‘No contemporary poem’, declared G. S. Fraser in 1953 ‘has been subjected to more detailed analysis than The Waste Land yet no critic has either confidently assigned it to one of the traditional kinds of poetry or, if he considers it as the invention of a quite new kind of poem, has invented a new name for that kind.’2 Reviewing the situation in 1962, Fraser observed that the critical discussion was ‘still very largely inconclusive’; there was still no agreement about the genre, mode of coherence, or influence of the poem.’ A decade later, the question of genre had apparently been resolved. The Waste Land was now, by general consent, a ‘modernist’ poem; the task, therefore, was to locate it within the larger structure of ‘modernism’.
KeywordsLiterary Criticism Walnut Shell Individual Talent Academic Critic Ideal Reading
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