Oooh so THAT’s why
Pound published this essay a few years after James’s death.
Let’s talk about English litrichur more broadly
James is like a cross between Victorian and Modernist. (Btw- Mrs. Dalloyvey)
Spine-chillingly, Ez suggests that James attempted to bring America over to civilization, and failed. We apparently didn’t want any of that. Still don’t.
Don’t you think it tells us something profound that the best American writers of the 20th century buzzed off to Europe?
We might say there was a fork in the path, one road leading to James, the other road leading to Twain, and we took the way of Twain (they were approx comtemporaries).
In his books he showed race against race, immutable; the essential Americanness, or Englishness or Frenchness
Groace, those three are all a “melting pot” with each other now. If only you could see how hard that makes me grimace. For like a minute straight now.
I mostly just have grievances about the war when I rag the French. They weren’t so bad in James’s day. Lewis traveled to that France and thought it superior to England. The tragedy we have is that the LEAST of the three was appropriated the most- France and England appropriated the US, melted together with IT, not the other way around.
not flag-waving and treaties, not the machinery of government, but “why” there is always misunderstanding, why men of different race are not the same.
Buffalo Bill, Jeffry’s sordid interlopement with a negress- this type of nation is wholly distinct from a place like England or France–or at least it was.
So James was the 19th century equivalent of Pound trying to bring civilization to the US. For not listening to them, you eventually just have to accept that we’ve gotten what we deserved.
This is funny
He displays himself in French Poets and Novelists, constantly balancing over the question of whether or no the characters presented in their works are, or are not, fit persons to be received in the James family back-parlor.
Anyone who lets Paris fall into squalor like it is in today I wouldn’t want in my back-parlor.
Don’t you think you’d be happier the less “low culture” you were? Why do you think “high culture” exists? It’s an experience of the spirit. It’s experiencing reality more intricately. That’s what I try to show people here most days. Old England, Old France, Old Germany, these are places that are far above a people cursed to not even have a country of their own. With the “global Israel” model you are not experiencing reality as intricately as you could be. I told you that Stanley Rosen’s generation was somewhat close to Old Europe, so if you NEED to take a middle-way, go with him. He really is nothing compared to figures from Old Europe however. So you’d just be cheating yourself. A scholar is not a philosopher, a scholar is not an artist.
How lucky we American garbage have a hybrid we can relate to
James displayed a steady perception and a steady consideration of the qualities of different western races, whose consequences none of us can escape.
I’ve been kind of smirking lately because I finally admitted it to myself that I WISH I WAS GERMAN. Maybe that’s obvious to you. But to me, it wasn’t until the other day when I consciously admitted it to myself. I don’t know if that’s something I should be embarrassed about, or what. I’ve been trying to BE like the Old Germans, because they seem to have been the best of Old Europe. Mileage may vary, I’d just suggest you learn to emulate one of the top 5 countries. After having read and loved James so thoroughly Pound’s temperament for whatever reason led him to Italy. I only want to go there because Old Germany is gone, and there seems to still exist something of Old Italy. An American German Italian- okay, I’ll take it. I don’t get why more people can’t pull off this feat of identity-stretching. Or as Ez put it, “the changing of nationality”. Not just spatially, but temporally.