Article Index

WHAT’S NEW         





Roxana Preda, ed.

Ezra Pound and the Arts

Timothy Billings, ed.

Cathay: A Critical Edition

Mark Byron and Sophia Barnes, ed.

The Blue Spill: A Manuscript Critical Edition





Pierre Rival,

Ezra Pound en enfer

Walter Baumann and Caterina Ricciardi, ed.

Ezra Pound's Green World


Roxana Preda, ed. The Edinburgh Companion to Ezra Pound and the Arts

Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019. ISBN: 9781474429177, 560pp, £150

The present volume of new, interdisciplinary scholarship investigates the arts with which Pound had a lifelong interaction including architecture, ballet, cinema, music, painting, photography and sculpture. Divided into 5 historically and thematically arranged sections, the 28 chapters foreground the shifting significance of art forms throughout Pound’s life which he spent in London, Paris, Rapallo and Washington.
The Companion maps Pound’s practices of engagement with the arts, deepening areas of study that have recently emerged, such as his musical compositions. At the same time, it opens up new fields, particularly Pound’s interaction with the performing arts: opera, dance, and cinema. The volume demonstrates overall that Ezra Pound was no mere spectator of the modernist revolution in the arts; rather he was an agent of change, a doer and promoter who also had a deep emotional response to the arts.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgments and credits
List of Abbreviations


1. ‘Mermaids, that carving’: Pound and Italian Art - Giuliana Ferreccio
2. ‘Templum Aedificavit’: Pound and Architecture - Stephen Romer
3. Ezra Pound and East Asian Art - Mark Byron
4. Ezra Pound and Old Music - Charles Timbrell
5. Ezra Pound: Premier Danseur by Proxy - Evelyn Haller
6. Time, Speed, Precision, and the Poetry of the Everyday; or, Ezra Pound’s Cinema Aesthetic - Bruce Elder


7. Ezra Pound and 19th Century Aestheticism: Sharing ‘Breath for Beauty and the Arts’ with Rossetti and Pater - Sara Dunton and Demetres Tryphonopoulos
8. Ezra Pound and James McNeill Whistler: Modernism and Conceptual Art - Jo Brantley Berryman
9. Pound and Walter Rummel - Charles Timbrell
10. ‘Museum Pieces’: Laurence Binyon, Ezra Pound, and the Visual Arts - Justin Kishbaugh
11. Into the Vortex: Ezra Pound, Anarchism and the Ideological Project of Art Criticism - Mark Antliff
12. ‘Intelligence … shut in by the entrenched forces of stupidity’: Pound and Wyndham Lewis - Paul Edwards
13. Vorticist Photography or The Three Angles of Pound and Coburn - Ira Nadel
14. ‘Creation and Action’: Ezra Pound and Italian Futurism - Sean Mark
15. Pound and Kandinsky: The Inner Necessity of a Terrestrial Paradise - Jack Baker
16. Agnes Bedford: An Invisible Helpmate - Stephen Adams

III. PARIS 1921-1924

17. Constantin Brâncuşi Vorticist: Sculpture, Art Criticism, Poetry - Roxana Preda
18. Percussive Music for a Triangle. Ezra Pound's Relationship with George Antheil and Olga Rudge - Mauro Piccinini
19. ‘Like coins out of circulation’: Reframing Ezra Pound’s Le Testament - Scott Klein
20. Pound as Music Theorist: Antheil and the Treatise on Harmony - Gemma Moss
21. The Expansion of a Theory: Great Bass and Ballet mécanique - Margaret Fisher
22. Renaissance Man’s Performance Practice: Ezra Pound’s Search for a Contemporary Colour Palette Through His Solo Violin Works - Leslee Smucker


23. Pound’s Artistic Thinking and Relations in Italy, 1925-1945 - Massimo Bacigalupo
24. Music Recollected: Ezra Pound’s Cavalcanti - Charles Mundye
25. Vida Sin Fin: Ezra Pound and Gerhart Münch - Roxana Preda and Heriberto Cruz Cornejo


26. Sheri Martinelli: The White Goddess - Alec Marsh
27. ‘Art in the Solid’: Ezra Pound and Michael Lekakis - Galateia Demetriou
28. A ‘Transference of Power’: Ezra Pound and the Cinema of Hollis Frampton - Daniel Hackbarth

Notes on contributors

Ezra Pound, Cathay: A Critical Edition, ed. Timothy Billings, fwd. Haun Saussy, intro. Christopher Bush.

New York: Fordham University Press, 2019. ISBN: 9780823281060, 364 pp, $35

Ezra Pound’s Cathay (1915) is a masterpiece both of modernism and of world literature. The muscular precision of images that mark Pound’s translations helped establish a modern style for American literature, at the same time creating a thirst for classical Chinese poetry in English. Pound’s dynamic free-verse translations in a modern idiom formed the basis for T.S. Eliot’s famous claim that Pound was the “inventor of Chinese poetry for our time.” Yet Pound achieved this feat without knowing any Chinese, relying instead on word-for-word “cribs” left by the Orientalist Ernest Fenollosa, whose notebooks reveal a remarkable story of sustained cultural exchange.

This fully annotated critical edition focuses on Pound’s astonishing translations without forgetting that the original Chinese poems are masterpieces in their own right. On the one hand, the presentation of all that went into the final Cathay makes it possible for the first time to appreciate the magnitude and the nuances of Pound’s poetic art. At the same time, by bringing the final text together with the Chinese and Old English poems it claims to translate, as well as the manuscript traces of Pound's Japanese and American interlocutors, the volume also recovers practices of poetic circulation, resituating a Modernist classic as a work of world literature.


