In the October 1922 issue of The Criterion, T. Sturge Moore's "The Story of Tristram and Isolt in Modern Poetry" precedes T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. T. Sturge Moore discusses the ways in which Swinburne, Arnold, and Binyon appropriate the myth in their poetry. The juxtaposition of the two texts is unlikely to be accidental, as Eliot uses the German language to allude to the myth of Tristan and Isolde in The Waste Land in order to draw attention to the genetic and cultural heritage shared by England and Germany (42). In The Criterion, The Waste Land is followed by May Sinclair's "The Victim," which is set in war-time and deals with the function of memory, specifically as it concerns the deceased. After the protagonist, Steven, murders Mr. Greathead, Mr. Greathead returns as a phantasm or ghost to tell him that, in committing the murder, "[a]ll [he] did, then, was to redistribute matter" (85). Like the soldiers in the first section of The Waste Land, Mr. Greathead occupies a sort of liminal space between the earth and the afterlife, although he claims to be "alive" (85). Furthermore, while The Waste Land raises questions about how we should honor the war dead and/or be responsible to their sacrifice, Mr. Greathead asks that Steven redeem himself for the murder by ceasing to go on with his "real crime," which Greathead identifies as hatred (86). If we understand The Waste Land to be in conversation with "The Victim," we can read "The Victim" as a sort of response to the questions that the poem raises about memory and honor. Sinclair's story seems to answer that the deaths caused by war should not create guilt; instead, the hatred that causes violence is the problem.
Unlike in The Criterion, The Waste Land is not situation between any two pieces in the November 1922 issue of The Dial. This issue of The Dial is, however, permeated with questions about what constitutes national identity. The back pages of The Dial contain various advertisements for different national literatures, and the front pages of the issue contain an advertisement for BROOM: An International Magazine of the Arts, which has its "technical facilities" in Berlin and which uses the slogan, "The spirit of a people expresses itself most deeply through its artists" (iv). The advertisement is a "special offer" to order BROOM and The Dial together. Considered along with the other content in this issue of The Dial, it suggests that The Dial's reading audience might look to art to answer questions about how national identity is comprised. Among the other content in this issue of The Dial is Malcolm Cowley's "Two American Poets." In the essay, Cowley looks to art in order to attempt to determine what makes an American poet "American." Cowley decides that "[t]he adjective American is less national than temporal," so that only poetry produced by a certain generation in American can be considered "American" (563). Cowley concludes his essay by arguing that "America remains a thing seen and not a manner of seeing. America is not a point of view, a style, or a mode of thought, but a subject merely; a subject that has been most brilliantly developed in Paris or by Scandinavians" (567). In other words, national identity is as much determined by people in other nations as it is by those who claim the identity as their own. This issue of The Dial contains other material that is concerned with questions of national identity, as well. This type of discourse seems appropriate to surround the The Waste Land because the poem is, in part, concerned with the durability of national identity, as well as the varying histories of different national identities.