Close

Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of use refer to the London Review of Books and the London Review Bookshop website (www.lrb.co.uk — hereafter ‘LRB Website’). These terms and conditions apply to all users of the LRB Website ("you"), including individual subscribers to the print edition of the LRB who wish to take advantage of our free 'subscriber only' access to archived material ("individual users") and users who are authorised to access the LRB Website by subscribing institutions ("institutional users").

Each time you use the LRB Website you signify your acceptance of these terms and conditions. If you do not agree, or are not comfortable with any part of this document, your only remedy is not to use the LRB Website.


  1. By registering for access to the LRB Website and/or entering the LRB Website by whatever route of access, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions currently prevailing.
  2. The London Review of Books ("LRB") reserves the right to change these terms and conditions at any time and you should check for any alterations regularly. Continued usage of the LRB Website subsequent to a change in the terms and conditions constitutes acceptance of the current terms and conditions.
  3. The terms and conditions of any subscription agreements which educational and other institutions have entered into with the LRB apply in addition to these terms and conditions.
  4. You undertake to indemnify the LRB fully for all losses damages and costs incurred as a result of your breaching these terms and conditions.
  5. The information you supply on registration to the LRB Website shall be accurate and complete. You will notify the LRB promptly of any changes of relevant details by emailing the registrar. You will not assist a non-registered person to gain access to the LRB Website by supplying them with your password. In the event that the LRB considers that you have breached the requirements governing registration, that you are in breach of these terms and conditions or that your or your institution's subscription to the LRB lapses, your registration to the LRB Website will be terminated.
  6. Each individual subscriber to the LRB (whether a person or organisation) is entitled to the registration of one person to use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site. This user is an 'individual user'.
  7. The London Review of Books operates a ‘no questions asked’ cancellation policy in accordance with UK legislation. Please contact us to cancel your subscription and receive a full refund for the cost of all unposted issues.
  8. Use of the 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is strictly for the personal use of each individual user who may read the content on the screen, download, store or print single copies for their own personal private non-commercial use only, and is not to be made available to or used by any other person for any purpose.
  9. Each institution which subscribes to the LRB is entitled to grant access to persons to register on and use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site under the terms and conditions of its subscription agreement with the LRB. These users are 'institutional users'.
  10. Each institutional user of the LRB may access and search the LRB database and view its entire contents, and may also reproduce insubstantial extracts from individual articles or other works in the database to which their institution's subscription provides access, including in academic assignments and theses, online and/or in print. All quotations must be credited to the author and the LRB. Institutional users are not permitted to reproduce any entire article or other work, or to make any commercial use of any LRB material (including sale, licensing or publication) without the LRB's prior written permission. Institutions may notify institutional users of any additional or different conditions of use which they have agreed with the LRB.
  11. Users may use any one computer to access the LRB web site 'subscriber only' content at any time, so long as that connection does not allow any other computer, networked or otherwise connected, to access 'subscriber only' content.
  12. The LRB Website and its contents are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. You acknowledge that all intellectual property rights including copyright in the LRB Website and its contents belong to or have been licensed to the LRB or are otherwise used by the LRB as permitted by applicable law.
  13. All intellectual property rights in articles, reviews and essays originally published in the print edition of the LRB and subsequently included on the LRB Website belong to or have been licensed to the LRB. This material is made available to you for use as set out in paragraph 8 (if you are an individual user) or paragraph 10 (if you are an institutional user) only. Save for such permitted use, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt such material in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department.
  14. All intellectual property rights in images on the LRB Website are owned by the LRB except where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited. Save for such material taken for permitted use set out above, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt LRB’s images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department. Where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, reproduce or translate such images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. The LRB will not undertake to supply contact details of any attributed or credited copyright holder.
