What would T.S. Eliot say if he saw the image above? Perhaps “Summer surprised us,” as he does on the first page of his famous poem “The Waste Land.” This budding summer is indeed a surprising one for Eliot’s most famous poem, which was recently turned into an interactive iOS app by the developers at Touch Press.
This week, it is not only Apple’s iPad App of the Week, but, according to eBookNewser, is among this week’s top grossing apps.
For $13.99, you get a good deal more than the text of the poem (which is a great value on its own at any price): you also get a video of a theatrical reading of the poem by Fiona Shaw, as well as recordings of Eliot, Ted Hughes and Viggo Mortensen. Plus there are interactive drafts and other cool enhancements so readers can see how the poem was composed.
It’s a strange, and perhaps exciting, fate for one of the 20th Century’s grimmest, and most important, pieces of literature. Eliot himself was an editor at Faber, so you can bet he would have been hopeful, in this publishing economy, about new revenue sources for books.
And if that’s not enough poetry news for one week, John Ashbery’s on the cover of the NYTBR for a review his new translation of Rambaud’s Illuminations.