Theater: Jeeves Vs. Zelda Tom and Viv

by Michael Hastings

Some writers live off their work; others live in it. On the evidence of Michael Hastings' austere docudrama, Thomas Stearns Eliot--banker, publishing executive, playwright, premier poet of this century--passed his domestic life on automatic pilot, while his mind found refuge and flourished in the Waste Land. The play's Tom (Edward Herrmann) finds it "an enormous effort to be trivial" with people. He husbands his passion for the empty page. He is the hollow man, a prune and a prude with the secret sin of genius, which must not be dissipated in ordinary intercourse. This Olympian diffidence, Hastings suggests, was sufficient to...

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