  15. The LRB Website is provided on an 'as is' basis and the LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website will be accessible by any particular browser, operating system or device.
  16. The LRB makes no express or implied representation and gives no warranty of any kind in relation to any content available on the LRB Website including as to the accuracy or reliability of any information either in its articles, essays and reviews or in the letters printed in its letter page or material supplied by third parties. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) arising from the publication of any materials on the LRB Website or incurred as a consequence of using or relying on such materials.
  17. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) for any legal or other consequences (including infringement of third party rights) of any links made to the LRB Website.
  18. The LRB is not responsible for the content of any material you encounter after leaving the LRB Website site via a link in it or otherwise. The LRB gives no warranty as to the accuracy or reliability of any such material and to the fullest extent permitted by law excludes all liability that may arise in respect of or as a consequence of using or relying on such material.
  19. This site may be used only for lawful purposes and in a manner which does not infringe the rights of, or restrict the use and enjoyment of the site by, any third party. In the event of a chat room, message board, forum and/or news group being set up on the LRB Website, the LRB will not undertake to monitor any material supplied and will give no warranty as to its accuracy, reliability, originality or decency. By posting any material you agree that you are solely responsible for ensuring that it is accurate and not obscene, defamatory, plagiarised or in breach of copyright, confidentiality or any other right of any person, and you undertake to indemnify the LRB against all claims, losses, damages and costs incurred in consequence of your posting of such material. The LRB will reserve the right to remove any such material posted at any time and without notice or explanation. The LRB will reserve the right to disclose the provenance of such material, republish it in any form it deems fit or edit or censor it. The LRB will reserve the right to terminate the registration of any person it considers to abuse access to any chat room, message board, forum or news group provided by the LRB.
  20. Any e-mail services supplied via the LRB Website are subject to these terms and conditions.
  21. You will not knowingly transmit any virus, malware, trojan or other harmful matter to the LRB Website. The LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website is free from contaminating matter, viruses or other malicious software and to the fullest extent permitted by law disclaims all liability of any kind including liability for any damages, losses or costs resulting from damage to your computer or other property arising from access to the LRB Website, use of it or downloading material from it.
  22. The LRB does not warrant that the use of the LRB Website will be uninterrupted, and disclaims all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred as a result of access to the LRB Website being interrupted, modified or discontinued.
  23. The LRB Website contains advertisements and promotional links to websites and other resources operated by third parties. While we would never knowingly link to a site which we believed to be trading in bad faith, the LRB makes no express or implied representations or warranties of any kind in respect of any third party websites or resources or their contents, and we take no responsibility for the content, privacy practices, goods or services offered by these websites and resources. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability for any damages or losses arising from access to such websites and resources. Any transaction effected with such a third party contacted via the LRB Website are subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the third party involved and the LRB accepts no responsibility or liability resulting from such transactions.
  24. The LRB disclaims liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred for unauthorised access or alterations of transmissions or data by third parties as consequence of visit to the LRB Website.
  25. While 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is currently provided free to subscribers to the print edition of the LRB, the LRB reserves the right to impose a charge for access to some or all areas of the LRB Website without notice.
  26. These terms and conditions are governed by and will be interpreted in accordance with English law and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  27. The various provisions of these terms and conditions are severable and if any provision is held to be invalid or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction then such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the remaining provisions.
  28. If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, use of the LRB Website must be terminated immediately.
Close

