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Ford Madox Ford, the novel and the Great War

This book is about Ford Madox Ford, a hero of the modernist literary revolution. Ford is a fascinating and fundamental figure of the time; not only because, as a friend and critic of Ezra Pound and Joseph Conrad, editor of the English Review and author of The Good Soldier, he shaped the development of literary modernism. But, as the grandson of Ford Madox Brown and son of a German music critic, he also manifested formative links with mainland European culture and the visual arts. In Ford there is the chance to explore continuity in artistic life at the turn of the last century, as well as the more commonly identified pattern of crisis in the time. The argument throughout the book is that modernism possesses more than one face. Setting Ford in his cultural and historical context, the opening chapter debates the concept of fragmentation in modernism; later chapters discuss the notion of the personal narrative, and war writing. Ford's literary technique is studied comparatively and plot summaries of his major books (The Good Soldier and Parade's End) are provided, as is a brief biography.

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Essays on Modern American Literature

Modern American literature began with a statement of enthusiasm from Emerson's writing in Nature. 'Enthusiasm', in Emerson, is a knowing word. Sometimes its use is as description, invariably approving, of a historic form of religious experience. Socrates' meaning of enthusiasm, and the image of the enthusiast it throws up, is crucial to this book. The book is a portrait of the writer as an enthusiast, where the portrait, as will become clear, carries more than a hint of polemic. It is about the transmission of literature, showing various writers taking responsibility for that transmission, whether within in their writing or in their cultural activism. Henry David Thoreau's Walden is an enthusiastic book. It is where enthusiasm works both in Immanuel Kant's sense of the unbridled self, and in William Penn's sense of the 'nearer' testament, and in Thoreau's own sense of supernatural serenity. Establishing Ezra Pound's enthusiasm is a fraught and complicated business. Marianne Moore composed poems patiently, sometimes over several years. She is a poet of things, as isolated things - jewels, curios, familiar and exotic animals, common and rare species of plant - are often the ostensible subjects of her poems. Homage to Frank O'Hara is a necessary book, because the sum of his aesthetic was to be found not just in his writing, but also in his actions to which only friends and contemporaries could testify. An enthusiastic reading of James Schuyler brings to the fore pleasure, the sheer pleasure that can come of combining, or mouthing, or transcribing.

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Ezra Pound
David Herd

3 Distributing: Ezra Pound Here is a portrait of an enthusiast: He has always been, first and foremost, a teacher and a campaigner. He has always been impelled, not merely to find out for himself how poetry should be written, but to pass on the benefit of his discoveries to others; not simply to make these benefits available; but to insist upon their being received. He would cajole, and almost coerce, other men into writing well: so that he often presents the appearance of a man trying to convey to a very deaf person the fact that the house is on fire. Every

in Enthusiast!
Speech! Speech! (2000)
Jeffrey Wainwright

In a seminar discussion following a performance of Alban Berg, I recall a member of the Lindsay String Quartet saying that, unlike all that had gone before, modern music ‘is allowed to be ugly’. ‘Beauty’ might indeed be said to be a problem for many twentieth-century artists. In his essay on Ezra Pound’s ‘Envoi (1919)’ in The Enemy’s Country Geoffrey Hill quotes Pound’s assertion ‘Beauty is difficult’ ( EC p. 96), a quotation from the first of the ‘Pisan Cantos’, LXXIV

in Acceptable words
Olson on history, in dialogue
Sarah Posman

damn good’, despite its heavy leaning on Ezra Pound.17 Gerhardt’s poetic letter breathes Pound’s influence through quotations, in hooking together poetry and the places (‘syntax over the rooftops of Parma’) as well as forces (‘the shock of the poem / or the theory of finance’) that have shaped the modern world, and when it calls to the masters of western poetry (Virgil, Dante) from a contemporary, ruinous Europe (‘Siena Verdun Monte Cassino Narvik Stavanger Murmansk Mostar Cambrai Garmisch Partenkirchen Minsk Moscow Berlin Rotterdam’).18 The poem’s ‘whirl of time

in Contemporary Olson
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Enthusiasm and audit
David Herd

, literary culture requires enthusiasm. Which makes it all the more important that the writer as enthusiast should be recognized, that their terms should be understood, that the energies by which they circulate value should be appreciated and made known. And it makes it crucial that institutions professing a concern for literary culture, instead of operating procedures that militate daily against its dissemination, should permit the enthusiasms by which such culture is passed on. Note 1 Ezra Pound, Selected Letters: 1901-41, ed. D. D. Paige, London, Faber and Faber, 1970

in Enthusiast!
Olson’s lifelong preoccupation with the sciences
Peter Middleton

2 Discoverable unknowns: Olson’s lifelong preoccupation with the sciences Peter Middleton From start to finish of his career as a poet, Charles Olson believed that poets must reckon with the sciences of their time. One of his first publications after leaving his job with the Democratic National Committee in Washington took Ezra Pound to task for scientific illiteracy. In ‘This is Yeats Speaking’ Olson calls for the reassessment of Ezra Pound, then about to go on trial for treason. Awkwardly wearing the mask of the W.  B. Yeats of A Vision, Olson criticises

in Contemporary Olson
Elaine Feinstein

of Prospect, ‘Remembering the Movement’, offers a clue to the attraction.3 He was already working on Ezra Pound, and eager to repudiate the cautious tones of the new Movement poets and to open himself up to a transatlantic world. By then, Olson and Lowell represented opposing extremes of possible American influence. No surprise that the academic English poets were more attracted to the patrician Lowell. When Davie became Professor of the new Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Essex, however, he invited Dorn to join the Essex Faculty, and was

in Contemporary Olson
Peter Barry

-setting – all we are given is the 1  See Brita Lindberg-Seyersted (ed.), Pound/Ford, the Story of a Literary Friendship: The Correspondence Between Ezra Pound and Ford Madox Ford and Their Writings About Each Other (New Directions Publishing, 1982). Barry.indb 159 9/6/2013 8:43:45 AM 160  Reading beyond the lines image itself. But the imagists weren’t satisfied with poems like this and wanted to take the stripping-down process even further. For instance, isn’t the poet doing too much prompting in setting up the antithesis between near and far, between the sublimely remote

in Reading poetry
Alex Wylie

autobiographical vignette affords an insight into the power that modernist poetry has exerted on Hill, but also into his alternative perspectives on modernism, having reached out to the work of Allen Tate rather than, say, W.B. Yeats or T.S. Eliot, or even Ezra Pound, of whom in the same piece Hill remarks that he “found his structures uninstructive”, and that he only “learned … from his methods at a later date”.2 The influence of Pound is more evident in a book such as Speech! Speech!, for instance, but Hill’s relationship with modernism in his later work can be characterised

in Geoffrey Hill’s later work