Thursday, 12 July 2007

Good times

Mr. Prynne's Notes and Materials for English Students. "Ezra Pound, Poetry (Chicago), II, 1 (April 1913), reprinted thus in New Freewoman, I, 5 (15 August 1913); later reprints close up these internal spacings (on which see Selected Letters, p. 17)--see CSP, p. 119, but also contrast Pers, pp. 111, 273 and 251; Poems and Translations, ed. Sieburth prints without spacings but reproduces them in a note (p. 1280). 'Bright and flameless lights had taken the place of the old petroleum lamps; undergrounds, once smelly and sulphurous, were now cool, white and brilliantly lit tunnels' (Ezra Pound's Kensington, p. 50; cf. pp. 117-8); see also Susan Buck-Morss, The Dialectics of Seeing; Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project (Cambridge, Mass., 1989), esp. p. 159. For 'apparition' compare Pound's discussion of 'language beyond metaphor' and of 'primary and secondary apparition' in The Spirit of Romance (1910; London, 1952), pp. 158-9, mentioned again in a note by Pound to Fenollosa's Chinese Written Character (for ref. see below), p. 21n; and see also Stan Smith, Inviolable Voice; History and Twentieth-Century Poetry (Dublin, 1982), p. 116. High-grade up-to-date stupidity in response to this poem is exemplified in e.g. J.T. Barbarese, 'Ezra Pound's Imagist Aesthetics: Lustra to Mauberley', in The Columbia History of American Poetry, ed. Jay Parini (New York, 1993), pp. 306-10, which elegant discussion prints the poem as prose and, having observed that the first line was originally stopped with a colon, prints instead a full-stop (p. 307). For Pound's account of this poem's origin see Fortnightly Review (1 September, 1914), pp. 465, 467; his commentary is reprinted in K.K. Ruthven, A Guide to Ezra Pound's 'Personae' (1926) (Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1969), pp. 152-3. A slightly altered version appears in Pound's Gaudier Brzeska; A Memoir (London, 1916; reprinted, Hessle, Yorkshire, 1960), pp. 86-9: 'In a poem of this sort one is trying to record the precise instant when a thing outward and objective transforms itself, or darts into a thing inward and subjective' (p. 89). The full Fortnightly Review essay ('Vorticism') is reprinted in Zinnes, pp. 199-209. See also Sanehide Kodama, American Poetry and Japanese Culture (Hamden, Conn., 1984), pp. 59-62. Insofar as the Metro poem crystallises to an orientalising flower arrangement, compare Norman Bryson's comment: 'Still life's potential for isolating a purely aesthetic space is undoubtedly one of the factors which made the genre so central in the development of modernism' (Looking at the Overlooked; Four Essays on Still Life [London, 1990], p. 81). For critique of latent romantic sentiment here, compare William W. Bevis: 'The two lines are not true fragments; the hiatus contains an ineffable link; the equation is expressive' (Mind of Winter; Wallace Stevens, Meditation, and Literature [Pittsburg, 1988], p. 203)--and ponder also what would be the truth of a 'true' fragment. For some flip aftermath see Marjorie Perloff, 'Ataraxia in Vortex State', in her 21st-Century Modernism; The 'New' Poetics (Malden, Mass., 2002), 190-200."

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