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The Waste Land: an early example of world literature: the relation between T.S Eliot's The Waste Land and world literature
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


T.S Eliot’s The Waste Land is considered as one the most important and readily identifiable poems in the English language and among the modernist texts. It consists of many different allusions, historical, cultural and literary references and myths from various literary sources and therefore it provides the reader with a wide view of some of the best canonical literary masterpieces. Different aspects of the poem are examined throughout this paper, such as the notion of nationalism, the nature of allusions and cultural references such as myths, and the use of foreign languages. Several theoretical frameworks have been used for analysis such as David Damrosch’s close reading method, the work of Edward Said on Orientalism, James Phelan’s theory about the narrative, and the Neogrammarians’ theory, the tree of language.

This thesis traces how the poem was written as a Weltanschauung and a reaction to the condition of the post-war world where everything was shattered and off balance. The Waste Land has been viewed as a Eurocentric work and a part of European literary canon since the majority of its allusions and references are European but the aim of this paper is to examine the multicultural, multinational and multilingual characteristics of the poem to argue that it is an early example of the world literature. The paper develops this argument by deploying textual analysis and tracing the origin of its references to foreign and non-European cultural, national, and lingual contexts. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 22 p.
Keyword [en]
poetry, Waste Land, T.S Eliot, world literature, modernism, nationalism, cultural interactions, orientalism, Eurocentric, multicultural, multilingual, multinational, audience, narrative, allusion, cultural, national
National Category
Specific Literatures
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118756OAI: diva2:827895
Educational program
2015-06-01, Stockholm university, Hus E, room E 800, Universitetsvägen 10, 114 18, Stockholm, 13:14 (English)
Available from: 2015-07-29 Created: 2015-06-29 Last updated: 2015-07-29Bibliographically approved

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hooman, azizi
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