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The Waste Land [broadcast talk-script and book]

The Waste Land [broadcast talk-script and book] by ELIOT T S; Valerie Eliot (1971)

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Author: ELIOT T S; Valerie Eliot
Title: The Waste Land [broadcast talk script and book]
Year: 1971
Publisher: Unpublished - / Faber and Faber
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: Yes
Price: £1250
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Added under Manuscripts  

Annotated text of Valerie Eliot's 1500 word radio talk about The Waste Land which was written and recorded with the help of the poet George Macbeth a few days before the publication of her edition of the poem's drafts. Mrs Eliot recorded her four page typed talk with the help of two actors on 2nd November 1971 for broadcast five days later: this script which doesn't appear to exist in any institutional collection was used by the actor Hugh Dickson who, along with Harvey Hall, interspersed Mrs Eliot's commentary with their readings from the poem itself. As Dickson explains in an accompanying typed note that is laid in: 'We had no text or script. Mrs Eliot arrived with one copy of her talk and several copies of the book. The script was photocopied and we read from the books. Afterwards she gave us our copies, which she autographed and corrected in her own hand two or three misprints.' Dickson's copy of the book has been inscribed 'With grateful thanks from Valerie Eliot/' with a manuscript correction in Mrs Eliot's hand to the final page of the introduction and to her footnote at page 119. Dickson's copy of Valerie Eliot's talk reproduces several of Mrs Eliot's earlier alterations to her own typescript with a further layer of annotation in blue biro probably by Dickson himself which indicates where he and Hall were to read. So, on page 2, Dickson has written a new cue for Valerie Eliot to introduce his reading from page 29 of the published book, a previously unpublished passage from 'The Fire Sermon' - 'From which, a Venus Anadyomene...' Similar manuscript insertion marks for the two actors are dotted through the text. Mrs Eliot's talk which is reproduced as a photocopy on 22x38cm tall sheets of paper is a dispassionate, detailed analysis of the draft of Eliot's poem, section by section, dealing with Pound's emendations, Vivien Eliot's commentary and Eliot's responses to their interventions in this previously mislaid manuscript. Valerie Eliot is quite definite in her explanation and sometimes with trenchant commentary on some of Pound's interventions 'Inexplicably, he also wanted Eliot to reject: "You gave me hyacinths first a year ago..."' with occasional references to the first Mrs Eliot: 'The nerves dialogue he finds too realistic - "photography?" - but Vivien Eliot has written "Wonderful" beside it' commenting again on her predecessor as Mrs Eliot 'It may be that she had a better memory than her husband...' Joyce is cited repeatedly, in particular the influence of the Bhagavad-Gita and 'Stephen's soliloquy from the Scylla and Charybdis episode of Ulysses... but I am inclined to believe that the influence was direct, because when my husband gave me his copy of the Hindu classic he mentioned fire and butter. (Reader, p.111, lines 1-5) [manuscript] H[arvey] H[all]' Accompanying the collection is Dickson's copy of his contract with the BBC for the recording which reveals that he received a £30 payment plus repeat fees.
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