ENG 394 – The Avant Garde
15 September 2017
Hamilton, Ian, and Clive Wilmer. “Pound’s Life and Career.” The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English, Oxford University Press., www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/pound/bio.htm.
This source provides a general overview of Pound’s life. It offers an interesting analysis of his persona and controversy, labeling him as a genius and a brilliant artist but also someone “condemned as an élitist, an obscurantist, and a charlatan—a man deficient in self-knowledge, with no real understanding of the modern world despite his avant-gardiste posturing.” It also details both his work and his personal life.
Hanscombe, Gillian E., and Virginia L. Smyers. “Mina Loy.” Writing for Their Lives: The Modernist Women, 1910 – 1940, Northeastern Univ. Press, 1989, pp. 112–128, www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/g_l/loy/bio.htm.
This biography of Mina Loy covers her background, upbringing, and artistic influences. Its particularly salient details include a brief passage describing Loy’s poetic “innovations” in “verbal and rhythmic rendering,” which would draw Ezra Pound’s praise. He notably labeled her technique “logopoeia,” defining it as “a dance of the intelligence among words and ideas and modification of ideas and characters,” thus expressing his admiration for her.
“Imagism.” CPCW: The Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, University of Pennsylvania, www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/Alumverse/imagism-def.html.
This source gives a definition of imagism and cites Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, and others as pioneers of the genre. It offers one “Imagist manifesto,” which share some of the goals of imagist poetry, which include clarity and hardness in writing.
“Introduction to Modernist Poetry.” EDSITEment!, National Endowment for the Humanities, edsitement.neh.gov/curriculum-unit/introduction-modernist-poetry.
This source offers a very brief definition of modernist poetry, sharing its fundamental questions of “self” and how its elusive nature can often confuse readers. It offers the history of the genre as well as a few notable examples.
Nicholls, Peter. “’Arid Clarity’: Ezra Pound, Mina Loy, and Jules Laforgue.” The Yearbook of English Studies, vol. 32, 2002, pp. 52–64. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3509047.
In “’Arid Clarity’: Ezra Pound, Mina Loy, and Jules Laforgue,” Nicholls seeks to explain the exact way that poets Mina Loy, Jules Laforgue, and Ezra Pound influenced one another. For the sake of this project, I will focus on the connections between Loy and Pound. Nicholls acknowledges that most historians and literary theorists have either seen little overlap between Loy and Pound or made the relationship into a one-way one, wherein the eminent Pound is a type of mentor to the less established Loy. Pound famously classified Loy’s writing as being characterized by a sort of “arid clarity,” a description conventionally seen as critical and accusatory (55-6). However, Nicholls points to other statements Pound has made praising Loy and draws similarities between Pound’s Hugh Selwyn Mauberley and Loy’s work to demonstrate that Pound truly admired–and perhaps at times even strove to emulate–Loy’s abstract, “emotion[less]” writing style (55).
“On ‘In a Station of the Metro.’” University of Illinois English Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/pound/metro.htm.
This source compiles various interpretations of Pound’s most famous poem, “In a Station of the Metro” by various different authors. It examines Pound’s word choice and some of the background around the poem. Several writers comment on the “ineffable” quality of Pound’s poem, with Hugh Witemeyer writing, “the presentation of the Image involves the search for an equation that will approximate a beautiful but ineffable psychic adventure.”
Stock, Noel. “Ezra Pound.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 12 Jan. 2017, www.britannica.com/biography/Ezra-Pound.
This general reference article offers a large-scale look at Ezra Pound’s life. It follows him from his early life in in Hailey, Idaho to his popular work while abroad in England, and cites him as a “shaper of modern literature.” It also shares about his disturbance over World War I, and the drier, more adult material that he subsequently began to produce.