Thursday, June 13, 2013

The New Age June 5 1913

A quick report from this issue:

The New Age is covering catastrophes and atrocities these days: the Balkan wars, the Irish famine (a retrospective piece), wage slavery in England, a scandal in the Gilbert Islands, and of course faint rumblings of the impending WWI.  Oh, and graduate school reform. 

Turning to that topic, Ezra Pound concludes his three-part series with a few delightful observations.  First, I love this one: "Some triple-X idiot of an editor has boomed a bad poem and called it worthy of Shelley.  As if Shelley the revolutionist Republican, propagandist, writer of canzoni, would, were he alive in 1913, be content with the same mannerisms of expression that suited him in the year of grace 1813."  Readers should notice why this particularly delights me.  At least, it inspires me to work.  Other parts of his article aren't so great, but I thought it would be worth recording that artist-hipsters have been around for at least the last century--Pound complains about how artists are vegetarians and simple-lifers, rather than master craftsmen (emphasis, perhaps, on craftsMEN). 

This, though, is most precious: "Not only must the artist be able 'to look any damn man in the face and tell him to go to hell,' but he must be able to do this quietly, seriously, without needless bravura or bombast."  That goes out to my old bandmates at the University of Maine.

My favorite part of this issue, though, was the short satirical piece "Futurism in Food" by Lionel de Fonseka.  You may notice that his Wikipedia page has been updated by some other MJP-head, judging by the links attached.  It's the account of a visit to the Post-Impressionist Restaurant and then Moderno, the Futurist restaurant.  It's especially hilarious because many of the goofiest things about Moderno have come to pass in the foodie movement: "We believe that every emotion can be rendered gastronomically, and there are immense possibilities in food as a medium of expression.  What is art, after all, but conscious expression?"  My favorite part was at the end, though, when they are feeling cynical, and so are fed caramel.  I'll leave the punchline to the story itself, and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a laugh at the Futurists (as all good Futurists do). 

Because the perfect connection between the two pieces above is too perfect to resist: the advertisement on the last page of this issue is for a restaurant offering "a simple-life, pure-food, non-flesh luncheon."  Enjoy. 


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