Going back to that literary criticism written by Pound, I just totally disregard Bloom’s diminishment of him now- artists know how to talk about literature better than critics do. His idea of the canon is a lot different too. If you’re someone who likes to meditate on the future of our educational institutions these are two Types to juxtapose.

Just some random advice from Pound I find interesting- he says if you want to get to really know who a people was before this time, this is the medium to read

I mean to say that from the beginning of literature up to A.D. 1750 poetry was the superior art, and was so considered to be

He says the attitude toward poetry shifted with Stendhal

So we’re at a certain Badiouian theme here- art as truth-producing. Pound was foremost a poet himself so the implication here is that the means of expression developed back to verse with him, from verse to prose to verse again in other words. Remember this volume was consciously put together by Eliot around the last decade of his life, so this is the judgement of a couple of the greatest literateurs of the 20th century.

You ever understand history prior to 1750 that way? New way of understanding things to me.

I made a post on Stendhal the other day – he wrote for the “happy few” if you recall, and not much secondary work exists on him in English.

Just take his remarks as I am, as if I get the privilege of sitting in a class taught by a great poet. He talks of poetry and prose as recording to varying degrees fuller states of consciousness, given the era. He claims you can’t even know how to write verse if you don’t know Stendhal’s prose, because that’s when consciousness at that time was most fully recorded.

The main expression of nineteenth-century consciousness is in prose.

This is actually William James’ brother who I haven’t read yet, and after seeing this I’m tempted to

Henry James was the first person to add anything to the art of the nineteenth-century novel not already known to the French.

There are experts like Bloom, then there are EXPERTS.

“He’s a fascist though!” Yeah, fascists are strict.

Take a look at his essays for yourself, it’s palpable to me that the reason he was a great artist was in part because he understood art on a rational level- he was erudite. So, similar to Milton who studied all his life to go beyond Homer.

You know I’m obsessive about rangordnung. He’s claiming if you really want to know “history” then you’ll read the poetry before 1750. This is true in my opinion all the way back to the ancient Greeks. Plato was for the elite, while Homer was a closer expression to the way the general people were. And that’s a dispute I could get into with Pound, for another day.

“I’m still not amused about your ‘funnel’ remark from earlier.” Well, see how that applies to my general way of thinking.

Anyway, I’ll take said dispute up for a moment right now actually. Poetry from those times can be used to understand who a people is, and philosophy can be used to understand who they are when they’re at their most rationally articulate. In other words you need both to understand history. We’re not talking about the history of kings, we’re talking about the history of culture. Poets and philosophers are among the main representatives of “records of consciousness”. Peasants talk about the weather, want to know what that was like in the year 1700? The sky was blue. On to other matters.

I haven’t heard of a couple of these guys, and I trust a poet to tell me what’s best, especially if he is fair to prose

All four of these poets, Gautier, Corbiere, Laforgue, Rimbaud, redeem poetry from Stendhal’s condemnation.

The canon can probably be restructured beyond our wildest imagination, and Pound is one of the ideal candidates to ask. He only died in 1972. Mullins calls him thee poet of the Space Age. Due to his politics that might not be so easy to determine objectively. For that reason I’m going to probably continue to get a bird’s-eye-view on the Cantos, since we can’t trust scholars to be direct with us about “implications” you might expect.

Neither is there any point in studying the ‘History of English Literature’ as taught.

We might not even know what’s best in our own native language due to “political selection” – Pound is only one of the more obvious examples of this.

This is what I mean by strictness – and only a couple chapters in I can tell he’s beyond Bloom in that regard

We have no satisfactory translation of any Greek author. Chapman and Pope have left Iliads that are of interest to specialists; so far as I know, the only translation of Homer that one can read with continued pleasure is in early French by Hugues Salel

He praises so many writers I’ve never heard of. This writer of the fascist epic is ideal for recovering Atlantis.

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