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Von Underwood <[log in to unmask]>
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Mon, 10 Feb 2003 11:52:20 -0600
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Pound's remark in 1913 is of course interesting, but Kandinsky had already
painted in 1910 what some take to be the first non-represntational paintings
of the modernist movement, though this does not quite do justice to cubist
work in France, and the work of some futurists. Kandinsky's "Concerning
the Spiritual in Art" says a lot about the effects of color as a spiritual
"note." I suppose the point is that Pound is partly reacting to things in the
art world, and not prophetically predicting something never seen before. I
want to add that as such statements were being made, the speakers often
found them re-understanding the art of the past, realizing that it was never
really representatinal in the weay some had taken it to be in any very
convincing sense. I haven't said this very well, but I suppose I just wanted
to point out that 1913 is early in relation to Rothko, but not all that early in
relation to Kandinsky and others.

Date sent:              Sat, 8 Feb 2003 13:44:21 -0500
Send reply to:          - Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Tom Walsh <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                The Prophet
To:                     [log in to unmask]

To our List,
During my search for a work on Pound, at the local "computerized
catalog" library, I came across a Pound reference in, of all places, a
work called "Interpretations of Life, A Study of Contemporary
Literature" by Will and Ariel Durant. Yes, I see your expressions, as
you read this. I was about to put it back on the shelf, but opened it to
the back index, and noticed the Pound reference pages.

Of course, they write off Pound as a "crossword puzzle for the leisure
class" who was involved with "playing a game of hide-and-seek" with his


But, before I slammed shut the book, one of their footnotes, cited from
Charles Norman's "Ezra Pound", caught my eye. It showed what a creative,
prophetic, and artistic mind he possessed. Here's the quote:

"In 1913, Pound wrote: 'If I were a painter...I might found a new school
of painting, of non-representative painting, a painting that would speak
only by arrangements of color.' "

Isn't this exactly how modern art evolved? Modern artists of our day
spoke with these "arrangements of color." Large color canvas, sometimes
an entire wall of color, affected the space around them, to light our
consciousness, and dove-tail our existence with pure element. I can't
remember exact names, but Klee and Rothko come to mind as masters of

And so, too, did Pound paint with pen and pencil. But, instead of using
his proposed colors, he used the words of History to tie together the
bright and elusive ribbons of philosophy, religion, and culture, and
provide us with a canvas of Cantos forever.  Tom NJ

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Von Underwood
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