Bridging the Waste Lane: Hart Crane and T. S. Eliot

Nadira Wallace

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Hart Crane defined his poem, The Bridge, as a ‘positive’ response to the ‘pessimism’ of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. The contrastive relationship between the poems has long been acknowledged by critics. Langdon Hammer argues, for instance, that Crane’s ‘modernism’ refutes the representation of early twentieth-century society as ‘in decline or decay’ by showing it to be ‘in the process of ascent or becoming’ instead. However, a comparative study of The Bridge and The Waste Land remains to be written. My thesis makes a contribution by supplying that study. Chiefly from Crane’s point of view as Eliot’s answerer, I examine the stylistic and thematic interface of these interwar magna opera, describing how The Bridge affirms experiences of ecstasy and beauty with respect to what Crane termed The Waste Land’s ‘damned deadness’.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Greenlaw, Lavinia, Supervisor
  • Armstrong, Tim, Supervisor
  • Cowie, Douglas, Advisor
Award date1 Dec 2022
Publication statusUnpublished - 2022


  • Hart Crane
  • T S Eliot
  • Nadira Wallace
  • Royal Holloway
  • Poetry
  • Modernism
  • Optimism
  • Metaphor
  • Practice-based PhD
  • Supernatural
  • The Waste Land
  • The Bridge

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