DescriptionEzra Pound. Archive of Letters. 1) TLS. "Ezra Pound." Two pages on Pound's personal stationary, 8.5" x 11", Rapallo; November 2, 1926. In this letter to Michael Gold (1894-1967), the novelist, literary critic, and founding editor of the American Marxist magazine, The New Masses, and to James Rorty (1890-1973), a writer, poet, as well as a founding member of the magazine, Pound writes that he found "five numbers of New Masses waiting for me here on my return from Paris, and have read most of the text with a good deal of care. For the first time in years I have even gone so far as to think of making a trip to America; so you can take the blame for that if for nothing else." He then enclosed money to renew his subscription and any "material re/ Passaic" perhaps relating to Passaic Falls, New Jersey, about which his friend, the poet William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), was interested in and would later write about, and "John Reed's 'Ten Day that shook world.'" He ends the letter referring to the recent death of someone named Walsh.
2) TLS. "E.P." One page on Pound's personal stationary, 8.5" x 11", Rapallo; August 6, 1928. Addressed to a correspondent named "Spector." Pound's letter appears to concern a submission to The Exile, a magazine he established in 1927 and which folded after four issues, "Exile 4, has gone to pubshr.; It'd a long time between Exiles. I had put yr. stuff in reserve." Pound continues, "Perhaps you wd. Send me a bunch of mss. In about 3 months time including these two (if you haven't printed these/them elsewhere in the mean time."
3) TLS. "EP." Postcard, 5.5" x 3.5", Rapallo, March 21, 1930. Postcard addressed to Bob Brown, Robert "Bob" Carlton Brown, II (1886-1959), an American writer, publisher, and avant-garde poet, in which Pound writes, "Mr. Kreymb's information a bit out of date. I was etc. pubng. Exile but wdnt. Now care to take money for future issues of same even from one who is so intensely dislikes my face and habits."
4) TLS. "EP.' Two pages on Pound's personal stationary, 8.5" x 11", Rapallo; September 24, 1930. Addressed to the American novelist and essayist Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977), Pound writes concerning a review of Dalhberg's he had seen "in N. Freeman 10th Sept." Later in the letter Pound mentions Margaret Anderson's 1930 book My Thirty Years' War: An Autobiography, which was published in New York by Covici and Friede, and included many letters from Pound, "I don't suppose that you or anyone else has suspected Miss Anderson of asking ANYone's permission to use their private correspondence. I haven't seen the book and heaven alone knows what she has printed. I don't think it matters a damn. BUT, Covici was O.K. till he met Friede. Since then.....you can examine his list for yourself. From this distance it appears to me that any means of eliminating Friede from the publishing world might 'assist.'" Anderson was the founder of The Little Review.
5) TLS. "EP." Three pages on Pound's personal stationary, 8.5" x 11", Rapallo; January 21, 1831. In this letter to Edward Dahlberg, Pound opens by claiming he read Dahlberg's 1929 novel Bottom Dogs and work by Gergory "with interest." He then discussed his views of establishing another literary magazine, "I think what we need now is not another magazine but someone who has the patience to undertake the distribution of the parts of mags. and of pamphlets etc. that one wants to keep in circulation....After Egoist was a paper in printed Prufrock, Tarr, Portrait of an Artist. I don't think one can print in the U.S. on acc/cost, but one cd print here and import IF there was a proper distribution station and if anyone had the patience (non lyric) to collect 500 names of people who wd. agree to pay 50 cents or a dollar or 60 cents or 70 acc/size for such books as I or Bill Williams...thought worth having printed....There is a certain vanity is [in?] seeing one's self printed in splendour at 25 bucks or ten BUT one cannot flatter oneself that one is by such means conveying ones writing to any great proportion of the elect." The rest of the letter is devoted to Pound's view of publishing at the time.
6) TLS. "Ezra Pound." One page, 8.5" x 11", [Rapallo]; n.d. [circa 1938]. In this brief letter to Bob Brown, Pound writes about his views on what he believes are the financial causes, which he blamed primarily on Jews, for the rise of fascism and Hitler in Europe, "II. Kill the Carnegie Foundation for Peace. It has avoided studying the financial causes of the war. And it deserves no pity....IV. The whole of this stinking epoch is shot through by monetary perversion. Until you understand what money is, how it is issued, who controls it, and HOW, you will never learn how to bring your revolution out of hot air and INTO ACTION."
7) TLS. "EP." One page on Pound's personal stationary, 8.5" x 11", Rapallo; January 27, [circa 1930s]. In this letter Bob Brown, Pound passes on an address and then writes this sarcastic passage, "Salute Hitler and thank him for his note. Allow promptitude of response to serve etc. in/lieu of verbal extentns."
