The Waste Land Facsimile

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When the New York Public Library announced in October 1968 that its Berg Collection had acquired the original manuscript of 'The Waste Land', one of the most puzzling mysteries of 20th-century literature was solved. The manuscript was not lost, as had been believed, but had remained among the papers of John Quinn, Eliot's friend and adviser, to whom the poet had sent it in 1922. If the discovery of the manuscript was startling, its content was even more so, because the published version of 'The Waste Land' was considerably shorter than the original. How it was reduced and edited is clearly revealed on the manuscript through the handwritten notes of Ezra Pound, of Eliot's first wife, Vivien, and of Eliot himself.