Letters

Vol. 11 No. 9 · 4 May 1989

Search by issue:

An Epiphany of Footnotes

Claude Rawson (LRB, 16 March) argues that in his Social Values and Poetic Acts, Jerome McGann ‘simplistically attributes’ ‘referential functions’ to Ezra Pound’s ‘footnote style’. The case at issue is this passage near the end of Canto I:

Lie quiet Divus. I mean, that is Andreas Divus,
In officina Wecheli, out of Homer.

McGann comments in a passage Rawson cites:

the lines represent a kind of footnote in Pound’s text … Pound supplies us with an introductory or preliminary gloss. He means – among other things – to identify the text of Homer he is using. It is the Renaissance Latin translation done by the scholar Andreas Divus. The actual book he is using is also identified: the edition from the Paris printing house of Christian Wechel. And Pound might have added, as he tells us elsewhere, that he acquired the volume in a bookstall in Paris in the early years of the century, probably in 1908.

Rawson responds to this: ‘In fact, Pound’s “gloss" cannot act as a gloss unless it is itself glossed in some such manner as McGann’s. Few readers would be able to decode from Pound’s text the information about the Homeric translation used, or the identity of Divus or the officina Wecheli, and none would be able to deduce that Pound had bought a copy of Paris circa 1908. On such matters, Pound’s “kind of footnote" is no kind of footnote, just another difficult passage inaccessible without the help of professors like McGann.’ But as McGann’s own footnote following the quotation above (which Rawson omits) reminds us, the ‘elsewhere’ where Pound tells us all about Divus and the book he bought in Paris in c. 1908 is Pound’s own essay, ‘Translations of Greek: Early Translators of Homer’, which appeared, first in serial form (five parts) in the Egoist during 1918, then in Instigations (1920), and then in the Literary Essays of Ezra Pound (1954), from which McGann cites it.

In the essay in question, Pound has a separate section on Andreas Divus, which begins: ‘In the year of grace 1906, 1908 or 1910 I picked from the Paris quais a Latin version of the Odyssey by Andreas Divus Justinopolitanus (Parisiis, In officina Christiani Wecheli, MDXXXVIII), the volume containing also the Batrachomyomachia by Aldus Manutius, and the Hymni Deorum rendered by Georgius Dartona Cretensis. I lost a Latin Iliads for the economy of four francs, these coins being at that time scarcer with me than they ever should be with any man of my tastes and abilities.’ And Pound goes on to cite the Nekuia (Odyssey XI) passage he used in Latin, following it with his translation, which was to become Canto I. The poetic text is in turn followed by a few pages of commentary, in which, among other things, Pound praises the ‘constant suggestions of … poetic motion’ in Divus’s Latin.

Thus the ‘just another difficult passage inaccessible without the help of professors like McGann’ was in fact quite accessible, not to those in the despised ‘beaneries’ (Pound’s word for universities), but to those literary people who had kept up with Pound’s writing from its beginnings to the publication of the first Cantos. Indeed, those who would have been able to ‘deduce’ that Pound had bought a copy of Divus in Paris would presumably include not only poets like William Carlos Williams and publishers like James Laughlin, but a good portion of the readership of the Egoist and of course of Instigations. Just as later, those who know the literary Essays, which is, after all, one of Pound’s best-known books, would presumably recognise the reference in Canto I.

Why does this matter? Because – and this, I think, was Jerome McGann’s point about the ‘factive’ intervention of Pound’s footnotes – the sort of self-quotation Pound uses here and everywhere in the Cantos has a very different status from, say, the footnotes Eliot added (and later regretted adding) to The Waste Land. Such ‘footnotes’, or rather cross-references, are Pound’s way of saying, look, if you want to understand my work you’ll have to read it, all of it. This is, of course, a large and, some would say, presumptuous demand to make on one’s reader, but it is not at all untypical of Modernist writers. Joyce and Proust, to name two, consistently demanded of their readers that they would give up all else and follow the Artist. Thus the ‘Anna Livia Plurabelle’ section of Finnegans Wake has echoes of the laundry scene in Joyce’s early short story ‘Clay’, and the Saint-Loup of Le Temps Retrouvé makes no sense unless we have been following Saint-Loup’s curious evolution through the preceding six parts of A la recherche du temps perdu.

If it is objected that at least Joyce and Proust referred to their earlier fiction, not to essays, and that contemporary readers of the Cantos can’t be expected to be up on Pound’s literary criticism, the answer is – and this, I take it, is what McGann had in mind – that such refusal to observe generic boundaries is precisely what makes Pound so important to Post-Modernist readers, who have become accustomed to the kind of cross-referencing in which he engages. Such self-quotation (with reference to other genres) is common enough in Beckett and Calvino, in Perec and Pinter, and its pleasure is the Aristotelian pleasure of recognition. But recognition of a special kind: it opts for poeisis rather than poema (the Brooksian ‘well-wrought urn’), suggesting that the way to understand a given poetic oeuvre is to look, not outside the text, but in the next line (where Chinese ideograms are often translated) or the next page or the previous Canto or The Spirit of Romance or Instigations. To read the Cantos this way is to watch constellations of meanings as they begin to crystallise. For many of us, this makes reading the Cantos an especially exhilarating and challenging process: to make present what was already there if we had only known how to look for it.

