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family at tschengls



Friday 10 July




Friday was a really important day. I was involved in a second society session, this time on Pound and the visual arts. The Rittersaal was full, despite the early hour. Justin Kishbaugh talked about Pound and Laurence Binyon; Ira Nadel had a brilliant meditation on the reverberations of Coburn’s Vortographic experiments in subsequent painting by Francis Bacon; and yours truly tried to puzzle out how much of Pound’s knowledge about Cubism filtered into Canto I. It was a good panel and I was very happy with it.

After that, I retired to the session in the Pound Room which had become my favorite. I loved to be there and was always happy if a presentation I was interested in happened to be held in it. I listened to Kristin Grogan and Alex Pestell who had taken upon themselves the handling of the most difficult material in The Cantos: economics and politics in Thrones.

For the afternoon, there was great excitement: We were going to Tschengls to see the columns that the family had erected on an idea of Pound’s: the temple in nature.




It was a rather long trip by bus from Dorf Tirol and the last part was a hardy climb on a winding narrow path to a clearing in the mountains. We sat on the grass, sipped champagne, gazed at the columns and listened to Sizzo giving us the background. It had been a family adventure. Sizzo had known the place for a long time and had brought Olga Rudge to it on one of his rounds. She had recognized it as the ideal spot for the temple and selected the marble for the columns. They were made by Bernhard Grassl, who came to celebrate with us. John Gery read to us from Canto XC:

Templum aedificans, not yet marble,


And from the San Ku san ku

                to the room in Poitiers where one can stand

                             casting no shadow,

That is Sagetrieb,

                               that is tradition.

Then Sizzo followed John by reading passages out of Canto 97 and consecrated the temple with Pound's words:

The temple temple is holy
               because it is not for sale

We took our glasses and went to the columns for a closer look. They had a rough texture and seemed to emerge directly from the earth. There was a plaque in front of them: Aram vult nemus (“the grove wants an altar”): Pound had created the phrase and used it in the Pisan Cantos.aram

Mary dedicated the temple to Dionysus and we celebrated together with the family and the sculptor. I think every scholar in the conference has a picture with the columns, me included: I’m not sharing mine, in case anybody is curious.  

After we came back, there was no time to rest. Shower, change, take a deep breath, the elegant sandals, and off to the conference banquet!



 At the conference banquet: Mary de Rachewiltz sitting between David Moody and David McKnight