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Pound, Beatrice Hastings, and the New Age

Judith Hendra 

 

Ezra Pound’s “The Seafarer: freely translated from the Anglo-Saxon” appeared in the issue of the New Age for 30 November 1911. A sentence from 'The Editor' explained Pound’s intentions going forward: “Under this heading [‘I Gather the Limbs of Osiris’] Mr. Pound will contribute expositions and translations of the ‘New Method’ in scholarship.” Pound scholars assume “Editor” meant Alfred Richard Orage, the New Age’s founder. This is not the entire story for, while Orage and Pound had a long relationship extending beyond the New Age, “Editor” in 1911 was a collective noun made up of Orage as managing editor and Orage’s professional and personal partner Beatrice Hastings. Hastings was the paper’s official book editor and functioned unofficially as its literary editor. She wrote literary criticism, satires, parodies, poetry, fiction, and polemics under a bewildering number of pseudonyms and anonymously. Hastings made decisions about content, sometimes overruling Orage whose public persona (omniscient managing editor) masked the Orage whom Hastings once accused of “having ten men’s minds and not one of them his own” — in an anti-Orage polemic she published years after they broke up. However, during Pound’s early years at the paper they were solidly behind it and very much a couple in spite of a few civil wars. 

The contents for 30 November were a microcosm of the paper's progress since Orage took it over in 1907: Huntly Carter’s column about art, T.H. Hulme’s latest essay on Henri Bergson, and, fitting a socialist journal, a piece on David Lloyd George’s National Insurance Bill, while “Letters to the Editor” ran an entertaining back and forth supporting and reviling the latest  ‘Art Supplement’ — a reproduction of a Cubist drawing by Pablo Picasso. The mysterious T.K.L. was credited with a savage attack on the suffragettes (A Lysistratic). “He’ happened to be the unnamed author of that week’s ‘Present Day Criticism’, Beatrice Hastings. ‘We abjure the grey partisan. He is nothing but darkness unconfirmed,’ Hastings wrote. Her rambling, idiosyncratic column dealt with the degeneration of culture and included a warning to some hypothetical young persons in danger of being corrupted, citing “deadly premature display, mock public effort, imitation debate and lecturing…thrust…sapped but vain as peacocks, into some brief authority there again to be speeded up — and we are already gazing at the skeletons of some of them”: Advice to a hyperkinetic young American confronting the London literary scene after almost a year’s absence? 

Pound was firmly “in” by the waning months of 1911. He was surprised the offices were “two cells inside a printing press,” but that hardly mattered given the depth of talent at the paper. It’s likely he’d met Hastings and Orage socially before they met professionally; Pound’s personal list of “delightful people” included New Age writers Hulme, Richard Aldington, Allen Upward, Frank (F.S) Flint, Wyndham Lewis (who briefly wrote for the paper in 1911 and 1912), and a mutual acquaintance, the literary power broker Ford Madox Hueffer. Hastings pulled Frank Flint out of the slush pile in 1908 when Flint still wrote ‘verse,’ and for a while had him writing reviews. One was Flint's favorable review of Personae quoting in entirety ‘And Thus in Nineveh’ (F.S. Flint Personae N.A. 27 May 1909.) Once Flint became an apostate and talked about shedding “old devices” — regular metrical beat and rhyming — 'Beatrice Tina' Hastings asked him to explain his rules ever so slightly more explicitly. Was it permissible to write a sonnet? Flint followed Hastings' banter with, “Miss Tina could write what she wished and command attention,” explaining he liked free rhythm because it was spontaneous (F.S. Flint 'Scorn Not the Sonnet' Letter to the Editor 20 January 1910).

Flint flattered her — Hastings was an indifferent poet—unless it was comic verse in which case she shone. Hastings made up her own rules about language. She brashly turned nouns into adverbs (“fireworky”) and anglicized French verbs –they “agaced from start to finish, but not to set your teeth on edge,” from agacer, to irritate or excite. Targeting Pound in 1913, Hastings joyfully exploited her working knowledge of French. Simultaneously she ridiculed the movement towards simplified spelling and roistered John Masefield for descending into the vernacular in Nan. Practically no one was exempt, including the big establishment writers Arnold Bennett and H.G. Wells and promising newcomers (Hastings' examples of overrated writers included Rupert Brooke and Kenneth Grahame, especially Grahame). So Hastings may have surprised herself when she reacted favorably to “Seafarer.” “A poem, indeed!” she exhaled twenty-five years later looking back at Pound's debut in a 1936 publication The “Old” New Age, Orage and Others.

