Loser's Guide to Life
I found the following on my screen recently: “There can be little doubt that the poetics of modernism, especially as typified by T.S. Eliot and codified in The Waste Land, formed the artistic umbra under which James Merrill came of age.” ( Replacing the Waste Land--James Merrill's Quest for Transcendent Authority , by Alan Nadel).
But there could be a tiny bit of doubt, though, couldn't there? I can easily imagine someone in a lonely hotel bar around 11:00 saying, “I have begun to have these terrible doubts, lately, about the poetics of modernism. I no longer truly ... believe ... that Eliot codified an umbra for people to pass their adolescence in, and I am gradually losing my faith.” It could be a sad, sordid little scene.