One of TS Eliot's revolutionary poems, The Waste Land, has come alive once again in digital edition for a 21 Century audience. How? Last week, a digital edition of the poem for the Apple iPad was launched by Touch Press, a publishing outfit founded by Max Whitby, Theodore Gray and Stephen Wolfram, in partnership with the olde-worlde publisher Faber & Faber.
The app, which is available from the Apple app store for $13.99, provides the full text of the poem. You can also watch a specially-filmed performance of the poem by Fiona Shaw, synchronized to the text.
The app provides a complete audio recording of the readings of the poem by TS Eliot himself, Alec Guinness, Ted Hughes and Viggo Mortensen.
A set of comprehensive interactive notes also help you understand references and allusions used in the poem. Thanks to a new navigation tool, you can easily reveal the structure of the verse and move between sections.
Also, users can access more than 35 expert video perspectives on the poem from contributors like Seamus Heaney and Jeanette Winterson.
Another interesting feature is that the original manuscript pages of the poem can be examined, and view how the poem took shape under Ezra Pound's editing.
Adam Low, director of the BBC Arena documentary on Eliot, filmed the interviews and Fiona Shaw's performance.
Henry Volans, head of Faber Digital, noted: It is inspiring to see a poem compete among the top-selling apps and being selected App of the Week is an important and thrilling first for poetry.
In the U.S., The Waste Land became Apple's official iPad App of the Week.
Check out the video: