The Waste La(w)nd
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Gregor Samsa wrote The WasteLa(w)nd in 2005, and it was immediately recognized as a work of great originality and power throughout those sectors of Daria fandom devoted to poetic pastiche about the Daria-Jane-Tom triangle. But then in a striking act of retroactive plagiarism, Thomas Sterns "T.S." Eliot, an Anglophile bank clerk from St. Louis, MO turned "clasicist in literature, royalist in politics, and Anglo-Catholic in religion," published his "The Waste Land" in 1922, to the acclaim of soi-disant literary modernists who never even saw the butchered version of Daria on The-N.
The current article seeks to establish to creative priority and greater relevance to Daria fandom of Samsa's poem. To this end, we must engage in the distasteful task of a direct comparison between the original and the copy. Fortunately, it is sufficient to examine only certain sections; otherwise, the author's would burst into flames. While this would be a tiny step in the direction of fulfilling Daria's dream of episode 104, the author shamefully confesses that he is not prepared to make that sacrifice for OH.
The title of the first canto of the original, "The Burial of the Series," alludes not only to Daria out-of-production status as of 2005, but also to the Daria-Jane-Tom triangle, which some viewers felt was the creative nadir of the series when it was in production. Samsa develops this resonant play on the senses of creative death qua a failure of imagination versus creative death qua the exigencies of creative work under capitalism within the first five lines of the original.
The title of Eliot's first canto, "The Burial of the Death," is merely lugubrious, and the first lines do nothing to dispell this impression. This cheap groping for after the grotesque brings to mind what Daria herself said to Kevin in episode 104, "Hamlet has a skull in it."
|Eliot's Pastiche||Samsa's Original||Comments|
|April is the cruellest month, breeding||April is the cruellest month, breeding||Note Eliot's lack of originality in taking Samsa's line verbatim.|
|Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing||Anxiety out of the dead land, mixing||No greater constrast between the poetic power of the two authors can be found than in these two lines; Eliot descends to the merely pastoral with lilacs, while Samsa evokes both Heidegger's nicht and angst with his reference to "anxiety" coming from the "dead land."|
|Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
|Memory and jealousy, stirring
Old tensions with new concerns.
|Notice the uncertainity in register in Eliot's version, moving to the subjective with "Memory and desire" (which lacks the inner logic and reference to the series of Samsa's "Memory and jealousy") and the retreating to the pastoral (and trite!) with "Dull roots with spring rain," while Samsa's move to the subjective is confident and deepens both in theme and connection to the series with the second line.|