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1160 Camino de Cruz Blanca, Santa Fe NM 87505

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July 8-12
Tutors: Emily Langston and J. Walter Sterling

“The Waste Land” (1922) is the iconic poem of the modernist literary canon and perhaps the most influential poem of the 20th century. In celebrating the centennial of its publication, Anthony Lane wrote: “’The Waste Land’ is a symphony of shocks, and, like other masterworks of early modernism, it refuses to die down.… The shocks have triggered aftershocks, and readers of Eliot are trapped in the quake. Escape is useless” (The New Yorker, September 26, 2022). The poem is vast in the range of its sources and its aesthetic ambitions—exploring (and deepening) the problems of modern culture and consciousness. The difficulty of interpreting it makes it particularly ripe for shared inquiry and conversation. We frame three days on this masterpiece with selected poems from Prufrock and Other Observations (1917) and the important essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent.”


  • T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land and Other Poems. Vintage Classics, ISBN 978-0593313343
  • optional: T. S. Eliot, The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism. Martino Fine Books, ISBN 978-1614277699


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