Comment on the fusion of the past and present in "The Waste Land".no

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In his footnotes the “The Waste Land,” T. S. Eliot remarks upon the importance of Jessie Weston’s From Ritual to Romance for his work. Weston’s work, like Frazer’s Golden Bough, emphasizes the notion of a vegetative deity, who dies and is reborn every year. This type of religious system, posits cyclical rather than linear time, with the main chronological sequencing being analogous points within a cycle rather than linear sequentiality. Christian time, also present in the Waste Land, with its typological structuring, has a similar fusion of past and present. Both the waste land or modernity, which is a sort of Hell, and the peace that passeth all understanding (Nirvana, Heaven, etc.) also exist outside of time as states of being.


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