The essays were problematic, Hastings remembered. Pound's biographer A. David Moody describes the series: “a version of his Anglo- Saxon Seafarer; a translation of five of his translations of the sonnets and ballads of Guido Cavalcanti; translations of ten canzoni of Arnaut Daniel; ... and five prose articles, interspersed among the translations devoted to his exposition of his ‘New Method in Scholarship.’” (Ezra Pound: Poet vol.1, p. 170) Hastings didn't know if the readership would accept them. She remembered bringing samples to an editorial meeting. “They …were so idiosyncratic that I did not quite trust my own judgement, and I read them out, and everyone howled: however, I put them through.” ('Old' New Agep.10) Hastings' deliberate "I" indicated ownership and pointedly excluded Orage- as-editor. It would have been out of character for Orage to “howl”; colleagues remembered meetings where Orage listened and wrapped up by precisely analyzing what was wrong or right about the others' opinions. Hastings liked to say she tore up manuscripts rather than write rejection letters and lectured authors about grammar implying most submissions weren't worth the paper they were written on. She was also surprisingly generous and fiercely protective of colleagues she trusted. It was easy to see Hastings liked Pound. They shared the distinction of being outsiders; Hastings because she was a 'colonial', her family was British South African, and became she was the sole woman among the New Age's editors and contributors. She valued Pound's boisterous energy and inventiveness and was impressed in spite of herself by his knowledge. By laughing at him she also wanted him to know with her he couldn’t get away with any nonsense.

It took Hastings a few weeks to warm up to the possibilities of using Pound as a foil. She started in a minor key after week five of Pound's “I Gather the Limbs of Osiris” (28 December). Featuring translations of Daniel's canzoni, Pound used the expression “bully.”  ‘B. Hastings’ needled the author: “May I suggest that Mr. Pound’s translation of Daniel’s ‘Bona es vida pos joia la mante’ is really too feeble?  ‘Bully is living where joy can back it up’ — so Mr. Pound renders it. But ‘Bully is the breath-act where bliss can do the Atlas stunt’ is much more faithful to Daniel, so de-civilised as his line betrays him to have been.” A few weeks later she displayed an impressive knowledge of English traditional ballads in a “Present Day Criticism” (15 February 1912). 

Pound began a fourth series of essays in September 1913. He opened “The Approach to Paris” with a metaphor, Paris as a “great oasis of culture.” Drawing on his visit to Paris the previous April when he briefly met “a vortex of twenty men” gathered in the cellar of a local café, Pound enthusiastically imagined the intellectual heavyweights gathered around at Paul Fort’s table at the Cafe des Lilas. The New Age equivalent was the basement of an ABC teashop on High Holborn where the editors gathered on Mondays: 

Yet, these things are beyond my knowledge. I have never come into Paris. It may easily be held that my desire toward Paris is a morbidity. Yet I do not precisely admit a 'desire toward Paris.' There are just two things in the world, two great and interesting phenomena: the intellectual life of Paris and the curious teething promise of my own vast occidental nation.

Orage lectured him like an impatient father correcting an adolescent. Pound suffered from café elitism said Orage writing as ‘R.H.C.'  “I reserve my judgement until he has produced his evidence that any one of this mutually devoted band can write good French, let alone talk good sense” (“Readers and Writers,” 11 September 1913). Pound's follow-up letter gave R.H.C. a few hints and implied he'd have trouble proving his case (“The Approach to Paris,” 18 September). His second essay quoted lengthily from Remy de Gourmont’s Litanies de la rose. De Gourmont, Pound said, decisively knew more about poetic rhythm than any man living. 

Fleur hypocrite, 

Fleur du silence. 

Rose couleur de cuivre, plus frauduleuse que rose couleur de cuivre, embaume-nous dans tes mensonges, fleur hypocrite, fleur du silence.

