A Prayer for Life: Water, Art and Spirituality in T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land

Mattia Mantellato (Universitá degli Studi di Udine)

Abstract

Questo saggio analizza La terra desolata di T. S. Eliot da una prospettiva “ecocritica” (Glotfelty & Fromm 1996; Garrard 2004) e “blu” (Hau’ofa 2008; Ingersoll 2016; Mathieson 2021) ovvero inerente al significato dell’elemento acqua nel poema. Partendo dalle innovazioni estetiche e dall’elemento magico che Eliot ci presenta accanto alla sterilità e al degrado della vita dopo la Prima guerra mondiale, l’articolo si focalizza su tre episodi chiave del poema. Questi presentano le rivoluzioni artistiche di quel periodo e le forze evocative e spirituali provenienti dall’eredità americana di Eliot, nonché dal suo interesse per le religioni e filosofie d’Oriente. La lettura delle carte di Madame Sosostris diventa così una danza moderna di archetipi ‘liquidi’. Tiresia, il profeta e veggente, evoca una pittura cubista e richiama la necessità di visioni ‘fluide’ e positive nella nostra vita. La ripetizione della preghiera dello Shanti celebra il ritmo delle gocce d’acqua, unico elemento che potrà guarire e riconnettere gli abitanti de La terra desolata con la Vita – ‘the One life’. In questa mia lettura “indisciplinata” (Benozzo 2010) considero il poema una preghiera per l’acqua, una richiesta collettiva di “partnership” (Eisler 1988; Eisler & Fry 2019) per una rigenerazione e trasformazione del reale, nel riconoscimento che gli esseri umani rappresentino solo una parte della melodia cosmica del mondo.

DOI: 10.17456/SIMPLE-198

Parole chiave: Eliot, The Waste Land, bue humanities, spirituality, art and literature.

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