“He do the Police in Different Voices” (A YouTube Mix)

Eliot’s original title for The Waste Land was “He do the Police in Different Voices.” The line, another quotation, comes from Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend (1864-65), and describes the foundling Sloppy’s skills as a reader of the newspaper—imitating the voices of the police in the crime reports. The Waste Land is composed of many voices, not always distinguishable from one another.

—Adapted from Pericles Lewis’s Cambridge Introduction to Modernism

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