Please consider my proposed essay for the Visual Arts Pound session. I think it will generate discussion. I post here and to your email, but often in the past, for whatever reason, my emails have not always made it to your box. Somehow I think that "ca" ending throws off my university computers--but I should probably call this a belief rather than anything founded in thought. Thanks, Robert Kibler
Visual Arrhythmia and Transcendental Aesthetics in Pound's Asian Sources, Early Works, and Cantos.
Robert E. Kibler, Minot State University
Ezra Pound's poetic vision is characterized by energy, movement, and a certain elevated understanding of the human condition operating within the greater intellectual and spiritual cosmos. This vision is primarily rooted in observed nature, and seeks to visualize the relationship between tangible truths, formed images, and less tangible, unformed ones. By and large, there is a kind of order operating in Pound's vision. He develops sensory and visual lines of transmission--subject rhymes, for example, as Kenner and others note--of Confucius, Jefferson, Mussolini, and of Helen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and a young girl tending pigs outside of the DTC in Pisa. These keep certain ideas and themes alive from the beginning to the end of Pounds Cantos. By design, they maintain a tradition of great sensibility, of fine things held in the mind, of ling--essential in Pound's view to human participation in greater cosmic process and understanding.
At the same time, Pound's vision functions in a much less orderly fashion, showing energy, movement, and an elevated understanding resulting in a more random presentation of visual images. These are linked to one another through a process that defies orderly association, and rather, seems to produce linkages between images that use what is observed in order to produce others that are only consequently imaginable. In a sense, these clear and definite associations of random images are conceptually drawn from the unknown, and fished into visual reality by the contemplative act of the artist. In their randomness, however, they compel us to consider whether it is the artist, or the unknown process itself that most creates these images and associations, and thus, to reasonably speculate about the essential spiritual and aesthetic locus of Pound's poetic production.
Pound had early sources for this kind of random poetics--the Japanese Noh plays that he edited in 1915, for example, and Ernest Fenollosa's notes for lectures on "Landscape Poetry and Painting in Medieval China. " We see their influence early on, in Mauberly, in the Ur Cantos, and to take but one example, in Canto IV.
"The man of excellence understands what is moral.
The petty man understands what is profitable."
Robert E. Kibler Associate Professor of English and Humanities
Director, Northern Plains Writing Project
Minot State University 229 Hartnett Hall West
500 University Avenue West
Minot, North Dakota 58707 701 858 3876
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From: - Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine on behalf of Stephen Adams
Sent: Sat 1/5/2008 2:12 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: 2008 MLA Pound Panels
Let me second Margaret Fisher's call for a panel on Music in Pound's
oeuvre. The occasion seems perfect, considering the important
publications coming out of the San Francisco area, thanks to Margaret
herself and Robert Hughes. Besides, the topic has hardly received its
due, considering the importance of music to EP and the number of
musicians that figured in his life.
Tryphonopoulos, Demetres wrote:
>I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, and Productive New Year 2008.
>I have been asked by Dr. Burton Hatlen to look after the San Francisco MLA panels and am
>writing in order to invite interested scholars to contribute ideas about possible topics
>as well as to offer possible proposals. As all of you are likely to know, the MLA is
>held every year between Christmas and New Year's (27-30 December). The Pound Society
>puts on two panels, usually comprised of three papers each.
>During discussion following the first panel at last year's MLA, two topics were
>proposed: "Pound and Place" and "Pound and the Visual Arts." Before finalizing these
>topics, I would like to hear from those who did not make it to Chicago this year.
>Since I must have the topics, the names of presenters and the titles of their papers
>confirmed by 15 January 2008, please forward your ideas (and proposals for papers along
>with a brief CV) to me by 10 January 2008. I would like to have enough time to consider
>your ideas and proposals and also discuss them with Dr. Timothy Redman (who he is
>helping me coordinate this important Pound "event") before submitting the 2008 Pound
>programme to MLA.
>With all best wishes,
>Demetres P. Tryphonopoulos
>Dr. Demetres P. Tryphonopoulos
>A/Dean, School of Graduate Studies
>Professor, Department of English
>Book Review Editor, Paideuma: Studies in American and British Modernist Poetry
>University of New Brunswick
>Sir Howard Douglas Hall, Room 317
>3 Bailey Drive
>Canada E3B 5A3
>E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Department of English
University of Western Ontario
"Of making many books there is no end."