100 years ago, Eliot wrote “Wastel” on the Magat Beach

Dristerem Sanders/Wen Cheng Qianqian/Translation

It was 1921. In Magat, the most brilliant October was gradually transitioning to the cool November. On a bench on the beach, a tired 33 -year -old man was trying to do nothing. This is not easy for him. From a personality point of view, he is a worried worker, but his doctor instructed him to do nothing. To this end, his employer Laud Bank gave him a three -month paid vacation.

So he did nothing, or did nothing. He just painted passers -by in a scribble, or practiced the sound of the mandel bell. He also wrote the core paragraph of a poem. This poem later became the most influential poem in the past century:

“On the Magat Beach

I can put

Wu You and Wu You are connected together

Broken nails on dirty hands.

We are others waiting for people, never expected

what. “

Ezra Pound’s notes written in green crayons in “Wastel”. Figure source faber

In our opinion, “The Wilderness” is a poem about the metropolis. T.S. Eliot calls all the camouflage of “Unreal City”: “Jerusalem, Athen, Alexander, Vienna, London …” But it is also one The first poem about a seaside town in Kent County. This is like the final performance of the dock: the rotating performance of popular songs, drama and jazz, here, Mrs. Soserris -with her heavy cold and “evil cards” – Card. Eliot believes that “art is the sublimation of popular art, not opposing it.” In his news report, he criticized the “Chen Rotten” of the middle class literary world, but praised the “people’s culture” expressed in the noise hall. The rhythm of this culture runs through his poems. Eliot’s wholeheartedly devoted himself to the “Pop” art, “Wastel” is such a work.

In October of that year, Eliot came to the Obermal Hotel in Magat, and took a few pages of poems that he had cultivated for several years. He wrote dozens of lines of new verses, revised the old manuscript, and finally left a draft of a masterpiece that changed the literary form. A month later, he went to Lausanne, Switzerland to receive mental treatment, where he revised the book. But the critic Lyndall Gordon said, “Albemmar’s draft has a stronger sense of autobiography. It emphasizes painful individuals, not culture.” Eliot once provided “Wasteland” ” The point of view of social criticism is dismissive. He said half -joking: “For me, this is just a kind of liberation of personal and completely unrelated complaints about life.” He believes that poetry should be “objective”, but the strong emotional root in “Wastel” In his personal life.


Eliot was gloomy in 1921. His academic career in Harvard University is very promising (written a PhD dissertation), and after having a daughter of the British painter Vivien Haigh-Wood, the daughter of Vivien Haigh-Wood has been regarded as a bad marriage by his family, He settled in the UK with his family’s wishes. He wrote in 1919 that he desperately wanted his family to believe, “I don’t make a mess in my life as they think.” But his father died shortly after he wrote these words. Before that, he modified his will to ensure that if Eliot died, the poet’s inherited property would not be left to Vivian.

In the summer of 1921, Eliotic’s brother, sister and his 77 -year -old mother who were “amazingly energetic” looked at him across the Atlantic Ocean. This was the first time since 1915. However, this visit to the family relationship was disappointed to Eliot’s exhaustion. He realized that his mother did not forgive him. Eliot wrote on October 3: “I really feel unstable. Since my family left, I seemed to collapse quickly.” When Eliot went to Magut, he had experienced Vivian’s “severe collapse”. His doctor strictly instructed him to “don’t make brains at all.”

The manuscripts of “The Wilderness” are not completely handwritten, it is mainly a manuscript. Eliot wrote: “When writing on the typo, I found that I was getting rid of all the long sentences.” The typing made his word “intermittent”. But in the draft of his friend and editor Ezra Pound -this month’s name of “The Waste Land Facsimile” Handwritten. In the bundle of Pound sent by Eliot, he also attached his hotel bill in Magat, and a few pages of poems. For the first time in the new version, these paper was printed in color, which caused some problems, such as why Pound insisted on writing notes with green crayons scribbled?

Reading this fax is like returning to Magat in 1921. There, Illut has resonated with poetry fragments accumulated over the years. In his deletion and changes, we can hear the poet’s thinking. “A series of reasoning lost the clues/collected strange images, we walked.” He felt something wrong. “We” should be “I”? “Along” should be “Alone alone”? He has tried both versions, but these verses did not have “Wastel” in the end.

“We” should be “I”? At that time, the marriage between Eliot and Vivian was disintegrated. She and his former university tutor Bertrand Russell dating; he still loves a woman he stayed in the United States, Emily Hale. In a letter, Eliot admitted that he had violated the doctor’s instructions: “I should have been alone, but I can’t stand the treatment alone in a strange place. I have let my wife go with me.” Before she came, he stayed alone for two weeks in Magat. Nevertheless, they seem to have a happy time there. “Magat is strange, we don’t hate it,” Vivian wrote. Another poem that is not eventually eliminated in “Fax” is: “One person is terrible, and one more person is too dirty.”

