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"Yakov Leib haKohain (Lawrence G. Corey, Ph.D.)" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 2 Jan 2000 02:50:33 -0800
text/plain (46 lines)
Automatic digest processor wrote:
> Subject: EPOUND-L Digest - 30 Dec 1999 to 1 Jan 2000 (#2000-1)
> Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 00:00:50 -0500
> From: Automatic digest processor <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
> To: Recipients of EPOUND-L digests <[log in to unmask]>
> There is one message totalling 32 lines in this issue.
> Topics of the day:
>   1. Waal waal
>   ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Subject: Waal waal
> Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2000 10:40:56 -1000
> From: Jonathan Morse <[log in to unmask]>
> What was it about the sentimental James Whitcomb Riley that appealed to
> Pound? One obvious answer: Riley was a skillful technician (the analogy
> from another art would be Norman Rockwell), and Pound left the United
> States in 1908, when dialect poetry was taken more seriously than it's been
> taken since. Fifty years later, when Pound included Riley in _From
> Confucius to Cummings_, the works of the Hoosier poet were a dead letter,
> but by then (as recordings demonstrate) Pound's own speech had become a
> dead language, completely cut off from the changing American idiom. The
> cringe-making Old Ez persona of the letters is a survival from the Riley
> era, a linguistic Piltdown Man.
> All this is by way of asking whether anyone has read Gavin Jones's _Strange
> Talk: The Politics of Dialect Literature in Gilded Age America_ (University
> of California Press, 1999). I haven't, yet, but a couple of sentences in
> the publisher's advertisement make me think I should, for Pound's sake. The
> passage reads:
> "Late-nineteenth-century America was crazy about dialect. . . . But dialect
> was also at the heart of anxious debates about the moral degeneration of
> urban life, the impact of foreign immigration, the black presence in white
> society, and the female influence on masculine authority."
> Jonathan Morse