Foreword: The Archive of Cathay, Haun Saussy
Introduction: From the Decipherings, Christopher Bush
Editor's Introduction: Cracking the Crib, Timothy Billings

Cathay (1915)

Lustra (1916): The Chinese Poems

Miscellaneous Poems

The Little Review (1918): Two Translations

Cribs for Cathay & Other Poems, Ernest Fenollosa, et al.

Chinese Poetry (1918)


Ezra Pound's and Olga Rudge's The Blue Spill: A Manuscript Critical Edition, ed. Mark Byron and Sophia Barnes.
London: Bloomsbury, 2019, 320pp, ISBN: 9781474281072, HB $201
Written during the Italian winter of 1930, The Blue Spill is an unfinished detective novel written by Ezra Pound – the leading figure of modernist poetry in the 20th century – and his long-time companion Olga Rudge. Published for the first time in this authoritative critical edition, the novel reflects both Rudge's and Pound's voracious reading of popular fiction as it echoes and parodies such writers as Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and P.G. Wodehouse.

Based on the original manuscripts of the novel, this critical edition includes annotation and textual commentary throughout. The book also includes critical essays exploring the contexts of the work, from the dynamics of artistic collaboration to the growing popularity of detective fiction at the beginning of the 20th century. Taken together, this unique publication sheds new light on the relationship between the literary avant-garde and popular culture in the modernist period.

Table of contents

List of Figures

Part I: The Edition
Introduction: “Brilliant Detective cut off…”: The Blue Spill as an Incomplete Murder
Textual Essay: "Too Much Attention to Detail...": The Composition of The Blue Spill

Reading Text: The Blue Spill

Part II: Essays
A Golden-Age Clue-Puzzle: The Blue Spill and Detective Fiction

Olga Rudge and Ezra Pound: A Career in Artistic Collaboration



Pierre Rival, Ezra Pound en enfer, préf. Michel Onfray.
Paris: L’Herne, 2019, 250pp., ISBN: 9791031902401, €15

De 1940 à 1945, le poète américain d'avant-garde Ezra Pound a participé de manière active à la propagande du régime de Mussolini et des forces de l'Axe. Ses émissions de propagande à la radio italienne empreintes d'un antisémitisme radical - dont certaines sont traduites ici pour la première fois - lui valurent une inculpation pour haute trahison ; il évita de justesse la peine de mort en étant déclaré inapte mentalement à être jugé, et fut interné durant treize ans dans un asile psychiatrique aux Etats-Unis.

Ezra Pound en enfer retrace l'itinéraire politique et intellectuel du premier écrivain moderniste de la littérature anglo-saxonne dont il est aussi l'un des éditeurs les plus avisés, découvreur, notamment, de T.S. Eliot et de James Joyce. Ce récit tente de comprendre comment l'auteur des célèbres Cantos a pu adhérer à la cause du fascisme. Pierre Rival interroge ici le lien entre la radicalité politique et la radicalité esthétique. A travers l'exemple de Pound, il montre comment les attitudes de rupture, dans la littérature et les arts, lorsqu'elles sont déplacées dans le champ du politique, conduisent presque inéluctablement au choix du totalitarisme.









Ezra Pound's Green World: Nature, Landscape and Language, ed. Walter Baumann and Caterina Ricciardi.
Brighton: Edward Everett Root, 2018, 254 pp, ISBN: 9781912224722, HB £65.

This book brings to the fore much new work on this key area of Pound’s endeavours and interests, and on the social, political, and philosophical implications of his works. The contributors also deal with his interests in Chinese virtues, Egyptian hieroglyphs and autobiographical myths, where he combined his appreciation of both the Green World and the arts.

W. Baumann, Ezra Pound and Trees
S. Martin, Sacred Landscape: Lago di Garda in the Work of Ezra Pound and D. H. Lawrence
W. Pratt, The Grasshopper and the Ant: Pound’s Versions of Pastoral
J. Gery, What are Temples for: Spontaneity, Simultaneity and Fortuna in Canto 97
G. Schmidt, “Sumerian” Hieroglyphs in Cantos 94, 97 and 100
M. Bacigalupo, The Green World in the Autobiographical Myth of The Cantos
S. Romer, “The fine thing held in the mind”: Painterliness Emanating in Pound’s Early Poems and Cantos
M. Sheldon, Allen Upward’s Influence on Ezra Pound’s Green World
J. Brantley Berryman, Pound’s Green World: Mimesis, Metaphor, and Magic
R. M. Zorzi, The Myth of Daphne in Pound’s Early Poetry
P. Liebregts, “Damned to you Midas, Midas lacking a Pan”: Ezra Pound and the Use of Pan
C. Altieri, Taking Fascist Ontology Seriously: Why “the Green World” Could Not Suffice for the Early Cantos
G. Ferreccio, Pound’s Iconic Acts: Rituals and Natural Language in the Early-Middle Cantos
J. Pollock, The Poetics of Cut and Flow in The Cantos of Ezra Pound
S. Mark, “Two larks in contrappunto / at sunset”: Pound and Pasolini After the Fall
A. Trevathan, Teaching Pound in a Red State
V. Patea, Patrizia de Rachewiltz’s My Taishan: Confessions in the Pound Tradition
J. Gery, “Independence in a Green World”: Mary de Rachewiltz as Student and Teacher