Thursday, February 7, 2013
Waste Land = cubist?
Eliot's poem is often described as "fragmented". The multiple voices and layers of allusions make the reader feel disoriented and uncomfortable. There's no linear structure, it is composed of various bits and pieces with similar themes to form a larger concept. The poem reminds me a lot of the collage/cubist work of the early 20th century. Cubism was born in 1907 with Picasso's "Las Senoritas de Avignon", which revolutionized the art world. Cubism is both an intellectual and an artistic movement in that the artist tries to capture the essence of the object; they communicate their knowledge about the subject rather than just to visually represent it. Cubist work is choppy and fragmented, just like Eliot's poem. It also, like the Waste Land, was influenced by ancient african and iberian art work (specifically masks). Both Eliot and the Cubists were inspired by the past in order to create their Modernist art. Reading the Waste Land, for me, is very similar to looking at the work of Picasso, Braque or Gris.