The Waste Land and Other Poems in this centenary edition presents one of the twentieth century’s most influential poetic works, first published in 1922, in the aftermath of a world war and global pandemic. In addition to The Waste Land, the book includes “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “Portrait of a Lady,” “Preludes,” “Rhapsody on a Windy Night,” “The Boston Evening Transcript,” “La Figlia che Piange,” and “The Hollow Men.” The layout is simple and easy to read, based on both the original Hogarth Press edition, produced by Leonard and Virginia Woolf, and the American Boni & Liveright design. T. S. Eliot’s early poems have wide emotional range and resonance, and the foreword by QIU Xiaolong explains how he, as a student in China, came to love Eliot’s poetry and what it has meant, and means today, to readers around the world.
Thomas Stearns (T. S.) ELIOT was an Anglo-American modernist poet, essayist, and publisher. He was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1888 and was educated at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Merton College, Oxford. His early poetry was influenced by the French symbolists, especially Baudelaire and Laforgue. In 1915, he settled in England, married Vivienne Haigh-Wood, and met his contemporary Ezra Pound for the first time. After teaching for several years, he joined Lloyds Bank in the City of London in 1917, the year in which he published Prufrock and Other Observations. In 1919, Eliot’s Poems was hand-printed by Leonard and Virginia Woolf. His first collection of essays, The Sacred Wood, appeared in 1920. His most famous work, The Waste Land, was published in 1922. The poem was included in the first issue of the journal The Criterion, which he founded and edited, and then in the US literary journal The Dial. Leonard and Virginia Woolf published the poem as a book, as did the US firm Boni & Liveright. (The Berkshire 2022 centenary edition derives design elements from both of those editions.) Eliot left Lloyds to become a director of Faber & Gwyer, later Faber & Faber. His Poems 1909–25 was one of the original titles published by the new firm, and became the basis of his standard Collected Poems 1909-1962. In 1927 he was received into the Church of England and became a British citizen.
QIU Xiaolong was born in Shanghai, where his novels are set, but has lived in St. Louis for over 30 years. He was working on a book about T. S. Eliot as a Ford Foundation Fellow in St. Louis in 1989, when the student rebellion in Tiananmen Square began. He stayed in the United States, started writing in English, and obtained a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Washington University. His detective thrillers, featuring Chief Inspector Chen of the Shanghai police, are amongst the best-known contemporary novels set in China, translated into over 20 languages. He has also published Years of Red Dust (serialized in Le Monde), three collections of Chinese poetry in translation, and two volumes of his own poems. His latest novel is The Private Kitchen Murder.