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Everett Lee Lady <[log in to unmask]>
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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 24 Mar 2000 23:02:44 -1000
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>Hugh Selwyn Mauberley might be a more profitable poem to explore James by.
>Espey in "Ezra Pound's Mauberley" spends the whole of chpt 4 talking about
>Jame's place in HSM.
>To quote Espey, quoting Pound,
>"(Of course I'm no more Mauberley than Eliot is Prufrock,  Mais passons.)
>Mauberley is a mere surface.  Again a study in form, an attempt to condense
>the James novel.  Meliora speramus."
That's one of the things that makes E.P. so much fun.  One moment he
might throw out an intriguing insight that seems as if it might just
possibly be profound, and the next second one gets a fatuous piece of
tripe like this.  Mauberly might have indeed been an *attempt* to
condense the James novel, but it fell so wide of the mark that no one
else would ever recognize it as such.
I've always thought that Mauberly was Pound's *attempt* to write
something comparable to Prufrock.  Again, though, it certainly didn't
turn out that way.
But then I'm no litterateur, so what do I know?
>Incidentally, while I am sending this to the list, I have my own worry.
>I am attempting to write an essay on Hugh Selwyn Mauberley's influence on
>other poets--primarily modern poets.
>I see an affinity between HSM and The Waste Land, but I have not come across
>any writing pertaining to that affinity.
>Is there some essay I am missing?
I'd certainly be interested in hearing more about this, to wit in exactly
what respect you see a parallel between Mauberly and the Waste Land.  As
I say, I'm no litterateur, but this statement seems rather odd to me.
>And more generally are there any other poets who reflect in their poetry HSM?
The ironic device of having the metrical scheme in sharp contrast to the
meaning is comparable to something one sees a whole lot now in popular
music --- i.e. the melody an ironic contrast to the lyrics.  I became
particularly aware of this in the case of Tom Waits when I started
preparing a lot of his songs to recite as poetry.  For instance it seems
clear to me that "Who Are You (This Time)?" was written as a Dylan
pastiche, but the way Tom Waits sings it eradicates all the Dylanesque
Is this an influence of Mauberly?  Probably not.  But I do think if one
wants to talk about poetry intelligently today, one also needs to
consider popular music.