8) TLS. "Ezra Pound." Two pages on Pound's personal stationary, 8.5" x 11", Rapallo; November 29, [circa 1938]. This letter to Edward Dahlberg, marked "PRIVATE," includes an enclosure that Pound wants him to print, "Print the enclosed and we can then consider rates (if any)....Note that the Partisan Review has now come over to a position to which I think all good writers can adhere so that A.Q. [American Quarterly] needn't be ALONE in the field, as the sole place where a decent bit of writing can be printed." The enclosure is entitled an "OPEN LETTER TO THE AMERICAN QUARTERLY AND ITS EDITOR." The letter, addressed to Dalhberg challenges the American Quarterly to recognize the financial conditions causing the rise of fascism in Europe, "I am not trying to restrict literature to 'slogans and the rampant cult of politics.' I do however insist and persist in insisting that you can not have any 'histoire morale contemporaine' without taking count of the economic motivations of 90% of all acts in a society rotted by Loan Capital, and that if in 1938, a writer be too obtuse to be curious as to the conditioning of human activity to the point of not being interested in Gesell, Douglas, and the other enlighteners, the said writer is too obtuse sodden and sluggardly to write anything of interest. His prose will sleep. The live writers of our time beginning with Cocteau (apparently the least political) and continuing through Wyndham Lewis, the late Crevel, T.S. Eliot, W.C. Williams, E.E, cummings and the undersigned together with every other writer whom I respect ARE awake to this conditioning and I do not stop with the slitinery slop and camouflage of politicos but probe down into the mechanism which nearly all public politicos is designed to conceal. When I hear from you on this subject I shall be ready to collaborate with A.Q."
9) TLS. 'E Pound." One page (on the back of a flyer entitled "The Social Credit Proposals," printed in England in the 1930s, with a canceled postal cover, 7.5" x 13.5", Rapallo; October 21, . In this letter to Pauline Francis Stephens, a minor American poet who corresponded with Pound and others, and who in the late 1930s embraced fascism like Pound, Pound is apparently responding to Stephens' request for advice and or help to become noticed and accepted as a poet. Pound writes, "but just what do you expect me to do about it? I have written a good deal that might or might not help young writers to learn their job/as to their being angels or archangels that is not in my jurisdiction/I didn't make 'em...WHY do you think you are neglected? Or why more so than anyone else?...Are you the least interested in WRITING? At least to the point of wondering what Dante thought a poem had to be."
10) ALS. "EP." Three pages, with on Pound's personal stationary, with canceled postal cover, 8.5" x 11", November 27, . In this letter to Pauline Francis Stephens, Pound appears perturbed by her apparent questions concerning her writing, "but just what AM I to do about it? Man of action/overworked, type steadily from breakfast to lunch/enormous correspondence/enormous poem to finish....IS your novel TYPEwritten/cause I can't read a novel in hand writing? And DO you know how to write a novel? Not having written one I do NOT KNOW how....Also publishers do NOT listen to E/P/ they are scared as hell I will recommend 'em something too good to SELL...Naow [sic], sis, why don't you be a good gal, and git [sic] acquainted with some other sufferers nearer at hand?" The rest of the letter goes on like this.
11) TL. Postcard, 6" x 4", Rapallo; December 22, . In this postcard addressed to Pauline Francis Stephens in New York, Pound asserts that "Nonsense! Bill Williams [William Carlos Williams] never had a literary jealousy in his like. And he cert/knows a lot more about life and writing than did the late Lawn Tennyson." He then counsels Stephens about writing a novel, "the step from lyric urge to writing a novel is a very long one/ If you can write a novel/CHEERS, but if you don't know that H. James could, that's a lacuna in yr/ cultural heritage. Not, of course that one wants anyone else to write H.J....P/S/ Lawrence bores me, you may as well know that."
12) TLS. "E.P." Two pages on Pound's personal stationary, with a canceled postal cover, 8.5" x 11", Rapallo; [December 26, 1934]. In this letter to Pauline Francis Stephens, Pound writes sarcastically to the New York poet about a possible contribution to a planned anthology, "T.C. Wilson is doing an anthology, special number, for Westminster mag/ I am supposed to select from MSS/sent me by him. In view of yr/intemperate expressions re/all other American contemporaries I don't know whether you care to associate with mere writers. I am sending the collected mss back to Wilson in a few days. If you care to introduce yrself/ to such circles/You can send him copies." Pound lists several of her works she can send to Wilson.
13) TL. One page on Pound's personal stationary, with a canceled postal cover, 8.5" x 11", Rapallo; [January 19, 1935]. In this letter to Pauline Francis Stephens Pound asks if she got his recent letter and that she will be getting a book from him.
14) TLS. "EP." Three pages, with canceled postal cover, 8.5" x 11", Rapallo; [January 23, 1935]. In this letter to Pauline Francis Stephens, Pound expresses his views of some of the famous British poets, such as Tennyson and Wordsworth, "Tennyson and Wordsworth were a pair of fakes, who said one thing at home and another in print....Tennyson...is not as bad as he is now supposed to be/but he is NOT the real thing. any more than that bitch Victoria was anything to look at/ he feathered his nest and was a pompous old ass." He then goes onto critique English poetry, "The English tolerate poetry in just so far as it approaches the Tennysonian pink-teaness. They tolerate Shakespear [sic] because at his weakest he is not TOO unTennysonian. Tennyson hit the perfect note of mediocrity of feeling, at which the genteel English vegetate." Pound continues to discuss other poets and praises Stephens' last two letters as being better written than her earlier ones.