Let’s take a walk with Eliot. When he left the Aberberm Hotel in Cleftonville in the eastern part of Malgate, he could see a performance table, and no matter how far it was. He can turn right and walk towards the towering white cliffs of the Botanical Bay, only half an hour by walking. (From “Fax”: “He first walked between the sea and the tall cliff/wind made him realize that his legs intersect/his arms cross on his chest.”)

But today he turns to the left, walks west along the sidewalk to the town, where he will find a place to sit down and write a poem. The Police in Different Voices). The title we know will be mentioned later. He can take a tram, but it only takes 10 minutes to walk, so today, let us assume that he was walking. Maybe a movie poster attracts his eyeballs. A local movie theater will soon show a movie called “Life of Xuandu”. In “Fax”, he wrote: “The sweaty people in the movie theater”. (He believes that “Wuhezhong” is wrong, so he cuts it off, and then try “thousands of people” and cut it off.)

On the left is “Dreamland” -the fence of a large entertainment hall opened last year, “Dreamland”, which is located in front of a railway building in the sea. He walked, and the sun shot directly. In 1921, Magat’s annual rainfall was the lowest since the British record. The wasteland is a dry place. “Khan is dry, and his feet are buried in the sand,” Eliot wrote. “A bunch of tattered idols bear the whipping of the sun. The dead tree is not shaded.” This pale poet is not a sunbathing enthusiast. Fortunately, just after passing the “Dreamland”, a cool gray shadow fell on the bench of the inner orchid rock. (From fax: “Under the shadow of this gray rock.”)

Life in virtuality, dreams returning to the hometown, the rock avoidance institute. When Eliot was sitting in the mandala, what would he flash in his mind? Perhaps it is a song: After rhyme “Nothing” and “Nothing”, the words followed by “la la”. In other places, “the wailing of the pleasant manda bell” also incorporated poetry. Maybe he thought of other writers, such as Pound, or James Joyce. Eliotic met Joyce in Paris last year and recently read some of the novels written by Joyce. “Yulisis” will become another masterpiece of modernism. (In Pound’s words, “This is a great era after all.”)

In “Ulysses”, Leopold Bloom is also considering “Magat’s mixed bath and first -class spa”. Bloom plans to arrange a tour for his wife and opera singer Molly: “How is the British water by the water? Brighton, Magat. The dock in the moonlight. Her voice came out. Those cute. The seaside girl. “Molly was even more interested in the lovely seaside boy. In her famous and uninterrupted reveries, she depicted them: “I can see those excellent young men on the side of the Rocky Rock on the Magat Beach. They stand naked in the sun like God, and then Jump into the sea with them. Why not all men are like this. “

Eliot wrote in the manuscript of Magat: “There are many others on the Magat Beach/there are many others.” Eliot wrote that the poet’s heart “constantly integrates different experiences; the experience of ordinary people is the experience of ordinary people is The chaotic, irregular, and fragmented. The latter falls into the love river, or reads the books of Spinnosa. These two experiences have nothing to do with the sound of the tyrant, or the taste of cooking; in the mind of the poet, Among them, these experiences always form a new whole. “The achievement of” wasteland “is that it creates a new whole from” a bunch of broken images “. In the manuscript of Magat Beach, Eliot connects nothingness and nothing, creating something, so that readers can see it.

Martin Pal’s Magat Beach shot in 1986. Picture source: British “Daily Telegraph”

In order to write this article, I want to go back to the starting point and see where Eliot walked. So, one Sunday a few weeks ago, when the most cruel month was coming, I sat on the train to Magat.


“April is the most cruel month” is not always the first line of “wasteland”. In “Fax”, this poem begins: “First of all, we have some tentatives in Tom’s residence.” Unfortunately, you can’t go to Tom’s house to test. The Obemar Hotel at the time no longer existed. But just in the street where it is, there is now a hotel. The room inside is named after the poet (Charles Dickens, William Black, strangely without T. S. Eliot), called “Alby room room “The Albion Rooms).

The owner of Albine’s room is Carl Bara. When he was not the hotel owner, he and Pete Doherty worked as a charming dual singer in the rock band “The Libertines”. Naturally, I want to talk to him.

“To be honest, when I first read the Wasteland, just like the first time I read” Fannigen’s Sleeping Night “,” Ballat told me, “I don’t know what happened. I think this is Just like you watched James Bond when you were a kid. You can’t understand the plot, but you will still be attracted by the highlights. By this month, it will slowly integrate together, just like a new city. Just like when you go to London for the first time instead of remembering Kaowen special garden next to Piccadili This is the way to ride the subway. “

Ballat is one of the artists of Magat, a recent “migration”. People are attracted by the atmosphere of “Shawldic District, Shardic District, everything, and artist’s refuge. But this town has actually attracted artists since ancient times. why is that? “Light,” Barlat said, “This is why J. M. W. Turner came here. The light here is not like anywhere I know. I have never seen a bad sunset here.”

