These Fragments I Have Shored Against My Ruins
I almost titled Episode 9 of my podcast series, "These Fragments I have Shored Against My Ruins." This is a reference to the end of Eliot's wasteland.
But, I didn't. The entire time I was writing my podcast I was constantly putting in bits and references and allusions to literature, and pop culture, and I was always taking them out. Trying to pare the podcast down so it was just history. I tried to limit any tangential-editorializing of the story.
But, I still borrowed two ideas from T.S. Eliot in Episode 9 of my podcast.
The first idea comes from this line -- these fragments I have shored against my ruins.
Instead of having Episode 9 be in the 3 Act structure, like all my other episodes are, I decided to just put in a lot of loose fragments that relate to one another. You can see relics of this idea in the script I wrote for the last episode in which I actually call each vignette 'fragment one, fragment two, fragment three', etc.
George Steiner said that modern literature is incomplete. that it adopts a "poetics of the fragmentary, of fragments shored against the ruins." And, that a fragmentary ending is a 'convention of noncompletion."
I didn't think about all that when I was writing the podcast. I just liked the idea of ending the podcast with fragments.
The other idea I borrowed from T.S. Eliot's poem Little Gidding. this is the last of the Four Quartets.
That idea came from these lines of poetry:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
I figured that I might as well do what T.S. Eliot said, and since I started Episode 1 with Porter Rockwell in jail in Independence, Missouri -- I might as well end Episode 9 with Porter Rockwell in jail in Independence, Missouri.