15) TLS. "EP." One page on Pound's personal stationary, 8.5" x 11", Rapallo; February 16, . In this letter to Stephens, Pound writes that he is not going to offer advice about writing, and then does, "I am not going to give you advice about writing, as you have probably got to learn your job for yourself. In general you might try for clarity, as the BASIS of good writing, and confine yr/statements to what you know. I mean avoid statements about 'all living writers', when you mean that there is a lot of cheap trype being written, now, as there was a century ago and a century etc/before that. When you write out of imagination, thass [sic] O/K/ so long as you don't think you are presenting a photo/ of the outer world."
16) TL. Postcard, 6" x 4", Rapallo; n.d. [circa February 1935]. Appears to be an angry note to Stephens, in which Pound asserts "Naturally if you ever HEAR anything/never LISTEN to anything, you will remain etc. if you NEVER take in an idea or make any effort to discover the relation of ANY idea of any one's elses to anything..."
17) TL. Postcard, 6" x 4", Rapallo; February 19, 1935. Another note to Stephens in which Pound uses part of his remarks to give advice concerning writing, "If you are 'revolutionizing' the novel form that is up to you. It will take 20 years to 'put it over'..also , there is not present indication that you aren't trying to revolute backward into prose poetry and Baudelaire or Maeterlinck, or something//....there is nothing against yr/writing as you want to/...but a revolution of 'the novel', as form etc/will have to stand up against H. James, Joyce's Portrait, and Ulysses, and cummings'."
18) TLS. "EP." One page on Pound's personal stationary, with canceled postal cover, 8.5" x 11", Rapallo; May 3, . In this letter to Stephens, Pound offers more writing advice, "Have a try at thinking of art (writing) as means of clarifying perception of manifest universe (facts0 and of language as definining; registering, communicating what is perceived, and don't blame others for yr/own ignorance." Enclosed with the letter is proof sheet of what appears to be a newspaper editorial by Pound.
19) ALS. "Ezra Pound." One page on Pound's personal stationary, with canceled postal cover, 9" x 11", Rapallo; [December 24, 1935]. In this letter to Pauline Stephens, Pound is responding to a request that he considers unreasonable. He writes, "Merry Xmas and NO/ and certainly not/utter lack of imagination. To stand 20 minutes footling in post office with parcels; to do up parcels. Request is idiotic/even if not made at a time where yr/British friends were making war on Italy and muddling the postal service. You wd/probably have the books stopped at the frontier any how etc." He then continues on about the economic causes he sees at the root of the war, "ANYone not actively engaged in preventing war, by investigating and spreading knowledge of the economic causes, is a nuissance [sic] ANYhow. No claim to status is an intelligent world....And god damn the lack of curiosity in 98% of humanity."
20) TLS. "E Pound." One page on a proof sheet of a printed editorial by Pound, entitled "Volitionist economics," which asks 8 questions concerning the current economic system, with canceled postal cover, 9" x 11.5", Rapallo; [January 25, 1936.] in this brief note to Pauline Stephens, Pound writes, "Damn your little magazines. I will resume correspondence when you get these questions PRINTED somewhere, and find someone with guts enough to stand up and answer them. 'communize the product.'" Enclosed with the letter is a two-page newssheet entitled "GREEN SHIRTS REPLY TO LLOYD GEORGE 'NEW DEAL' A MIS-DEAL'", dated January 24, 1936.
21) TLS. "EP." One page on Pound's personal stationary, with canceled postal cover, 8.5" x 11", Rapallo; March 26, . In this short letter to Pauline Stephens, Pound writes, "There is a great deal that I do NOT believe/and old newspaper men have a very useful category: 'unimportant if true.' A movement to break bury etc//surely there is NO NEWS in that. Thanks for the impulse to warn me."
The archive also includes 6 ALS (3 postcards and 3 letters), dated April 4, 1928 to February 4, 1929 of Homer Loomis Pound (1858-1942), the father of Ezra Pound, from Wyncote, Pennsylvania, to The Gotham Book Mart in New York City relating to issues of his son's magazine Exile. There are 4 carbons of TLS from The Gotham Book Mart, dated January 7, 1928 to January 2, 1929 to Homer Loomis Pound in response to his letters.
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (1885-1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic, and a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement. His contribution to poetry began with his development of Imagism, a movement derived from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry, stressing clarity, precision, concision, and economy of language. His works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920) and the unfinished 120-section epic, The Cantos (1917-1969). Pound lived in Rapallo, Italy, from 1924 to 1945, and during that time, he came to believe that World War I was caused by finance capitalism and thought fascism was the way to solve the problem. In the process, he blamed Jews for Europe's problems.
Condition: All of the letters have folds, with some having tears along edges; overall condition is good.
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