I think this is pretty cool: Faber & Faber publishers – the people behind the award-winning Solar System iPad book – just released an iPad version of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. Alongside the text they’ve assembled original readings from Eliot himself, poets Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney, and actor Viggo Mortenson, among others.
Eliot’s 1922 masterpiece seems to be in good hands. Here’s Faber’s poetry editor, Paul Keegans, on their approach:
I was concerned that the text be at the center, and also that it be possible for readers to still connect to the oddity of the text. That it would not be surrounded by apparatus; that you had to kind of call up the apparatus, you had to want it to be there rather than it being there despite you. And I think it’s still important that the poem have a chance to survive in all its strangeness.
Odd strangeness, exactly. I remember reading The Waste Land for the first time as a senior in high school and having the simultaneous reaction of wow and WTF?!, which is how I first greet most incarnations of genius. Also, +1 to Keegans for use of the word “apparatus.”
See, old-school publishers? New media doesn’t have to hurt! Though I suppose “apparatus” does have a hint of S&M…
Now I just have to borrow a friend’s iPad so I can see the thing.