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bob scheetz <[log in to unmask]>
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- Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 4 Sep 2000 23:52:14 -0400
text/plain (128 lines)
     notoriously merkans are afflicted with an obnoxiously
evangelical, and as naive, concept of the individual, no?
eliot (who's family motto was "tace t fac") supplied the
tonic for poets with his "tradition and the individual talent",
but pound, perhaps for reasons extra-poetic,
wouldn't swallow it.

as for enlightenment:
(if you'll allow me a kwik n dirty):
...since socrates 's been recognized its unparalleled power for subversion,
no?  and, for us, at least with robespierre
instrumental reason has occupied the throne and
gone on relentlessly augmenting its hegemony at the cost of
the "progressive" diss-enchant-ment of our world.
romanticism is in a sense a reaction or resistence to this progress.
in the beginning  was a illusory sense of joy
at the liberation from the traditional jewish oedipal god;
and wordsworth's intimations and shelley's mt blanc
did duty quite well for a little spell; but reason soon had solved
the riddle of "nature" as well as old jehovah,
and by the time of eliot & pound & co., there was left
no place of grace.
so finally, against juggernaut  reason,
nietzsche posed a scorched earth strategy, proclaiming
the nihility of all previous (transcendant) meaning, and staking
out the last turf of meaning on the possibility (in everyman but not the
herd) of a subject-hero, superman, who goes under into the solopsistic
mystery of his self/ego/da-sein to discover the new theodicy wherewith to
save Being from its iron cage of nihilism
...such is the allegory, from nature to self, of romanticism, no?
ep, and il duce, etc., were these nietzschean subject-heroes,
...and, as tim sez, the cantos can be read thence
as the apologia (mein kampf) of the superman.

and certainly, given our modern dispensation,
unmitigated alienation; this vision, albeit harsh,
is manfull and honest... and, therefore, salvific.
...and plenty sufficient for our attraction, wouldn't you say?


----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Springate <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, September 03, 2000 6:54 PM
Subject: Re: More on Ants & Centaurs

> Bob,
> I immediately responded to your most recent post, intuitively agreeing
with it,
> although I would be harded pressed to know what specifically you are
> to in terms of "negative capability", or "middle-class merkan egoism".
> But there is a "pose of authenticity", and I think that phrase captures
much of
> the tone, a tone which becomes, for me at least, more prevalent, not less,
> one reads the work over the years.
> I don't know why you call it the logical culmination of romanticism,
> it is, I think, wrapped in the failures of romanticism. Is there a logical
> culmination of romanticism?
> Just curious, do you clearly distinguish the "enlightenment" from
> "romanticism", or do they meld in your mind? I ask because I wonder if you
> would say that the Cantos are the "logical culmination of the
> I think one of the things I have learned from reading the last months of
> postings, or learned again, is that many readers actually like Pound as
> failed romantic, it fits with the ethos of the "age" (as brilliantly
defined by
> Pound in his earlier poems, Mauberley et al, and a certain reading of the
> Cantos), essentially a nostalgia for a noble and soulful rebellion of
> Greatness, but when En Lin Wei argues a strong positive value for Pound,
> is, a  developed Confucianism (with all of its anti-democratic and elitist
> underpinnings, to which Wei, but not all, will object), then those same
> tend to squawk. Not, I think, because the Confucianism isn't there, but
> they don't want Pound's image as somone bearing the burden of the romantic
> impulse in a modern age to be lost.
> In other words, what is regarded as positive about Pound is his essentialy
> romantic failure, and to re-interpret his work outside of that framework
> meet with sustained resistance.
> The challenge that Wei puts clearly is that Pound may in fact be what he
> to have wanted to become, not a failed romantic, but a strong supporter of
> hiearchical values based on  conservative ideas of how merit and virtue
are to
> be defined in all societies.
> No?
> Michael
> bob scheetz wrote:
> > tim,
> >      sadly,  i think you are finally right about the
> > narcissism/exhibitionism (vanity) as the pound-ian arch-trope.
> > there is an relentlessly idiotic (original gk sense) structure
> > which he clearly cultivated...and which is impenetrable
> > ...a specific lack of negative capability, a middle-class merkan egoism,
> > posing as "authenticity", the logical
> > culmination of romanticism, which has blighted
> > most of modernism, no?
> >
> > thanks,
> > bob