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19 September 1985
Pound’s Artists: Ezra Pound​ and the Visual Arts in London, Paris and Italy 
by Richard Humphreys.
Tate Gallery, 176 pp., £12.95, June 1985, 0 946590 28 1
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Ezra Pound​ and Dorothy Shakespear: Their Letters 1909-1914 
edited by Omar Pound and A. Walton Litz.
Faber, 399 pp., £25, January 1985, 0 571 13480 7
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... Thanks to Clive Wilmer among others, an exhibition of paintings, sculptures, photographs and printed material bearing on Pound’s interests in ‘the visual arts’ was mounted for the Cambridge Poetry Festival on 14 June, and could be seen in Cambridge’s not sufficiently renowned Kettle’s Yard Gallery until 4 August ...

Between centuries

Frank Kermode

11 January 1990
In the Nineties 
by John Stokes.
Harvester, 199 pp., £17.50, September 1989, 0 7450 0604 3
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Olivia Shakespear and W.B. Yeats 
by John Harwood.
Macmillan, 218 pp., £35, January 1990, 0 333 42518 9
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Letters to the New Island 
by W.B. Yeats, edited by George Bornstein and Hugh Witemeyer.
Macmillan, 200 pp., £45, November 1989, 0 333 43878 7
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The Letters of Ezra Pound​ to Margaret Anderson: The ‘Little Review’ Correspondence 
edited by Thomas Scott, Melvin Friedman and Jackson Bryer.
Faber, 368 pp., £30, July 1989, 0 571 14099 8
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Ezra Pound​ and Margaret Cravens: A Tragic Friendship, 1910-1912 
edited by Omar Pound and Robert Spoo.
Duke, 181 pp., £20.75, January 1989, 0 8223 0862 2
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Postcards from the End of the World: An Investigation into the Mind of Fin-de-Siècle Vienna 
by Larry Wolff.
Collins, 275 pp., £15, January 1990, 0 00 215171 5
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Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age 
by Modris Eksteins.
Bantam, 396 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 593 01862 1
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Esprit de Corps: The Art of the Parisian Avant-Garde and the First World War, 1916-1925 
by Kenneth Silver.
Thames and Hudson, 506 pp., £32, October 1989, 0 500 23567 8
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... in 1910 that Olivia introduced Yeats to her friend Georgie Hyde-Lees, whom he was to marry in 1917, having given up his pursuit of Iseult Gonne – who, incidentally, had lost her virginity to Ezra Pound in Woburn Buildings. Perhaps the LCC plaque commemorating Yeats’s residence there might have been worded more interestingly. Meanwhile Pound had married Olivia’s daughter Dorothy, after much ...

I want to boom

Mark Ford: Pound​ Writes Home

24 May 2012
Ezra Pound​ to His Parents: Letters 1895-1929 
edited by Mary de Rachewiltz, David Moody and Joanna Moody.
Oxford, 737 pp., £39, January 2011, 978 0 19 958439 0
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... By my count, though I may have missed a few, this is the 25th volume of Ezra Pound’s highly distinctive correspondence to see the light of day. The first selection of his letters, edited by D.D. Paige and culled from the years 1907-41, was published in 1950, when Pound was four ...

Fitz

John Bayley

4 April 1985
With Friends Possessed: A Life of Edward FitzGerald 
by Robert Bernard Martin.
Faber, 313 pp., £17.50, February 1985, 0 571 13462 9
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... wide popularity by making poetry sound old-fashioned in a new way. The idiom of The Shropshire Lad was quaint in its time but became the more modern the more it caught on. FitzGerald’s version of Omar Khayyam, which became the most popular poem of the century, is sui generis in the same way. It also seems to stand outside its author. Although Professor Martin does the best that can be done with ...

Provincialism

Denis Donoghue: Karlin’s collection of Victorian verse

4 June 1998
The Penguin Book of Victorian Verse 
edited by Danny Karlin.
Allen Lane, 851 pp., £25, October 1997, 9780713990492
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... of generality’, by comparison with the empirical, social and political concerns of fiction. I can’t be the only reader whose appreciation of Victorian verse was inhibited by Yeats, Eliot, Pound and Leavis. In ‘The Trembling of the Veil’, Yeats made an opportunistic distinction between two traditions in 19th-century English poetry. In the first, most poets aligned themselves with ‘some ...

He was the man

Robert Crawford: Ezra Pound

29 June 2016
Ezra Pound: Poet: A Portrait of the Man and his Work: Vol. III: The Tragic Years, 1939-72 
by A. David Moody.
Oxford, 654 pp., £30, September 2015, 978 0 19 870436 2
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... Can anyone​ read a biography of Ezra Pound without feeling unsettled? The persistent anti-Semitism; the eager support for Mussolini; the pain and waste of the incarceration, first in a US military detention centre resembling Guantánamo, then ...

Blackfell’s Scarlatti

August Kleinzahler: Basil Bunting

21 January 1999
The Poet as Spy: The Life and Wild Times of Basil Bunting 
by Keith Alldritt.
Aurum, 221 pp., £19.95, October 1998, 1 85410 477 2
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... of manuscript. He said: “I heard you were the greatest living poet.” ’ Bunting got a kick out of the young man, Tom Pickard, and found much in the poetry that excited him. He wrote to Dorothy Pound in June 1965: ‘Well, I thought, if poetry really has the power to renew itself, I’d better write something for these younger chaps to read ... I planned a longish poem, about 750 lines, which I ...