Marjorie Perloff
Stanford University

Sexual Catastrophe

Among much that was intelligent and valuable, Harry Ricketts (LRB, 16 March) made a comparison linking Martin Seymour-Smith’s suggestion of Kipling’s supposedly submerged homosexuality with a similar claim he feels was advanced in James Miller’s T.S. Eliot’s Personal Waste Land. Ricketts indicates that in both instances the commentators were over-suspicious and over-inventive. For many years I have seen and heard only negative and dismissive comments as to Miller’s study, and I feel that it should not be allowed to pass into literary folklore as a gauge of near-libellous scandal-mongering. Vague libertarian inhibitions about discussing an artist’s unacknowledged sexuality have hindered for almost seven decades the reader’s reception of the full experience of Eliot’s major poems before the Quartets. Miller’s book does nothing less than compel us to re-examine the sovereign poetic metaphor of our century.

The Waste Land is not just the Decline of the West or Man’s Loss of Faith in microdot concentration: it is a peculiar, intensely personal poem written in a sort of Ur-language invented for the occasion in a desperate effort to survive some great personal catastrophe, and (let us not forget) finished in a Swiss mental sanatorium. Eliot seems to have offered up his poem as a substitute host for his personal demons to invest and feed upon. Miller assembles biographical details with compelling authority to suggest that some vast, bone-shattering sexual catastrophe casts shadows into almost every line Eliot wrote before his creative mood altered with Four Quartets and his subsequent work.

Miller was not trying to offer ‘documentary evidence’ as to the sexual particulars of Eliot’s friendship with Jean Verdenal, the young French medical officer killed in the Gallipoli campaign to whose memory the American poet dedicated his first volume of poems, Prufrock and Other Observations, in 1917. Several letters from Verdenal to Eliot survive, but they have not been published by Eliot’s widow: Miller’s argument does not depend on the sort of thing that might be argued in a court, nor does his interest lie in gossip. The essence of Miller’s analysis of Eliot’s poetic creations is to restore what I suppose you’d have to call their sexual dimension – a matter of their interior music, not of ‘documentary’ fact; and Miller does not pretend otherwise. But that music is not heterosexual, and Miller asks us to not pretend otherwise. Using the original, pre-Pound text of The Waste Land as well as poems like ‘Exequy’, ‘Elegy’, ‘The Death of Saint Narcissus’ and ‘Song for the Opherion’, Miller offers a subtle reading which compels our deepest admiration – and sympathy – if we take the trouble to open our minds to his argument and see the poems for the anguished near-private psychiatric documents that they ‘really are’. Eliot was writing of crucial, personal things.

Douglas Fowler
Florida State University

Blunt’s Affiliations

Wendy Steiner’s article on the ‘Blunt case’ in your 30 March issue, bringing up the fact that no art historian has written on the subject so far, prompts me to signal that my book, which has just come out, The Interpretation of Pictures, contains a long section on this subject. No art historian familiar with Blunt and his work with whom I have discussed the subject has ever expressed agreement with George Steiner’s argument, as Ms Steiner seems to do, and omission from her account of Blunt’s attachment to the Warburg Institute and of his relations with Johannes Wilde produces a view of Blunt’s ‘scholarly corpus’ and the principles underlying it which makes for a strong disagreement between what she writes and the way in which I put together the different aspects of Blunt’s persona. Essentially, the history of art history is at issue here in important ways linking those within the discipline to those outside of it.

Mark Roskill
Department of Art History,

Your contributor, Wendy Steiner, is two Directors out. It was not Anthony Blunt, the third Director of the Courtauld Institute, but W.G. Constable, the first, who was one of those instrumental in bringing the Warburg Institute to London in 1933. For the record, and in gratitude, Constable’s colleagues in the rescue were C.S. Gibson and Sir E. Denison Ross, together with the committee they got together in Britain and – of course – the Warburg family.

J.B. Trapp
Director, Warburg Institute,

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.