Orage’s partner used a favorite pseudonym for T.K.L.’s “The Way Back to America” (18 September). “Attendez, mes enfants! I am about to waste ten minutes in exposition of the so-called English poets. What I have to say is brief, pardieu! They were all French!” Hastings’ ‘translation’ substituted ‘cow’ for ‘rose’:

Cow hypocrite,

Cow of pretence.

Cow colour of fawn, more fraudulent than our nags, cow 

colour of fawn, bedaubed with brush, walking lie, 

cow hypocrite, cow of pretence… 

…. My brother’s ineffable words mean anything you like, cows, roses, toads, dairymaids or queens-if you must have a meaning, but why have one?’ ... If we can only mix everything up and break every rule it will be much better “for the trade” n’est ce pas

Pound offered his congratulations: “T.K.L. has written an 'incomparable parody... M. De Gourmont may thank us, for now he is assured of immortality not only in his own tongue but in ours. I rejoice that I have been incidental to such service...no one will deny T.K. L. the glory of having invoked and brought to the mental eye of the reader the vision of cows galore” (Letter to the Editor, “The Approach to Paris,” 25 September). Pound was a popular topic of conversation at the Orage-Hastings dinner table. “Readers and Writers” for 18 October complained Pound failed to show “either that our modern English writers are as good [as their French contemporaries] or that our classic English writers have anticipated their modern verse-forms and wave-lengths.”  Only if the latter were second or third rate, recalling Samuel Johnson decrying the vogue for ‘Pindarism’ in his Life of Cowley. Hastings found Orage's reference irresistible and wrote an elaborate satire, “The Clear Tongue Plus Pindarism,” mocking Pound's enthusiasm for Jules Romains (T.K.L. 25 September).   

T.K.L. was his most flamboyant. ‘Romains uses all rhythms; wherefore nothing is incongruous to him. See there the poet! Naturally, where a man dares employ what is his own, from hexameter to doggerel, he need not limit his subject. Romains achieves new epic. Pindar never got beyond ode.” Hastings followed with a pastiche of Romains' ‘Un Etre en marche.’  Pound called Romains' poem “possibly the nearest approach to true epic that we have had since the middle ages,” so Hastings stuffed her version with classical references. Pound delved into Romains' complex theories about collectives, “…groups…are not precisely born. Their life makes and unmakes itself, as an unstable state of matter” (“The Approach to Paris 111,” 18 September). Hastings smartly replied: “If you have ever been in a theosophical gathering you will have heard Romains ideas debated by eleven old ladies and two trousers. They got it all from Romains! Everybody is in a group except Romains and the debaters who are, as may be clear to you, highly conscious spectators. They seegroups. Everybody else is groups.”

Hastings reliably shadowed Pound as he enthusiastically introduced more French writers. Spoofing Pound's tone, Hastings asked if readers were ready for a “Prosie by Vildrac” (T.K.L., “Humanitism and the New Form,” 2 October). Pound quoted from four of Charles Vildrac's poems and made some rough translations explaining the poems' value was their non-poetic qualities. He defined poetic as the preference a man might have if he read Punch and liked “rhymes where he expects them” (“Approach to Paris IV” 25 September) Hastings picked up Pound's reference to the British everyman. Parodying Pound's translation of Visite Hastings introduces 'Mr. Jones'.' But suddenly I thought of Jones'. Jones becomes “the Joneses” and the Joneses' furniture, transforming Vildrac's enigmatic poem into a British domestic comedy. A week later T.K.L. purportedly speaking for readers classified Pound as an obscurantist. “Aristophanes or Tailharde?” asked T.K.L. Pound presented Laurent Tailharde as a satirist playing enjoyably with the “old authors.” “It's a pleasing and erudite irony such as should fill the creative artist with glee....' Hastings facetiously contradicted him and showed she had given the subject thought. “Pardonnez moi! I profess to see Monsieur Tailharde with eyes even more clear than his own. He resembles Aristophanes. Granted. But the Frenchman forgets to price his modernity...Tailharde bless us guzzles (he would approve the word) the rot of his nation. The Greek vomited to behold his” (T.K.L., “Aristophanes or Tailharde?” 9 October). 

Pound's final subject the poet and novelist Francis Jammes — the “most important writer in France,” inspired T.K.L.'s “All Except Everything” (16 October). “Readers, when I began these articles I had no notion there were so many Frenchmen and every second person a poet as in our 'chilly, but prolific, islands.’”  T.K.L. names the Pound pantheon: “Remy de Gourmont Imagiste; ViIdrac, Humaniste; Tailharde, Helleniste; Romains, Unanimiste, and others, each one in his own unique way bent upon clarifying poetic diction...” Jammes, T.K.L. pontificates, is the god of gods: “[he] has perfected the new perfection of being a man in the street; he is your very ordinary self, your office-boy, your office, your telephone, your insurance card, and your stamp!” T.K.L. invents 'Detailist'. Or is Jammes a Naturaliste, Mentionaliste, Normaliste, Conversationaliste, a Somethingaliste? Pound ended the series saying it was 'silly' to hope for an English equivalent to Jammes or Flaubert. Hastings took the challenge and produced a list of carefully chosen second-raters with whom she had run-ins at various times. Yeats was on the list because Hastings savaged one of his verse dramas:

In each case he [Jammes] gives us the Detail and abjures the Whole. You might think YOU were reading Mr. W. W. Gibson; just as in reading M. Tailharde, you think he is Mr. Aleister Crowley; M. Vildrac--Mr. Yeats; M. Romains--Mr. James Stephens; M. de Gourmont--Mr. Arthur Symons.

Hastings' high-octane spoofing had readers laughing and provided Pound with effective publicity Pound acknowledged when he congratulated her about “cows.” If he expected Hastings to end there, he underestimated Hastings wasn't about to let go of the opportunity to demonstrate her brilliance. Orage referred to T.K.L. in 'Readers and Writers' (23 October) as the 'brilliant light' that showed up Pound's misjudgments:  'As “T. K. L.” has shown in a series of critical parodies constituting a tour de force of amazing cleverness (where is Tailharde now?), Mr. Pound’s own English style is a pastiche of colloquy, slang, journalism and pedantry'. The paper’s resident cartoonist  ‘Tom Titt’ drew ‘Mr. Ezra Pound’ with hair standing up in long zigzagging strands as if Pound touched a live electric wire (9 October). Pound understood his managing editor meant to hurt him and drastically cut his submissions over the next fourteen months.

Hastings and Orage ended their personal relationship a few months later over Hastings' unfortunate affair with Wyndham Lewis --she decided she was in love while Lewis following his customary pattern with women got her into bed and quickly proceeded to the next casual affair. Hastings moved to Paris with an assignment to write a column. One of “Alice Morning’s” outings was an evening at Café des Lilas: “Saw the grand poets at La Closerie des Lilas and felt very distinguished.” She featured “Monsieur Paul Fort, who is amiable and wears pince-nez with a smile” inviting her to a dance. Hopefully, Hastings remembered Pound as she danced the evening away. She had a new lover, the sculptor and painter Amedeo Modigliani.

Pound didn't see war coming. Hastings had just returned from a visit to London where she saw Orage and may have seen Pound. She bravely decided not to leave Paris and spent some nail-biting weeks vividly covered in 'Impressions of Paris' waiting for the Germans to besiege the city. The immediate crisis over Alice Morning told readers in early November someone sent her a copy of The Egoist: “Good Lord! The ‘Egoist.’ Of all incongruities! Paris to-day and the ‘Egoist’ (“Impressions of Paris” 5 November 1914). She implied the “someone” was Pound who was working behind the scenes to promote James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Hastings had a run in with the founder Dora Marsden before the war and was looking for revenge. The Egoist happened to be serializing an English translation of Isidore Ducasse's novel Les Chants des Maladoror. Hastings seized the opportunity and spent a paragraph blasting the editors' choice: didn't they realize they were in the middle of a war and weren't they ashamed to showcase the teenage lunatic Ducasse?  The author used the pseudonym Comte de Lautreamont:

It still remains for Mr. Pound and the rest to select noble pseudonyms after the aspiring Ducasse but without that any of them might crib and sign "Maldoror" with no fear in the world of being detected. I should say that all that genre of æstheticism is over for France for a long time. Remember that practically all the men of France will have seen things beside which the little “strong school” fancies can no way compete!

Pound avoided writing about the war believing those who were not involved had no right to do so. A few weeks later Alice Morning featured Max Jacob’s La Cote. Hastings and the charming, enigmatic French poet had become close friends and in February the New Age published an ambitious selection of Jacob’s prose poems translated by Hastings, who waved her credit. Pound returned to the paper in the New Year with “Affirmations.” Orage was paying him and Pound needed the money. 

He opened his second essay with an obeisance. “The New Age permits one to express beliefs which are in direct opposition to those held by the editing staff” (“Affirmations II: Vorticism,” 14 January 1915). Pound's generous definition — Vorticism means one is interested in the creative faculty as opposed to the mimetic — allowed the writer to unify physics, the workings of the unconscious, musical composition, and the visual arts. Pound reminded readers a work of art in any medium offers satisfactions we may not find anywhere else. Ingratiatingly he wrote, “I simply say that certain sort of pleasure is available to anyone who wants it. It is one of the simple pleasures of those who have no money to spend on joy-rides and on suppers at the Ritz.” The next week Hastings 'almost was about to believe...that Mr. Ezra Pound was about to wake up,” until she read his conclusion: “only an affirmation that he is a hopeless cultish. Bless my heart, Vortices and the Quattrocento!” (“Impressions of Paris,” 21 January):

Why drag in physics? “Is it,” asks Mr. Pound, “that nature can, in fact, only produce a certain number of vortices? That the Quattrocento shines out because the vortices of power coincided with the vortices of creative energy?’’ It is all fiddling with terms; and creative energy is power. Were there no vortices in nature before the Quattrocento? Yes; and whirlpools, and surges, and Charybdis, and the wheel of Ixion, whereon was bound the poor diable who embraced a cloud thinking it was Juno.

Pound tried correcting her in a letter ('Vorticism' 28 January). He softened criticisms with compliments and conceded he needed to be more precise:

Miss Morning’s quibble over my use of the terms “power” and “creative energy” is unworthy of her voracious intellect. Had she read my article with that care which even my lightest utterance deserves, she would have been able most clearly to understand me. When Miss Morning confines herself to translating Max Jacob’s poems and to bringing unfamiliar matter before us, we are most grateful for her Parisian explorations...Miss Morning at least advances the discussion by forcing me to define one of my terms more exactly.

Hastings pretended she was speechless. It was hard on her not to reply, mocking “Mr. Pound,” “because he mends one of his rags and tatters with an air of forgiving me for having noticed...but one cannot remember things at this distance.” He was still a “Clusterist” not condescending to a hyphen (“Impressions” 11 February). Hastings may have been annoyed Pound mentioned Wyndham Lewis. After six months in Paris living with an artist, she felt she knew more about the subject of art than Pound. She quoted George Bernard Shaw questioning why sculptors who mastered Michelangelo's methods produced primitives. “The falsity of modern art is defined there!” Ironically, she had just told readers about an incident at the studio. Modigliani (unnamed) had thrown away a damaged sculpture Hastings coveted and the couple had a huge fight about Hastings' rescue operation. She said the head reminded her of Ecclesiastes, referring to the archaic quality of Modigliani’s work. Pound's generalization was "outside the Hellenic quasi-Renaissance tradition.” 

 Hastings brought the argument forward a second time. 'Impressions' for February 18 picked up from Pound's discussion the previous week and told Mr. Pound Vorticist sculptors practiced a craft but not an art. (Pound had specifically mentioned Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Jacob Epstein.)  Pound talked about “mass” and “form” said Hastings and made an unmistakable reference to Gaudier-Brzeska's “Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound” — what was the good when the subject's “skull is...twisted so as to oblige you to search for it underneath his shoulders”?  Hastings mused about the next stage: now the Vorticists “have got as far as to feeling lines and curves...no doubt they will be able presently to make intellectual works according to their natural limits”:

Their very talented warming-pan, Mr. Pound, will have the world all ready for them, and by the time they are able to surpass the artists of the past I suppose we shan’t mind much what Mr. Pound may do with the old masters. I think, however, that he might have got more “push” into his great announcement. Annotated au grand serieux it would go better--for instance, like this, though, of course, I myself am no authority on placing or comparing works of art.

