For some reason, I woke today with a serious, uglyfaced cold. I feel like crap. Sneezing, sniffling, the odd ache: it’s all there. I dread waking up tomorrow, and worse, I dread my 14-hour day on Tuesday.
But anyway, I decided to stay at home all day, and decided to make a productive study-day out of it. Would that I had studied more: I could perhaps have finished my current Korean study book and moved on to the next. Alas, I studied only Ezra Pound, Cantos IV – VIII.
We discussed Cantos I-III last week, on Wednesday, and a lot came up but of course I’ve been busy since then and not gotten around to writing anything about it. But my word, my study of Cantos IV-VIII today was far more fruitful than I remember it being the first time around, in the summer of 2000.
That first time around, I was taking a class with André Furlani at Concordia University in Montreal on Modernist Long Poems, and we spent a full two weeks on Pound, followed by a week each on H.D., William Carlos Williams, George Stein, and T.S. Eliot? Stein wasn’t quite my speed, and H.D. kind of hurt me mentally with all that ancient stuff, but Williams’ Paterson, Eliot’s Four Quartets, and A Draft of XXX Cantos by Pound all seriously captured my imagination. However, I’d had such little time to read Pound, and had needed to settle for a quick tour accentuated by a lot of André’s pretty sweeping knowledge plus whatever criticism I could access myself. You know, a little Hugh Kenner here, a little Guide to Kulchur and ABC of Reading and The Spirit of Romance there.
It seems that all of that noodly reading I did in the interim, especially my obsessive plowing through books on Medieval Lit, did me some good, though. This time, going through the reading, I am finding all kinds of interesting clues and ideas about how to approach Pound based not only on his own studies, but also on the kind of understandings of things like “history”, “authority”, and “text handling” that concern myself and my fellow Ezra Pounders these days, in our little room in Jeonju on Monday afternoons.
Sometime after our next big meeting (tomorrow afternoon) I’ll be writing up some thoughts, collecting links and musings I’ve mailed out to the group, and posting some summaries of our discussions under the Ezra Poundings category, but please note that little extras will be posted to the category for signed-in users only. This’ll help me maintain security on some of the ideas I’m coming up with, which seem not to be highly discussed online and don’t turn up much in the academic databases. Which means, yes, there may be a publishable paper somewhere in here. My hopes aren’t up yet, but some of these ideas seem peculiarly central but also peculiar enough that maybe nobody else has dealt with them yet.
In any case, keep your eyes peeled, and remember to sign in when you come here, so that you don’t miss anything!