Fascinating Richard, and news to me, but I've never
been up on Pound much after his work on TWL.
I think McLuhan's preoccupation was with what he saw
as some kind of conspiracy among the artists coming out of the
the 1920s. It was all very vague and people thought McLuhan
was seeing something that wasn't there. Nonetheless the
idea of the artist as a prophet of the future was defiitely derived from
Pound, and to some extent also Wyndham Lewis. It certainly
fed the work of Hugh Kenner and I.A. Richards. It 's
like there was a group who had the inside track.
The Society of the Golden Dawn was just one manifestation,
as was Blavatsky alias Madame Sosotris. Let's face it, the world was
VERY quirky with characters like Hitler identifying with Germanic mythology,
preoccupations with Stonehenge, Arthurian legends (as in TWL/what's her
name) &c. &c.
McLuhan was all for the artist was perceiver of the new patterns
before the rest of us, but he thought it was just that as a public role.
Then he got a bee in his bonnet about a pagan kind of mythic conspiracy
which bothered him no end, being a relatively newly minted Catholic
out of Cambridge with F.R. Leavis as his mentor, &c. &c.
If I get a chance I will see if I can find McLuhan's letter.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Seddon" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, March 19, 2010 5:19 PM
Subject: Re: signs and wonders
> Peter wrote: " McLuhan once wrote to Pound, seriously balling him out
> for having a secret occult design on modern culture, and
> having co-conspirators."
> Writing this away from my books so please forgive.
> Wasn't it during the early 50's and the St Elizabeth years that Pound
> surrounded himself with a group of young people at the hospital. Some of
> these young people were fairly weird as I recall. Most of them encouraged
> his obsessions particularly the racial and economic ones. I have not seen
> scholarly work done on them but would appreciate anyone's pointers to any
> such work. One of them was a young woman artist.
> It was the early 50's when Charles Olson visited Pound in the hospital and
> was sickened (Olson's words) by Pound's obsessions and by the group of
> people surrounding him.
> Not sure whether this is the same group that McLuhan was referring to or
> not. From what I recall of them they were almost acting as gate keepers
> Pound. They held regular gatherings in his room and apparently discussed
> fascist work primarily.
> A very interesting group that should be researched if it has not already
> been done.
> Rick Seddon
> Portales, NM