Hastings managed a decent pastiche of art-speak about new form, masses, allegories, and the nature of the medium. The rest of  'Impressions' was a collection of discursive anecdotes and pre-twentieth century French literary references. The author caught flu' so this would be the last column for a while. Pound wanted Hastings to know they were still colleagues. Writing “The Non-existence of Ireland” (“Affirmations VII,” February 25), Pound singled out “Mr. Joyce and Mr. D.H. Lawrence” and added a footnote mentioning Hastings' South African “romance”, A Maids Comedy: “A critic, whom I respect, frequently quotes a pseudonymous romance — ‘The Maid’s Comedy’ [sic.] — which I have unfortunately never read.” Hastings admired Lawrence's early novels so presumably on the whole she was pleased. (She never said what she thought about Joyce and one suspects she found him irritating.) Pound's letter the same week complained about critics writing without considering the contents. He ended: “tout a vous /Heart of nature after seven weeks of it” and added a postscript (“Affirmations,” 25 November 1915):

P.S.-Does Miss Morning really think I shall do any harm to Titian at this date?

Does my writing lead her to think that I do not enjoy Memling and Clouet?

Does she find no difference between the direction of my propaganda and that of the destructionists?

Who most respects the masterwork of the past, one who battens upon it, cheapening or deadening its effect by a multitude of bad imitations, or one who strives toward new interpretations of life?  

The New Age for September 3 featured “Higgledy-Piggledies” by Ninon de Longclothes. Unlike the historic courtesan Ninon des Lenclos this Ninon had read Blast. Hastings begins her random satire of literary trends with Wells and Bennett, respectively a shopkeeper a sanitary inspector, before turning to Vorticism and clever references to Blast 2: The War Number, Helen Saunders' “A Vision of Mud” (“Hold my hand, darling. The vishun is going”), and T.S. Eliot's “Rhapsody of a Windy Night” and “Preludes.”  The final “Higgledy-Piggledy” spoofs Pound in eleven lines of inspired free verse. He is the Pound who legendarily ate the floral centerpiece at the Cheshire Cheese Pub in a happier time before the war and author of a memorable haiku. Hastings takes her template from Pound's deceptively straightforward 'The Social Order' from Blast 2

         The apparition of Ezra at the Party 

         To his right the curling sandwiches 

         And the fruits that are somehow matching him 

         The apparition of Ezra 

         Under the tree branches triangularly waving 

         A strawberry ice on his knee 

         (Is it innocent?) 

         (Mr. Pound, just give me over your idea

         And watch me eat it!) 

         Ezra at the Party, half friz, half nibble 

         Ezra talking Art.   

In 1920 Hastings lay in a hospital bed in Paris fighting to avoid undergoing a hysterectomy. Out of sight of the nursing staff she jotted down reactions to the other women in the ward and her occasional visitors. One jotting recorded Pound sent her “things.” The parcel contained a volume of Robert Browning’s poems. Hastings wrote, “Wow! Help! A few among my yells of disapproval… I do not consider Browning a Great Poet but he is worth more than...” remembering poets she atomized when she was writing for the New Age. She thought of turning over the subject to her loud-voiced ward companion Madame Neuf, “Me! I’ve had eight confinements, so I should think I am competent to….” Pound was in Paris the previous November and again in June. His gift suggests he saw Hastings though there is no record of them meeting. A mutual friend must have told him she was ill prompting Pound to send the Browning volume. Hastings first reaction was for the record and her second may have been to open the book and start reading. 