Hyacinth Boy

Mark Ford: T.S. Eliot

21 September 2006
T.S. Eliot: The Making of an American Poet 
by James E. Miller.
Pennsylvania State, 468 pp., £29.95, August 2005, 0 271 02681 2
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The Annotated ‘Waste Land’ with Eliot’s Contemporary Prose 
by T.S. Eliot, edited by Lawrence Rainey.
Yale, 270 pp., $35, April 2005, 0 300 09743 3
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Revisiting ‘The Waste Land’ 
by Lawrence Rainey.
Yale, 203 pp., £22.50, May 2005, 0 300 10707 2
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... to be mixed with the mud of Gallipoli.’ Miller initially intended to entitle his new (and one hopes final) book on Eliot’s sexuality ‘T.S. Eliot’s Uranian Muse’. The term occurs in a poem Pound sent Eliot, as part of a letter, shortly after he had finished editing the manuscripts of The Waste Land. ‘Sage Homme’ (a play on ‘Sage Femme’, the French term for a midwife) opens: These ...

Mr Down-by-the-Levee

Thomas Jones: Updike’s Terrorist

7 September 2006
Terrorist 
by John Updike.
Hamish Hamilton, 310 pp., £17.99, August 2006, 0 241 14351 9
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... Mulloy hates America. He is 18, and lives in a cramped apartment in the city of New Prospect, New Jersey, with his mother, Teresa Mulloy, an Irish-American painter and nurse’s aide. His father, Omar Ashmawy, came to the United States from Egypt to study business, and he and Teresa married soon after they met at the State University of New Jersey. He ‘decamped’ when Ahmad was three. New ...

Sperm’s-Eye View

Robert Crawford

23 February 1995
Dock Leaves 
by Hugo Williams.
Faber, 67 pp., £6.99, June 1994, 0 571 17175 3
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Spring Forest 
by Geoffrey Lehmann.
Faber, 171 pp., £6.99, September 1994, 0 571 17246 6
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Everything is Strange 
by Frank Kuppner.
Carcanet, 78 pp., £8.95, July 1994, 1 85754 071 9
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The Queen of Sheba 
by Kathleen Jamie.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £6.95, April 1994, 1 85224 284 1
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... his criticism, obsessed with issues of inheritance, usually suggests that the kind of tradition that matters comes from books, not parents. Often Modernist poets seem embarrassed by Mum and Dad: Ezra Pound’s father, Homer, is displaced by his son’s epic poem. Pound is his own hero, lonely and supermannish. One has to turn to his biography to realise how much MacDiarmid’s family sustained him as ...
12 November 1987
The Poems of Tennyson 
edited by Christopher Ricks.
Longman, 662 pp., £40, May 1987, 0 582 49239 4
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Tennyson’s ‘Maud’: A Definitive Edition 
edited by Susan Shatto.
Athlone, 296 pp., £28, August 1986, 0 485 11294 9
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The Letters of Alfred Lord Tennyson. Vol.2: 1851-1870 
edited by Cecil Lang and Edgar Shannon.
Oxford, 585 pp., £40, May 1987, 0 19 812691 3
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The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse 
edited by Christopher Ricks.
Oxford, 654 pp., £15.95, June 1987, 0 19 214154 6
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... 1322 lines, less than a hundred lines longer than Clough’s Amours de Voyage, which is one of the ‘four substantial masterpieces’ printed in full, the others being FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market and Lewis Carroll’s ‘Hunting of the Snark’. (The list has attracted comment: it is clearly polemical, and reviewers who objected to ‘The Hunting ...

Two Giant Brothers

Amit Chaudhuri: Tagore’s Modernism

20 April 2006
Selected Poems 
by Rabindranath Tagore, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri.
Oxford India, 449 pp., £23.99, April 2004, 0 19 566867 7
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... and Moore to write about the gul-e-bulbul (the stock Persian metaphor for the nightingale in the garden), and probably also stimulated Edward FitzGerald’s ‘translation’ of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. (T.S. Eliot’s misgivings about FitzGerald’s poem, although he wasn’t immune to its appeal, are representative of Modernism’s distrust of ‘Orientalia’.) In the second half of the ...
11 September 2008
Your Name Here 
by Helen DeWitt and Ilya Gridneff.
helendewitt.com, 580 pp., £8, May 2008
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... dating, it seems so new and at the same time so ancient. It’s like plunging forward, forward, back, back, back, to swim once more in the warm sea of Ulysses and the Cantos – imagine what Joyce or Pound would do with the internet! Imagine what the internet might have done to them! And yet, that bliss is accompanied by something sadder. As Ludo grows ever more daring, competent, articulate, we watch ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan

7 June 2018
... of friends in Peckham,’ he said, ‘all over the place. Most of the photographs I have of her she is with friends.’ Zainab’s new next-door neighbours were two brothers from Syria, Mohammad and Omar Alhajali. They came from Daraa, near the Jordanian border, and were civil engineering students. After Daraa was besieged by the Syrian army in April 2011, the brothers fled to London, where they ...

11 September

LRB Contributors

4 October 2001
... the Saudi royal family of hypocrisy, corruption and subservience to America. These are clever tacticians, open in their admiration of bin Laden and the regime headed by his father-in-law, Mullah Omar, in Kabul. When they blow up bases or foreigners in the Kingdom, the security forces round up a few Pakistani or Filipino immigrants and execute them to show the US that justice has been done, but ...

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