chapter  5
18 Pages

Remembering Dryden's Bill: Modernism from Eliot to Auden

TomDribergintroducedAudentoTheWasteI.Andinthesummerof1926, inthewakeoftheGeneralStrike.1Audenwasimmediatelyimpatientto takeEliot'spoeticrevolutionfurther,linkingittothesocialupheavalhe hadjustlivedthrough,readingthepoem'shystericiconoclasmasadirectly politicalstatement-aliteralaccountofcontemporaryBritain.'Whateverits character',hewastowriteinAmericainthesummerof1940,'theprovincial Englandof1907,whenIwasborn,wasTennysonianinoutlook;whatever itsoutlooktheEnglandof1925whenIwentuptoOxfordwasTheWaste I.Andincharacter.'2TheimplicationsforAudenwereimmediate.ToNevill Coghill,histutoratOxford,heconfided:'I'vebeenreadingEliot.Inow seethewayIwanttowrite.'3