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"Let me not be understood as saying that there are no bad laws, nor that grievances may not arise for the redress of which no legal provisions have been made. I mean to say no such thing. But I do mean to say that although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still, while they continue in force, for the sake of example they should be religiously observed."
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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
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Eliot's major work, "The Wasteland", was controversial when it appeared in 1922. Considered both obscure and radical, it utilizes a combination of modern slang and ancient myth, arcane literary allusion and jazzy modernity. Eliot also included helpful but pedantic footnotes. However, the poem is lyrical and hypnotic, and its collage-like mode is, in the end, an effective form for the expression of Eliot's view of the fragmentation and degeneration of modern life. Much of the poem's final shape was influenced by Ezra Pound, who served as Eliot's mentor in its writing--a fact which only emerged with the publication of a facsimile manuscript in 1972.
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