The Prufrock Papers
A Hypertext Resource for "The Love Song of J. Alfred
T. S. Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is heavily intertextual,
and hence is well-suited to the medium of hypertext. This site explores
the poem's intertextuality, and offers some contextual resources for its
~ Contents ~
"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Prufrock and Other Observations (1917)
"The Editor in the Machine"
[ Biography of T. S. Eliot ] [ Publication
History of "Prufrock" ]
[ The "Magic Lantern" and Cinema ]
A Brief Introduction to the Site
The hypertext platform is ideally suited to the display
of intertextual material. Originally, that is why T.S. Eliot’s poem “The
Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (seen to the left) was chosen as an occasion
for designing a digital edition of a literary text. Its structure is densely
allusive and challenging for the electronic editor who wants to display
complex intertextual relationships in a manner accessible to all readers.
A second motivation, besides the one
of intertextual display, was to design a digital edition of a literary
text that was both academically sound and useful to all levels of readers
of Eliot’s poetry. This project began in 1996-97, when there was a dearth
of competent and informed digital literary editions or archives on the
Too many hypertexts focussed at that time
on stimulating visual aspects of the digital environment at the expense
of delivering significant information. Many others sacrificed editorial
judgement and sensitivity in an effort to fill editions with everything
they could hold. The third goal of this edition was to exploit the advantages
of the digital platform without abusing the integrity of Eliot’s text or
of the scholarly editing process.
Initially, this project restricted itself
to Eliot’s single poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” As efforts
to display the intertextual personality of the poem gathered momentum,
however, it became clear that many influences on the poem had their sources
in other texts by Eliot, and vice versa. For this reason, the project gradually
enlarged to include the entire 1917 volume Prufrock and Other Observations.
The project was initiated by Peter Stoicheff,
a professor in the English Department at the University of Saskatchewan.
With the kind assistance of the English department and the College of Arts
& Science he was able to hire a number of graduate students intermittently
during the academic year and in the summers; they acquired the necessary
skills in HTML and related languages to realize the editorial ambitions
of the project.
As is inevitable given the nature of the collaborative
and non-linear nature of the hypertext enterprise, this project is on-going,
and was intended from its beginnings to involve graduate and undergraduate
students in a variety of ways. Some have helped with the programming, others
with the editorial conception and design, still others with the creation
of material entered into the edition.
Web page designed by Peter Stoicheff, Tim Drake, Sherry Van Hesteren,
Corey Owen and Jon Bath.
Updated by Joel Deshaye and
of English, University of Saskatchewan.
Last updated August 23, 1999.
The hypertext is best viewed in Netscape
Navigator 3.0 or later versions of Netscape.
There is presently no no-frames version.
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