EPOUND-L Archives

- Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Michael Springate <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Fri, 8 Sep 2000 21:09:18 +0000
text/plain (174 lines)

Thanks for your thoughts.

Your kwik n dirty geneology needs more consideration than I have been able to
give it.  And when I say able, I don't only mean the lack of time, but limits
to my learning and ability. So I doubt if anything I say will critically
further your thoughts.

Essentially, I still appeal to "instrumental reason" in my life, and in the
life of the community around me.  And I do evaluate reason through its ability
to be self-correcting and, hence, progressive.

Aren't you really saying that we live in an age of hypocrisy, where the value
of reason is used to camouflage the actually desired effect?

I certainly see the instrumental value of habit and social coercion, ie:
authoritarian social movements, and the instrumental value of movements of true

rebellion (rare), but... I think it possible to "analyze" the "intent" and
"effect" of
those engaged in the propogation of either of these sorts of movements.

And should this consideration lead me/us to so-called spiritual values, such as

humilty or grace (not that it has), then I would still call it founded in
reason. And should it lead to arrogance and anger, or arrogance and sorrow
(Nietzche?), the virtues associated with rebellion, then it could still be

And that suggests that there really are legitimate conflicts of interest, which

brings us back to political analysis. The circuit out of which I can't break.

If you hit me with a stick, will I see the door?


bob scheetz wrote:

> michael,
>      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?
> thanks,
> bob
> ----- 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
> refering
> > 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,
> as
> > one reads the work over the years.
> >
> > I don't know why you call it the logical culmination of romanticism,
> although
> > 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
> enlightenment"?
> >
> > 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
> the
> > 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
> Pisan
> > Cantos), essentially a nostalgia for a noble and soulful rebellion of
> Human
> > Greatness, but when En Lin Wei argues a strong positive value for Pound,
> that
> > is, a  developed Confucianism (with all of its anti-democratic and elitist
> > underpinnings, to which Wei, but not all, will object), then those same
> readers
> > tend to squawk. Not, I think, because the Confucianism isn't there, but
> because
> > 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
> will
> > meet with sustained resistance.
> >
> > The challenge that Wei puts clearly is that Pound may in fact be what he
> seems
> > 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