Pound concluded his meditation on the creation of his
famous two line poem with the following.
"I dare say it is meaningless unless one has drifted into a certain vein of
thought. 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."
from Pound, Ezra. "Vorticism." Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir. London: Marvell,
Collaborator is yet another of those almost cliché groups into
which one is tempted to put Pound just so one can delude
oneself into thinking the phenom. has been explained.
I see two distinct creative, asynchronous processes happening,
both of which involve the same object, but which are quite
distinct. To me, Eliot's process has the character of the hero
searching the underworld, a kind of epillion, and Pound's that
of sculpture. I'm not at all sure the two processes can be connected.
The subsequent discussions to resolve some of the issues
does have the character of an informal collaboration.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Seddon" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2007 5:03 AM
Subject: Re: thw working out of TWL; was "Overall context"; was The Yoruba
> Remember Pound actually tried his hand at sculpture. Typically he pounded
> some ordinary rounded/smoothed river rocks with a hammer until they broke.
> He then arranged the pieces along with "unsculpted" stones in his Paris
> apartment. For the story see Stock's bio I believe.
> I think Pound was fascinated with metamorphosis and not so much with
> It was the almost magical moment when something ceased to be what it was
> became something absolutely different that obsessed Pound. Metamorphosis
> a continuous theme through his own work and is central to a good
> understanding of Imagism.
> If Pound had been creatively "sculpting" on the TSE manuscript at this
> particular moment in his artistic life wouldn't he have been trying to
> create a Vortistic poem? The point is that if Pound at this time was in
> "creative" role he would have been striving to pull out Vorticism from the
> "clay" which Eliot had handed him. This is not what happened. Pound at
> period was actively searching for artists (graphic and literary) he could
> label Vortistic yet he never saw TWL as Imagism or as a Vortex. He saw it
> as the best Modernistic poem he had read.
> I see Pound's role as a super advisor and hand holder to TSE. This does
> minimize Pound's role in the production of TWL. TSE never did. Without
> Pound there would not have been a TWL. But, which PhD can say that
> his/her *advisory* committee a successful dissertation would have happened
> anyway? I think the problem is that we instinctively minimize the
> contribution of the "Advisor" to the success of an endeavor. An advisor
> not a collaborator but yet provides a major contribution to the production
> of the endeavor. Advice, whether taken or not, almost always will "color"
> the outcome.
> Today it seems that every novel I read is prefaced by a long list of
> you" to all the authors friends and advisors whose help was material to
> poem. Perhaps TSE should have done likewise. Then we wouldn't be having
> this argument. BTW anyone trying to put the dedicatory excerpt from TWL
> this role should read Southam pg 136. Arnaut Daniel had no function in
> Divine Comedy beyond "exemplar".
> Rick Seddon
> Portales, NM
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