I think the ordinary categories or stereotypes just don't work in this
Bothe men had accute sensitivities and poetic skills. Pound was anxious to
promote Eliot as being yet another modern poet who shared the ethos
of artistic change but in his own original way. Pound's genius was
something like Michelangelo's. He saw the shape of things -- history esp.
but all kinds of art from all kinds of cultures and times, so he had exactly
right skills of perception and execution to see the shape of the poem in the
raw stone which came from the quarry of Eliot's imagination. Eliot was
the poet and Pound was the sculptor. Both CREATIVE acts, rather than just
Eliot's with Pound as editor. Pound's humility before great art gave him
detachment so that he could perceive what needed to be done.
Some of Pound's sculpting didn't rest easily with Eliot.
Marshall McLuhan outlined this tension in his presentation:
"The Possum and The Midwife" given as the fourth annual
Pound Lecture in the Humanities, delivered at 7:30 p.m. on April 25, 1978
at the university of Idaho. Eliot was a four part man and Pound a five,
in traditional terms grammar vs rhetoric. McLuhan refers to,
"the collaboration and conflict between Pound and Eliot. Their contention
the making of two (complementary) poems, which we have learned to call The
Waste Land - one with four and one with five divisions. Eliot, as we shall
was veered away from the original four-division Waste Land by Pound's
stress on 'craft', and on the rhetorical five divisions. His 'victory' over
was signalized by the wry dedication 'to Ezra Pound: if miglior fabbro.'
had already asserted the classical status of the five division structure for
in his 'Homage to Sextus Propertius' and his 'Mauberly' as early as 1915 and
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2007 7:17 AM
Subject: Re: "Overall context" was The Yoruba and TSE
> Richard Seddon wrote:
> > Peter
> > No
> > Richard
> Peter Montgomery: Still, without Pound's involvment would there have
> been anything? P.
> This is for me the fascinating point. Eliot produced all that material,
> but Pound _saw_ something there that Eliot hadn't seen. It was there,
> sort of, but also (sort of) not there until Pound saw it.
> Try an analogy from 'ordinary' writing. Even a freshman student who is
> really working on a theme can come to a point at which, in her
> scribbles, she suddenly 'sees' something that she hadn't seen while
> scribbling -- and now she can write the paper. Does the paper 'belong'
> to Josie-8pm-1am or does it 'belong' to Josie-1:15am -- or does it
> belong to Josie 9am-10:15am (next morning) as she pulls that material
> together? None or all of them!
> There has been/was a strong current of "organicism" in 19th/20th c.
> thinking about 'art' -- see for example the "auteur' theory of film
> production, which tried/tries to reduce the whole film to the 'vision'
> of the director. There just _can't_ be multiple creators of the work.
> But that is wrong. There can be; there often has been over history
> (e.g., medieval cathedrals), and it just won't do to reduce the unity of
> a work to the (supposed) unity of a single artist's inspiration.
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