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lrperry's picture

The Wasteland

It's been a while since I've read The Wasteland, so I didn't pick up on this while we were reading Middlesex, but rereading the poem over Fall Break I noticed that Mr. Eugenides and Tiresias are suspiciously close to each other in the poem.... Another reason the metaphor of Tiresias appears in Middlesex, perhaps?
The excerpt below is from the second half of section III. The Fire Sermon, from the hypertext version of The Wasteland
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.
  At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea


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