Peter wrote that, not me. I just want to be clear.
Carrol is clearly right that Vivienne did not do anything remotely like
co-compose. And that may be the apt word because no one ever claimed
Pound WROTE any of the lines (thought Vivienne did write one). But
everyone who looks at it at all knows he was central to how it was
composed and what came out of that composing process. No one has been
more explicit about that than Eliot himself, and Pound clearly was
chuffed with his own part as "midwife."
So the real issue is the degree to which there is a single, authorizing
"author" and what it means to make a claim either way. Is the "poem" a
unique creation of one consciousness or is the "poem" a composition
created by the words of Eliot framed and arranged in a collaboration?
If the former, just how does one make any sense of its history? If the
latter, what does it mean to say it is simply and entirely "Eliot's
I do not think it true that the author is dead, but Foucault's more
complex discussion of the need to redefine the meaning of the word
"author" seems key to this discussion.
>>> [log in to unmask] 09/13/05 12:41 AM >>>
Nancy Gish wrote:
> >>> [log in to unmask] 09/12/05 10:59 PM >>>
> If Pound was a co-authout, then so was Viv, but I don't see anyone
> making a case for her.
Pish. Her contributions were exactly of the sort Marcia speaks of -- the
kind of comment, criticism, help which many -- probably almost all --
poets frequently ask friends or colleagues to offer. And it certainly is
not about demeaning Eliot; on the contrary, his ability to grasp and
affirm the poem that Pound had discovered & extracted from the
typescript is quite remarkable. Whatever else one might say of him,
positive or negative, he at that time at least was free of the
whimsicalities of those who now, as Nancy puts it, want to sacralize
He's just a poet, not an oracle. And a quite interesting one.