At the time Pound was writing two columns for the New Age, art and music, under the pseudonyms B.H. Dias and William Atheling. Hastings as Alice Morning wrote her last column published 3 March 1920, an elaborate précis of Jean Cocteau’s surreal ballet Le boeuf sur le toit. She saw Cocteau's latest at a local theater with a first half featuring Erik Satie and two composers in their twenties Francis Poulenc and Georges Auric playing new work. Pound thought Cocteau was a genius and probably finished reading Hastings' elaborate description of the afternoon feeling left out, although Alice Morning pretended she was in no way a Paris insider: “You probably know all these people much better than I do, but then I've confessed to never knowing anything.”  In fact once Pound moved to France he and Hastings may have crossed paths at the homes and studios of several mutual acquaintances, at Francis Picabia's afternoon soirees for instance, where Pound chatted with Cocteau and Marcel Duchamp, and Constantin Brancusi's "cavern" as Pound called the sculptor's studio. Hastings moved out of Paris in late 1923. She had no idea Orage was living at a farm in Fontainebleau-Avon with George Gurdjieff and his disciples. Pound had also moved, to Italy.  

Hastings moved back to London in 1931 and stayed in England for the rest of her life. For reasons including illness and social isolation she was mostly unhappy and frustrated. She was, however, writing: at first in direct competition with Orage, who had given up working for Gurdjieff and returned to England around the same time as Hastings. She knew of Orage's plans for The New English Weekly and squeezed in the first issue of The Straight-Thinker in January four months ahead of the NEW's debut in April (1932). The May issue of the Straight-Thinker acknowledged Hastings' self- published broadsheet had lost out. She wrote a virulent piece about the “New Tinker's Weekly” tearing the NEW apart: “'Tis the epitome of the worst of the past war period, a packet of greed and cowardice, treachery and snobbery, and the fashionable, fear-of-the-crisis sentimentality, which substitutes ritual and faith for investigation and works. This is the old No Wage…God amend us!” The No Wagers working for the NEW were “subtly opiumised.”  Orage buried Pound in the New Age and resurrected him for the NEW--why? “Dunno: unless some eloquent, resentful, patient scoundrel got up a boycott and tirelessly for all these ten years—helped by the pack ready to join any hunt—by hint, wink, innuendo and consenting silence has doubled and trebled those who thought they had a grievance against him.” She claimed Pound for Beatrice Hastings. “You once told a man that if Beatrice Hastings did not like a manuscript, she was liable to tear it up. Pound, that is the kind of, to me, almost incomprehensible canard which has deprived the critical fiend of a doughty sword.”

In June Hastings briefly featured Pound's book-length essay How to Read. She started the book “half asleep” and finished it feeling “fresh as paint.”  The subject of Pound's politics didn't appear to be an issue and wasn't even mentioned. In 1932 Hastings had given up on capitalism, “the cul de sac called Rent and Interest,” and proposed abolishing banks and returning to a pre-capitalist ethos — Hastings wanted a mass exodus from cities lest there should be “biological calamity.”  She thought Lenin had the right answers and implicitly distrusted Stalin. She barely mentioned Mussolini.“Altogether Pound was working towards the conclusion that Mussolini was, like Lenin and like Jefferson, a leader of the most effective type, ‘an opportunist with convictions..."' David Moody says in the second volume of his biography (p.101). Hastings struggled through eighteen months getting out issues when she could and told readers in December 1933 she had exhausted her resources and was suspending publication. Predictably it was the last issue. 

 Hastings hadn't quite finished with the subject of Orage and Pound. Orage died of a heart attack in November 1934. Hastings shocked their former colleagues by attacking the Orage legend in her invective pamphlet The "Old" New Age Under Orage. She claimed Pound was mistreated. Orage “scoffed at and belittled Pound in and out of season,” and she couldn’t understand why Pound insisted on praising his late editor. No one outside “literary Bedlam” did (“and for the nones, I put Pound inside it”). Hastings claimed, not entirely unjustly, she was “bricked up alive,” denied proper credit, and ultimately discarded. She chose to forget Pound was paid and, while she was right, Orage often didn't agree with Pound forgot her role as chief parodist. By 1935 Hastings' suspicions were aroused and she may have meant her odd final reference to “Literary Bedlam” as a rebuke to Pound's condoning Mussolini's pivot towards Hitler. It was the last time she mentioned him. She started another self-funded paper The Democrat after the Munich crisis in 1938 and published issues intermittently until 1943. Pound appeared to have forgotten her, or if he did think about her at all remembered her exclusively as part of his past. Maybe he had a few affectionate memories of her at the “old” New Age. He had no reason to know Hastings committed suicide by gas poisoning in 1943.