For Catherine Malabou, plasticity names what gives or receives form, as well as what potentially annihilates form. Malabou does not propose a liberation from the closure of form but a liberation within form itself. In The Waste Land, the metamorphic force of Tiresias, who figures a bodily excess at the approximate center of the poem, announces a disordering impulse from within the poem. Critical approaches to The Waste Land have often reproduced Eliot’s desire for order by repeatedly privileging ordering logics in readings of the poem’s form, especially in readings focused on the role of Tiresias. In contrast, by thinking of Tiresias as a plastic figure and as a figure for the plasticity of The Waste Land, we can reconceive the form of The Waste Land as that which bears witness to the disordering and excessive force excluded and absented from traditional conceptions of the poem’s formal organization.


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pp. 166-182
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