Since the Eliot era, Magat has experienced various prosperity and depression. “It seems to be the kind of breath: its richness is high and low. It has a trait that has been abandoned, but there is also a hope … I think it is that kind of spiritual in -law The same place is the same as the boundary line. “

As Eliot’s notes proved, “Wastel” is a poem based on former Christian mythology and fertility rituals. Eliot has read Fraser’s “Golden Branch” and also studied cave murals in Fen Germo Cave in France. If you want to find the spiritual energy of the former Christianity under Magat, you can pay it as expected.

Under the soil of Clefftonville, a few minutes away from the Obermar Church, there are shell caves. This is a weird underground church discovered in 1835. Its winding corridor is decorated with four million small shells, which are arranged in heart and spiral. No one knows when it is built, and I don’t know why. Some people think that it may have a history of more than 2,000 years, which may be artificially artificial. Even in the hot days, its corridor is very cool.

Eliot’s own hard shell formed his tight, Pruffloke image -Virginia Woolf, calling him “four -piece suit”. He is a bit like the sailor in “Fax”: “Even on the shore, on public bars or streets, there are some non -human, clean and dignified things.” This is a way to keep distance from the world. Eliot’s biography author Robert Crawford told me that the character image of his poetry also played a similar role: “He is always keen to imply others in poetry, which is to a certain extent. This is to a certain extent. The above is a defensive posture. “Magat’s poetry appeared in the form of quotes, but as he often appeared in his poems, this was an interpretation problem that ended a sound and another sound began.

Ilie People’s Visual Information Map

Eliot, or his other self, J Alfred Prufrock, believes, “I should be a pair Walking into the Magat’s Crab Museum, staring at a fish tank full of plastic crabs, these crabs weirdly wore small clothes in the 1920s. I bought a crab -shaped refrigerator magnet and admitted that this trip was basically a waste of time. No increase. “The world seems to be futile -just like a outing on Sunday.”

Eliot believes that “real poetry can communicate before understanding.” But for many readers, the complex allusions and citations in the Wastel may be unhappy. “It is a question of reference,” Barlat sighed. “This feels a bit like a member.” This is a poem with only a few pages -read it out loud when taking a bath, you will read it before the water is cooling. —— but this is a poem with hundreds of years. This may be the meaning of Pound called “the longest poem in British language”. It starts with the inscriptions of Greek and Latin, and ends with Sanskrit lines. The end note guides readers to find dozens of sources: Ovid, Podlair, Dante, Weberst and Buddhist texts.

You can ignore these notes, Matthew Hollis said that he is now the poetry editor of the Poetry of Faber & Faber. He told me that these notes were “a kind of pranks’ diverted attention.” The reason why these poems were written because Eliot’s publisher Boni & Liveright could not publish a copy of only poems only poems, The thin book. (This kind of thing has occurred from time to time in the field of poetry publishing.)

“I think people sometimes read poetry with a sense of fear, worrying that you can’t understand ‘, but you may not listen to a piece of music with the same problem in this mood. I will encourage people to encourage people to encourage people to encourage people Listen as music as music. Enjoy its rhythm and listen to its voice. “

It is a piece of music. After listening to the poem of Eliot’s recitation, Virginia Woolf wrote in his diary: “He sang this poem, which is full of rhythm.” Crowford told me that we should regard the poet as one as one Planting “Shaman”. The important thing is the emotional effect of discourse, not where they come from. The two lines that are most like songs and the most puzzling “Weialala Leia/Wallala Leialala” in this poem, Claus said: “To some extent, this is Wagner’s work. We can find the source of the source. And there is a clear and concise explanation. But when you hear it, when you read it loudly, it sounds completely clean. This poem sounds like someone’s spirit collapse. “

On the way back to Magat Station, I passed a brand with “Entertainment NTS”. The second E was gone, and the first S was barely attached to it. Below is a bunch of rusty corrugated metals and tattered punk band posters.

On the way back to Magat Station, I passed a brand with “Amusements”. The second E was gone, and the first S was barely attached to it. Below is a bunch of rusty corrugated metals and tattered punk band posters.

This is the real wasteland. I think, then take a closer look. The poster is too clean, and their promotional concert will be decades ago. Sam Menndes shot his next blockbuster in the city. I am watching a movie set. Unreal Magat. Dreamland.


(This article was originally published in the British “Daily Telegraph”)

Editor in charge: Liang Jia Picture Editor: Shen Yan

School pair: Liu Wei

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