Thursday, February 12, 2015
The New Age, Feb 4 1915
This issue continues Pound's "Affirmations," this one on Gaudier-Brzeska, and Pound also appears in the correspondence pages to respond to the critics noted in my last post. First he writes about reading The Book of the Courtier and discussions of art history--intriguingly, he claims "we have lost the idolatry for the Greek" (380). He's speaking for the Vorticists here, and qualifies the statement, but in a Greece-obsessed climate, this is a reaction. It leads up to a claim for the Vorticists and Brzeska--that they judge art not by the best recent work, but by the best work of all time. On Blast: "The large type and the flaring cover are merely bright plumage. They are the gay petals which lure."
Pound appears twice the correspondence pages. First, he rebuts Wright's essay from the last issue that linked Futurism and Vorticism genetically. That's important. EP claims to be the opposite of futurism, and then calls Vachel Lindsay a futurist! Or rather, that he practices the futurist manner. Good stuff.
Then Pound calls out "Schiffsbauer"'s critique from the last issue: "Mr. Schiffsbauer is a ‘‘very humble ” philosopher ; he shines through the holes in his alias and is a cenotaph to the year 1912." I'll try to track this down later, and will (hopefully) edit this post to say who I think this Schiffsbauer is. I think I suspected Hastings when I read the letter in question...
Speaking of Alice Morning (aka B. Hastings), she continues her "Impressions of Paris," this time with her wits further sharpened by reading Voltaire: "What a difficult person to read is Voltaire! By the third page he sets you aching to write something yourself. He reminds you in some fashion of that thing you have begun and which, just now, seems more than ever worth finishing and polishing" (374).
One "Morgan Tud" contributes "Three Tales" of Ireland--I suspect that we just get the first tale here, because it's divided into six sections. The story is very unclear, and are mostly dialog. That gives it a kind of Joycean feel, though--I wonder if they are satires of Portrait, currently running in The Egoist, or good faith imitations, or coincidental.
I'm hoping that Giovanni Papini is going to make many more appearances in TNA in the coming days: he contributes a story/essay titled "Hamlet's Advice" to this issue--it is a bombastic "Forward, Forward!" sort of affair, urging its readers to passion and activity. I prefer Morning's witty pricks to these big swats, but will always have a soft spot for Papini.
E.A.B. responds to criticism about American poetry. The controversy over George Sterling continues. On Sterling's poems: "These can best be suggested by saying that they remind me vaguely of “AE.” If one could imagine the vision of “Æ” emptied of its mystic content, one would have an idea of a great deal of George Sterling’s work."
...a poem by AE, funnily enough, appears earlier in the issue.
A.S. Neill contributes a story titled "The Lunatic," a satire of society centering on an up-to-date Scot idealist. It's silly, but it references futurism and TNA in its text, so I wanted to remember it.
A Constantia Stone writes in to dismantle Pound's essay on Imagism from last week.
There's a lot more in this one about the war, about tensions between England and the USA over Mexican oil, about the military and militarism (Romney defends militarism, naturally)--but I must stop for now. On to the next issue.