A Walking Tour in Southern France: Ezra Pound among the Troubadours

Overview

Rummaging through his papers in 1958, Ezra Pound came across a cache of notebooks dating back to the summer of 1912, when as a young man he had walked the troubadour landscape of southern France. Pound had been fascinated with the poetry of medieval Provence since his college days. His experiments with the complex lyric forms of Arnaut Daniel, Bertran de Born, and others were included in his earliest books of poems; his scholarly pursuits in the field found their way into The Spirit of Romance 1910; and the ...
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Overview

Rummaging through his papers in 1958, Ezra Pound came across a cache of notebooks dating back to the summer of 1912, when as a young man he had walked the troubadour landscape of southern France. Pound had been fascinated with the poetry of medieval Provence since his college days. His experiments with the complex lyric forms of Arnaut Daniel, Bertran de Born, and others were included in his earliest books of poems; his scholarly pursuits in the field found their way into The Spirit of Romance 1910; and the troubadour mystique was to become a resonant motif of the Cantos. In the course of transcribing and emending the text of "Walking Tour 1912," editor Richard Sieburth retraced Pound's footsteps along the roads to the troubadour castles. "What this peripatetic editing process...revealed," he writes, "was a remarkably readable account of a journey in search of the vanished voices of Provence that at the same time chronicled Pound's gradual discovery of himself as a modernist poet...."
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The literary value of this 1912 travel journal lies not in its composition but in its substance, which reflects the influence of the medieval Provencal troubadours on Pound's writings (a related work is Pound's Translations of Arnaut Daniel , ed. by Charlotte Ward, Garland, 1991). Using the rigorous editorial technique of retracing Pound's actual steps, Sieburth has competently reconstructed and annotated a partially illegible, disordered manuscript. Fragmentary in nature, the entries are generally impressionistic unpeopled scenarios: architecture, weather, and food are mentioned, but never in any sustained detail. Also included are notes for an unrealized book that digress into an invective against editors and a draft for a work on troubadours. Publication of a primary source always serves to advance scholarship; this one is recommended for humanities collections.-- Janice Braun, Oakland, Cal.
Booknews
Editor Sieburth made the same walk that the young Ezra Pound (1885- 1972) took in the summer of 1912, to make sense of the chaotic jumble of Pound's notebooks and loose "manuscript" pages, and assemble this remarkably readable account of the poet's journey through the troubador landscape of southern France. Includes maps, drawings, and photographs. Published by New Directions Publishing, 80 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10011. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811212236
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 12/28/1992
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,099,713
  • Lexile: 1580L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.23 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: "To Set Here the Roads of France"
A Note on the Text
Poitiers and Angouleme 3
Chalais and Riberac 8
Mareuil and Perigueux 14
Hautefort 21
Excideuil 24
Chalus 28
Uzerche and Brive 32
The Dordogne 36
Albi and Toulouse 41
The Pyrenees 47
The Languedoc Coast 53
Arles, Nimes, Beaucaire 63
The Auvergne 72
Fragments from Gironde 81
Appendix 1: "Troubadours: Their Sorts and Conditions" 87
Appendix 2: "The Gypsy" 101
Appendix 2: "Provincia Deserta" 101
Appendix 2: "Near Perigord" 103
Notes 109
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