T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land Wiki


Countess Marie Larisch (left) and Baroness Mary Vetsera (right)

Marie Louise Larisch von Meonnich, also known as Marie Larisch, is was an Austrian Countess. She was born on February 24th, 1858 and died on July 4th, 1940, and was the niece and confidante of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. She was a go-between for her married cousin Crown Prince Rudolf and his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera, a friend of hers. She was involved in a certain scandal in 1889 which, as a consequence, caused her to be ignored or disregarded by the society. Later in life she was nominally the author of a series ghost written books about the Imperial household. 

Hofgarten (Court Garden)

Hofgarten, also known as Court Garden, is a garden in the center of Munich, Germany, located between the Residenz and the Englischer Garden. Stanbergersee is a lake in Munich. The following lines 8-18 was were from Countess Marie Larisch’s autobiography, My Past, as a means of evoking European decadence before World War I. 

Starnbergersee lake

Connection to The Waste Land[]

In tThe whole coffee scene shows the dull routine of tea parties in the Hofgarten – “talked for an hour”, very boring, unimportant, and sterileity. The German quote "Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch", means "I am not Russian at all, I come from Lithuania, I am a real German", which evokes a sense of separatism of nationalistic identity. Marie’s act of recounting her experience has its own significance. Her cousin was an archduke and she had much fun in his company. Once they went out riding in a sledge, Marie was frightened and her cousin told her to hold on to him tightly. This is some evidence that might prove the two of them experienced a moment of intense sexual excitement. This shows Marie is active, adventurous, enthusiastic, she likes being free, connected to a real life, meaning she loves changes unlike others who aren’t willing to change. Marie supports rebirth, resurrection, and recollection.