Waste Land

T.S. ELIOT

Item#: 126664 We're sorry, this item has been sold

Waste Land
Waste Land

“APRIL IS THE CRUELLEST MONTH…”: THE MOST IMPORTANT POETIC WORK OF THE 20TH CENTURY—FIRST ISSUE OF ELIOT’S THE WASTE LAND

ELIOT, T.S. The Waste Land. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1922. Octavo, original flexible black cloth gilt. Housed in a custom chemise and clamshell box.

First edition, first issue, of this undisputed landmark of modern poetry, number 431 of only 1000 copies and one of the first 500 copies printed, in the earliest binding.

Arguably the most important poetic work of the 20th century and certainly among its most inescapably influential, The Waste Land "came as a profound shock… Within less than a decade, [it] had attained a kind of eminence from which it has never been dislodged" (Ackroyd, 127-28). It "enchanted and devastated a whole generation" (Edmund Wilson). "Of The Waste Land I shall say nothing but that we should read it every April. It is the breviary of post-war disillusion… hard to listen to without tears… 'Waste Land is, I think, the justification of the modern experiment since 1900' (Pound)" (Connolly, 30b). The first edition consisted of 1000 copies: approximately the first 500 copies were bound in flexible black cloth; later copies were bound in stiff black cloth. Early in the printing a letter dropped out of the text (the "a" in "mountain" on page 41, line 339). This copy has the earliest binding and the letter "a" has been dropped, suggesting it was printed later in those first 500 copies. With the copy number on the limitation page stamped in 5-mm-high type. Without scarce original glassine and dust jacket. Gallup A6a. Sackton A6a.3-4.

Interior fine, cloth remarkably unworn with only mild toning to spine, a few small faint spots to rear panel. A near-fine copy.

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