottom corner of front wrapper. Text fine. RARE.
Price: $6,500 .